The new, improved #BBQShapes – YUCK!

The name on the pack says ‘Arnotts’, but that venerable Australian biscuit maker was bought out by Campbells some years ago. At first, nothing seemed to change, and flavours such as BBQ Shapes remained a family favourite, at least in this family. Then the little flavour sprinkles on the shapes became thinner on the biscuit, making each Shape taste blander.

Cost cutting?

XX number of flavour sprinkles less per biscuit probably did add up to a dollar saving over squillions of biscuits…

-sigh- We grumbled a little but continued to buy BBQ Shapes because less of a much loved flavour was still better than no flavour at all.

And now this…

BBQ shapes throw up

In the interests of my own breakfast, I took a screenshot of this VINE instead of displaying the original* [he really does throw up, not pretty]. Sadly, the point he makes is all too true – the new, improved BBQ Shapes are revolting. I know because I bought and tried them yesterday.

So what’s so very wrong with them? Two things:

  1. savoury biscuits should not taste sweet – the new BBQ Shapes do. I know Americans are used to having everything much sweeter than we do here in Australia – I remember being shocked at the sweet aftertaste of scrambled eggs during a visit many years ago – but why would Campbells buy out a highly successful Australian company only to homogenize the product to something the original customers will hate?
  2. the new flavour plastered over the back and front of the biscuit is like…I don’t know, those horrible Maggi instant noodles? I can’t quite put my finger on the flavour but it overpowers the ‘proper’ flavour with a really unpleasant aftertaste. To me, the flavour tastes like something concocted in a test tube – chemical and…horrible.

And the biscuits now look disgusting too. Okay, I know that makes three things not two, but who’s counting? The new, improved Shapes look as if they’ve been sprinkled with kacky brown ‘dirt’.

I was going to show a before and after shot of the BBQ Shapes, but in searching online for a ‘before’ pic, I discovered that THEY have brought back the original flavour – obviously in response to public outrage. Unfortunately, I don’t know where the new stocks have gone because at the moment, my local Coles only stocks this disgusting rubbish.

Anyway, whilst it’s nice to know that Campbells has bowed to public demand, I’m still outraged at having to go through all this in the first place. One box of Shapes may not cost much, but I buy very little processed food so I may never buy another box – even if the ‘original’ does come back.




*If anyone is desperate to see the entire thing, Google ‘Christian Hull’ or ‘#bbqshapes VINE’.


About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

13 responses to “The new, improved #BBQShapes – YUCK!


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    Hi, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your website in Opera, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, awesome blog!


    • acflory

      Ah…thank you for letting me know. I use Firefox so haven’t noticed anything. Unfortunately, this is a blog so there’s nothing I can do. I wonder if it’s the theme…hmmm.


  • Candy Korman

    I think I’ll skip the video. I’m already skipping most packaged foods. Yes… Americans seem to like too sweet EVERYTHING! I grew up eating cookies, cakes & breads from my grandfather’s bakery so most of the brands that are “everyone’s favorites” taste too sweet and bland to me. It’s sad but true that I live in a country that seems addicted to junk food and that this particular kind of sweet tooth is being sold to the rest of the world.


    • acflory

      I grew up on ‘real’ [homemade] cakes and slices too so I don’t have a sweet tooth either. It’s kind of scary how bad the average Western diet is. Not just in the States but all over. It’s almost as if the more affluent we become, the greater our death wish. 😦


  • The Pink Agendist, née Mr. Merveilleux

    Homogenization decreases competition and decreases production costs- so in the long term it means higher profits. Big businesses don’t care if their products are “good”. What they want is to train consumers into consuming what they produce, and only what they produce, and in the greatest possible quantities.
    That means that even if they have changed back for now, they’ll probably keep changing the formula bit by bit to slowly condition/transform Australian tastes into the American version.
    The use of sugar is very important in this process because the more sugar a person consumes, the more a person wants to consume sugar.
    “When we eat foods that contain a lot of sugar, a massive amount of dopamine is released in an area of the brain called the Nucleus Accumbens.
    When we eat these foods often and in large amounts, the dopamine receptors start to down-regulate. Now there are fewer receptors for the dopamine.
    This means that the next time we eat these foods, their effect is blunted. We will need more junk food next time we eat in order to get the same level of reward.
    Sugar and other junk foods, due to their powerful effect on the reward centers of the brain, function similarly to drugs of abuse like cocaine and nicotine.”


    • acflory

      Bloody hell…so we’re looking at the donut version of Big Tobacco?? Now that is seriously scary. The Government here is making noises about taxing sugar in soft drinks but I think it’s a lost cause. Tax sugar and the manufacturers will replace it with artificial sweeteners that are even worse in the long run. As far as the BBQ Shapes go, I’m just going to stop buying them. 😦


  • anne54

    I hear your [justifiable] grumpiness, Meeks. Not that I eat BBQ shapes, but I do know that they are something that should not be tampered with!


  • EllaDee

    You just know anything that it touted as “improved” is going to be a balance sheet driven reinvention of the original possibly thought up by a bright spark who came down in the last rain shower…
    While I’d rather eat the box than the biscuits I’m a fan of people power 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      BBQ Shapes are a holdover from the Offspring’s childhood when I could only get her to eat pate if it was on a small, spicy biscuit. Then I grew to like them myself. Haven’t tasted the packet but you could be right. 🙂


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