You say fillet, I say filet

You say fillet, I say filet

Jim Demers had had his fill of fillets. Or rather, the empty space not taken up by the frozen fish-products in a box of Mrs. Paul’s lightly breaded tilapia fillets. Purchasing a box, he discovered upon opening it that it was only half-filled. Not one to take his breading lightly, Demers wrote in a January article in Consumer Reports that, “Even after being processed, breaded and frozen, these fortunate fish continue to enjoy the feeling of the open ocean.” The article, “Air to Spare,” looked at nine reader-suggested products that took up as little as half the space inside their packages, something that strikes many as deceptive marketing, even with weights listed accurately on the boxes. The author of the piece, Consumer Reports senior project editor Tod Marks, said that the products featured weren’t the worst examples, but a “representative mix.” Marks said that while some company claims were plausible, such as Frito-Lay’s explanation that Lay’s Classic potato chips are half-filled to prevent chips from breaking, and Post’s assertion that Shredded Wheat is around two-thirds filled because bags that are overfilled are hard to factory seal, and cereals generally settle during shipping. Some of the rationales Consumer Reports found less likely included Pasta Roni, made by Quaker Foods, which says its Garlic & Olive Oil Vermicelli occupies less than half its box because of “size variances.” Uncle Ben’s, a brand owned by Mars, said its Fast & Natural Whole Grain Instant Brown Rice only half-filled the bag inside the box in order to get a “quality seal.” Mrs. Paul’s parent company, Pinnacle Foods, said “our fish fillets remain separate from each other to retain their shape, texture and flavorful coating.” But in a picture that accompanied the article, fillet fragments have fallen off the rectangular pieces into the bottom of the bag.