The mystery surrounding the abandoned Keebler trailer at the Middlesex Weigh Station only thickened after yesterday’s press conference at the State Police Barracks. Mitch Swinton, Director of Vermont’s Major Retail Crimes Unit, told a crowd of reporters, concerned citizens and curious onlookers that the trailer was part of a sophisticated crime, an act of “highway piracy,” and may have been an inside job.
“You don’t just make thousands of boxes of cookies vanish into thin air,” Swinton said. “The cookies stolen from the trailer were Keebler’s most sought after brands– Soft Batch, E.L. Fudge, Grasshopper– with a street value of over $240,000 dollars. Whoever organized this operation must have had access to Keebler’s master database– someone high up in the organization, likely in one of the branches overseeing trucking routes or snack branding.”
After decades of impressive growth, Keebler Co. has in recent years developed a reputation for a poisoned corporate culture, with cutthroat competition for bonuses and advancement among its executives.
In a 2014 article, Fortune Magazine interviewed sources within the company who described a demeaning atmosphere of low pay, cramped workspaces and humiliating uniforms. One former executive, wishing to remain anonymous, described the organization as “…rotting from the inside out– just waiting for a storm to blow it over.”
In an official online statement, Keebler sought to reassure its Vermont customers.
“…There will be no interruption of supply, no shortages or price gouging of Keebler products in any of our regular Vermont retail locations. We pledge to continue pursuing our goal of baking cookies, crackers and snacks that are, by whatever measure one chooses to apply, Uncommonly Good.”