A few years ago, I had an unfortunate incident with a bag of Pret popcorn. I wrote to the CEO about it. He replied. See below for more:


My letter –

Dear Mr. Schlee.

Meet Stephanie.

Stephanie likes Alan Partridge, The Secret Cinema, Clingfilm (don’t ask), incessant shoe shopping, and painting her skirting boards.

Stephanie also likes your Skinny Sweet n’ Salt Popcorn.

Sorry…………….did like. (See sad face for infallible proof).


In all honesty, I did too. So did Andy. As did Mark.

Mr Schlee, please allow me to tell you why Microsoft’s Ctrl + i command has just been put to good use:

A rather debaucherous night of drinking had preceded the fateful day in question. Needless to say, the agency’s collective liver was feeling sorry for itself, and decided to enact its revenge in the form of 4 exceptionally colourful hangovers. We survived the morning (albeit sporting every shade of green on the spectrum), but……oh Mr Schlee……lunchtime was miserable. And we usually LOVE lunchtime, Mr Schlee. Imagine our despair.

At approximately 1530 hours, we emerged from a painful post-prandial slump, and when boborygmia resumed, Stephanie here had a lightbulb moment. ‘Popcorn’ she playfully whispered. The heads of those with auditory prowess shot up. My eyes darted from Mark to Andy to Stephanie. 4 nods later and it was decided.

The rescue party, consisting of myself and the snack-instigator, staggered out into the street, shielding our eyes from the sun and snarling at Barclay Bikes blocking our path. The walk was long and arduous, Mr Schlee. See below for details. 


By some sweet miracle, as we bee-lined for the jaunty wooden crates nestling below the fridges, we were greeted by 4 remaining bags of rustling joy. No more, no less. Fate, no doubt?

Bounty in tow and a lengthened stride, we managed to arrive back at our office avoiding severe incidence. So far so good, Mr Schlee. Oh, how naïve we were.

Nothing could have restrained our hungry hands as we ripped the bags apart. Unadulterated carnage. The first few shovels were, as we have always experienced, pleasure in the purest form.

But wait.

Something was wrong.

At first, no-one said it. No-one wanted to be the pall-bearer. To affirm what we all knew was true. But it was etched in each and every one of our faces.

I spoke first.

‘Is it me….’, I tentatively ventured, ‘……or is this…quite……….salty….?’.

That was the trigger. A cacophony of expletives and outrage erupted! Spluttering and coughing, grimacing and gurning ensued!

It appears we were all in agreement.

If only we’d had tequila and lime, Mr Schlee, for we certainly had the salt. If only we weren’t already excruciatingly dehydrated. If we were slugs, we would have been flopping around inside out after 5 mouthfuls. Sweet n’ Salt Popcorn, you say? No. Quite simply, No. Your healthy little snackette elicited a false economy: the only conceivable treatment was an emergency chocolate binge to regain the sweet/salt balance. It appears the salt-man was a little too vigorous with his salt-shaker. Maybe he was overtired? Or poorly trained? May I suggest you invest a little more time in the NaCl people, Mr Schlee, for they are capable of turning lovers to haters.

It is with heartache and sorrow that I felt the need to regale you with our story. Memories of a once treasured snack have now been tainted by achieving 500% salt GDA in 30 seconds. Regrettably, not only have we lost all palate sensitivity, but also the urge to purchase this product again.

Hopefully in time the aftertaste will fade and we will be drawn back to you, but this may require some convincing.

Yours most minerally,

Jo + Co


And my reply from Mr. Schlee: