This man bought Rs 4000 lunchboxes for kids, regrets falling into ‘eco-friendly marketing trap’

Imagine saving your money to buy a luxury product for yourself only to realise it’s not as useful as you thought it would be. Something similar happened to a man who bought two lunchboxes for his kids, costing USD 60 (INR 4,392) each, and later found out they weighed too heavy for his little ones.

As slowly and steadily the US government is easing restrictions on schools after more than a year, parents are gearing up again to shop essentials for their school-going kids, and here’s a dad who bought an expensive accoutrement for his children.
Greg Lavallee, Slate Magazines’s director of technology, bought two USD 60 lunchboxes (model name- Rover) for his 8.5-year-old and 6-year-old children but is now regretting the purchase. He is even willing to suppress his shame long enough to review the PlanetBox Experience over DMs.

The PlanetBox, an Instagram-friendly stainless-steel smooth-bodied bento box, is gorgeous, radiating wholesome permanency. Their launch model is USD 59.95, and the Rover is USD 55.95. For both, there are accessories (some a person may need and some a person may want), pushing the total price tag closer to USD 80, reported Slate Magazine.

Lavallee recently spoke about his purchase and why is he feeling guilty of falling into the ‘eco-friendly market trap’.

“I would like to be able to offer a defence, but I don’t have a good one,” Lavallee said while recalling that he and his wife shopped for the boxes when their kids went to summer camp for the first time in the summer of 2019. He also said that they were persuaded to purchase the lunchboxes by one of their neighbours whose kids were carrying the same with them.

“We thought they looked good. We had some plastic ones from Target in 2017-18, and they wore out and couldn’t go in the dishwasher. That was a big container and a bunch of separate boxes therein, which each had a lid and needed a wash,” Lavallee said.

The PlanetBoxes have the same allure as the stainless-steel fridge, and stainless-steel everything else. They seem sturdy and shiny and also have that bento box compartment thing going on. They seemed more dishwasher-friendly than plastic.

When asked if he had a price tag shock while purchasing them, he explained, “My partner made the initial purchase of the actual boxes and their two associated stainless-steel rubber-lid bowls (one of which is the size of a serving of ketchup). My sticker shock came when I decided they were annoying to carry and went to buy the carrying cases, and was somehow upsold on ice packs to slip into said carrying cases.”

The father-of-two further said that he considers the ice packs purchase (that cost him USD 16) as a ‘stupid’ decision too as the ice packs “are so thin because they must fit between the stainless-steel bento box and its tight carrying case. I’m not convinced they do their one job, since so far the kids don’t even use them, and they even fail at helping with scrapes!”

“I think the thing I’m ashamed of in buying the lunchboxes is having fallen into the eco-friendly marketing trap,” he added while explaining that he and his wife got their hands on these because somehow they thought steel boxes would be better for the environment.

“But a lot of that is standard fear marketing, about BPA or ‘chemicals’. The BPA thing is real, but they also advertise that this box is ‘lead-free’, which is like …. of course, it is? I think that’s the supreme shame, knowing that I fell for that,” Lavallee said.

He said that his kids were carrying the lunchboxes with them to their summer camps and then to school for a year. But after a few days, the COVID-19 pandemic hit unexpectedly, closing the schools for more than a year.

“Now they are back at school; well, in the building … the 8.5-year-old is still doing virtually in the building. So they are taking their lunches in them every day,” Lavallee said while adding he still does not consider his purchase worth as his kids have started complaining that “the boxes are too heavy.”

“The 8.5-year-old, since she’s doing virtual, has to take a laptop with her every day, too. The lunch box weighs 2.2 pounds, and that’s without food. Then there’s the water bottle–COVID means, bring your own. Plus the laptop. Her bag must weigh 12 pounds!”

Lavallee was further asked if his kids have tossed the bowls of the luxurious box into the trash by mistake during the cleanup, and his answer was “Yes”.

“We are missing one small bowl. Pretty sure it was used for a raisin snack, outside of lunchtime. I haven’t looked yet … let me see … OK, USD 5.95,” he joked.

When asked if he would carry lunch in the same boxes to work, after his kids will abandon them, he suggested a greater idea saying, “I eat so much more food than this! I suppose I could carry two to work. Or I could use them for radio-controlled car parts–little divided compartments are cool, even if not for food. And the boxes are ferrous, so that’s good for catching screws, and stuff.”

So, Lavallee will have USD 60 part organisers instead of expensive lunchboxes, a great solution achieved!

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