The retirement of the historic Crix tin in April was not an easy decision for Bermudez Biscuit Company Limited to make. But according to Marketing Manager Kevan Maharaj, it was necessary.
“It wasn’t taken lightly,” Maharaj said.
He said taking the tin off grocery shelves for good was something they were considering for approximately two years but it was only finalised recently.
“Part of the reason being the recent supply chain constraints and increase in shipping cost due to the pandemic,” he said.
Maharaj said the retirement was also guided by consumer insights as their needs evolved and they wanted crackers that were easier to carry and store.
But even with the company’s research, people seemed disappointed about the decision and took to social media.
One person tweeted: “Did Crix even ask us if we are okay with this?” Another said: “My children will never understand beating an empty Crix tin while singing coal pot.”
Maharaj said they have stock of the comments. He revealed that he too remembers using the Crix tin as a wicket when he and his brothers would play cricket.
“My mom wasn’t happy about that because you could imagine the noise,” he joked.
But he described the tin as an integral part of the country that dated back to pre-war days.
The Marketing Manager explained that the Crix tin started in the format of an oil drum in the 1930s and evolved into a smaller tin, a recycled cooking oil tin, in the 1950s. Maharaj said after that the company started manufacturing the tins on its compound up until four years ago when they started importing from China.
“The actual tin plant was ageing and the cost of maintenance was going up,” he said.
And while all the uses and memories are reasons why people would be hurt by the retirement of the tin, there was one group who may also be financially impacted.
Those who portray the blue devil characters during carnival, they use the Crix tin as their instrument.
One person tweeted: “This affects me directly. As a carnival character d blue devil, this what we beat our rhythm on.”
While another called on Crix lovers to unite and talk to the company: “Approach Bermudez to have the tins released early in the Carnival season for a limited time. Instead of the traditional red labelling, Bermudez could go blue. The Blue Devils and the Crix tin are much-loved traditions.”
Maharaj said all the comments were appreciated and have served as a catalyst for new ideas on how the brand can develop moving forward.
“The tin has retired but it’s not strange to hear people come out of retirement for periods in time, so I could put that on the table,” he said.