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Seasonal freebies?
December 8, 2020
11:35 pm
Loonie
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Yesterday, there arrived on my doorstep a large cookie tin with the logo of GayLea Foods prominently displayed. Inside, wrapped in white tissue paper, were a recipe and many small packages of ingredients each sealed with a GayLea sticker. The instruction was to make cookies of the assembled ingredients - which included the butter, the blue icing in a tube, chocolate chips, and the marshmallows. The tin was not wrapped or sealed.

Judging from comments on the local Facebook group, everyone on my street probably received these.

We have never subscribed to a Gay Lea email list or "liked" them, or had anything in particular to do with them except buy their butter.

Just wondering what to make of this. We have never received anything quite like it before.
I must admit that one of my first thoughts was to wonder if the contents were safe. Some of the neighbours, on the other hand, have said they would be happy to receive any such gifts that people weren't planning on using.

We put the butter in the fridge and have decided to wait a week and see if there are any issues reported by others who are more eager than we are.

We are not in an area that normally receives a lot of marketing freebies, and not a test market area.
Did anyone else receive this? I am wondering how widely these were distributed and why we got them. It's not a cheap form of advertising, with all these little packages.
It may be that GayLea is an Ontario-only brand, but I 'm not sure. They are a dairy farmers' cooperative and a major brand here.

Any ideas?

December 9, 2020
5:43 am
lhsaid
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Couple months ago we received couple items we didn't order from amazon, but nothing from Gay Lea.

December 9, 2020
7:02 am
Nehpets
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Loonie said
Yesterday, there arrived on my doorstep a large cookie tin with the logo of GayLea Foods prominently displayed. ........Any ideas?  

Color me skeptical, but I would be hesitant to consume anything that was left on my doorstep that I had not requested or have knowledge of its source.

There are a lot of bad people out there, or people missing a few cards from a full deck, not to mention inadvertent mishandling of perishable ingredients.

Is your health or even your life worth a free cookie?

If it were me, I'd keep the tin and toss the ingredients. But that's just cynical, skeptical me.

Same rationale as not clicking on a link in an email to retrieve an inheritance from Nigeria

If it's too good to be true, etc, etc......

Stephen

December 9, 2020
7:11 am
topgun
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Nehpets said

Color me skeptical, but I would be hesitant to consume anything that was left on my doorstep that I had not requested or have knowledge of its source.

There are a lot of bad people out there, or people missing a few cards from a full deck, not to mention inadvertent mishandling of perishable ingredients.

Is your health or even your life worth a free cookie?

If it were me, I'd keep the tin and toss the ingredients. But that's just cynical, skeptical me.

Same rationale as not clicking on a link in an email to retrieve an inheritance from Nigeria

If it's too good to be true, etc, etc......

Stephen  

Nehpets said

Color me skeptical, but I would be hesitant to consume anything that was left on my doorstep that I had not requested or have knowledge of its source.

There are a lot of bad people out there, or people missing a few cards from a full deck, not to mention inadvertent mishandling of perishable ingredients.

Is your health or even your life worth a free cookie?

If it were me, I'd keep the tin and toss the ingredients. But that's just cynical, skeptical me.

Same rationale as not clicking on a link in an email to retrieve an inheritance from Nigeria

If it's too good to be true, etc, etc......

Stephen  

Good advice. In the last couple years I received chocolate covered biscuits on my doorstep. Everything was sealed properly. I did not need the freebe. I ate them with no side effects. Lots of interesting information posted on this board by members. Best Wishes for the season. Thank you.

Have a Great Day

December 9, 2020
8:23 am
pennysaver1
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I didn’t receive one myself (don’t live in GTA or anywhere in Ontario), but I was curious about this so I looked into it. On what appears to be their official Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/gayleafoods/) there’s a post dated Nov. 28 where they reply to a comment with the following:

“Hi Babs, thanks for your interest in our Bake It Forward campaign! This holiday season we are encouraging everyone to #BakeItForward with us. We will be surprising Toronto/GTA residents with #BakeItForward kits on their doorsteps throughout the month of December. We know that celebrations will certainly look a little different this year, so we wanted to encourage others to share the joys of the season with loved ones by baking it forward!”

That post and one from Nov. 26 features an image that looks like what I’m guessing you received:
Gaylea Baking Kit

Also found a couple of articles about it:
https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/gay-lea-foods-inspires-people-to-bakeitforward-while-thanking-mental-health-and-grocery-workers-for-their-service-859517290.html
https://www.bakersjournal.com/gay-lea-fostering-community-giving-through-bakeitforward/

So it seems to be a legitimate marketing campaign/community initiative type thing from the company, so it should be fine, but I would contact the company directly if I had any questions or concerns about it

December 9, 2020
9:00 am
pooreva
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Nehpets said

Color me skeptical, but I would be hesitant to consume anything that was left on my doorstep that I had not requested or have knowledge of its source.

There are a lot of bad people out there, or people missing a few cards from a full deck, not to mention inadvertent mishandling of perishable ingredients.

Is your health or even your life worth a free cookie?

If it were me, I'd keep the tin and toss the ingredients. But that's just cynical, skeptical me.

Same rationale as not clicking on a link in an email to retrieve an inheritance from Nigeria

If it's too good to be true, etc, etc......

Stephen  

I agree with you 100%.

How do you know it is NOT covid-19 package to thin population even further. Paranoid? Why not; better paranoid than sick.

Call GayLea and ask them is this legitimate or not. Anyway, I will not accept anything intended to enter my body through mouth (or any other orifice) unless I personally bought it in the store. Particularly left on my doorstep without my consent.

December 9, 2020
6:10 pm
Loonie
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Thanks for all the warnings and links.

So it seems Gay Lea really is distributing this type of thing.

One of the articles says there are 1400 being distributed in Toronto. That's not very many for a city this size. I still find it strange that they picked my street. The only thing I can think of that may distinguish the area is the proximity to a lot of schools. Within a 15-20 minute walk there are at least 8 schools and 3 are within 2 blocks. All serve different needs and most are quite large. Maybe they think schools=kids=high cookie demand! This neighbourhood does not provide all these kids. A lot come from elsewhere. But if you were just looking at a map of school locations, you might draw the conclusion that there were a lot of kids here.

I take your warnings seriously, and I was nervous about this gift myself. I conclude , given that there really is such a promotion (yes, my tin matches the picture), that the gift is almost certainly genuine. You'd have to go to an enormous amount of trouble to replicate it using dubious ingredients as everything in it has their ID on it.
We rescued it from the porch within a few hours, and it's cold weather, so I am not concerned about deteriorating ingredients. The half pound of butter was still solid.
It does bother me though that the package was not wrapped or sealed in any way. I really think they should have done that. The lid comes off very easily. This was probably just bad planning because it's not something they normally do. It pales in comparison to the cardboard vault that Oaken's chocolates come in! - takes me a while to open those!

I think I'll just let the eager neighbours be the guinea pigs. If they have no misadventure, the maybe we'll make them up. But, actually, I don't like marshmallows! Best for the kids perhaps.

I hope Oaken still sends chocolate, or tea.

December 9, 2020
7:34 pm
RetirEd
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I'd call the listed sender of the gift, but if they acknowledged it I'd dig in.
RetirEd

December 10, 2020
7:37 am
Nehpets
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Loonie said
..........It does bother me though that the package was not wrapped or sealed in any way. I really think they should have done that. ........ 

Precisely, Loonie, and you have every justification to be concerned.! It was that tragic incident the Chicago Tylenol Poisoning of 1982, when Tylenol was poisoned and replaced on a store shelf, resulting in the death of seven people who bought it, that led to medications and food items to be sealed to alert to tampering.

A Company that fails to seal and protect its consumers is being irresponsible and does not deserve to be supported.

I don't know if there is legislation on this issue, but thanks for alerting us to this dubious promotional campaign.

I'll be wary of Gai Lee products on my store shelves in the future.

Stephen

December 10, 2020
5:17 pm
Loonie
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Yes, I remember the Tylenol incident. Wasn't there something else not too long after, perhaps with ASA? I can't remember now.

If I have the energy, perhaps I'll contact them and give them some feedback.
Personally, I wouldn't boycott them on this account. I think it was a mistake borne of naivete. I don't think this has anything to do with their regular production lines as they don't normally make a product like this. The marketing guys didn't coordinate well with the guys who know about manufacturing.
All in all, it comes across to me more as a gag than a successful marketing effort. I mean, how much traction are they going to get out of 1400 randomly selected households, many of whom are scratching their heads and one of whom are going to complain?

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