Arnott's is changing the recipe of its Shapes biscuits — and the results are reportedly awful. According to the consensus on social media, the "new and improved" BBQ and Pizza versions have no visible flavouring and lack crunch; essentially robbing them of the brand's best qualities. Thankfully, there's still plenty of old stock on supermarket shelves — but it's running out fast. If you're an Arnott's Shapes fanatic, you need to start stocking up and you need to do it now.
Shapes' bland new flavouring can perhaps be blamed on a recent investigation into false nutritional claims by the ACCC. Last year, the biscuit maker was fined $51,000 for making misleading statements to consumers about the fat content of certain Shapes products.
In the wake of this bad publicity, it would seem Arnott's is keen to prove Shape aren't too unhealthy — even if it hopelessly compromises the flavour. The "new and improved" BBQ and Pizza Shapes come with flavour baked directly into the biscuits instead of being sprinkled on top. They also sport a noticeably softer texture.
This has resulted in hundreds of angry customers expressing their disappointment on Twitter. There's even a petition on change.org to return Shapes back to their original flavour.
The rollout to the new Shapes recipe is expected to take some weeks. In the meantime, you can still pick up the originals from most supermarkets in Australia.
Shapes have a typical expiry date of around eight months, but they should remain perfectly edible for more than a year if kept in their plastic packaging. In other words, it's possible to stock up your pantry by buying in bulk.
Here are some tips for Shapes hoarders looking to clean up this weekend:
- Ring the supermarkets and convenience stores in your area to confirm availability. Start with the outlets closest to you and work outwards.
- Keep an eye out for discounts to keep costs down. Australia's major grocery store chains regularly offer two-for-one and half-price deals on Shapes.
- If you can only see the new version on display, rummage around at the back of the shelf — get your arms in deep!
- Ask staff if they have any stock out back. You might get lucky and score a whole factory box.
- Target convenience stores, petrol stations and corner shops — the prices will be higher but this translates to a slower turnover of inventory.
- Make peace with the fact that your favourite snack has changed for the worst and won't be coming back.
We'll leave you with this classic Seinfeld clip of Elaine searching for her favourite, discontinued birth-control method. Every time she says "sponges" I now hear "Shapes".