Fortune cookies cut out the romance

After receiving complaints from some parents, Wonton Food says it's getting rid of romantic messages -- just before Valentine's Day.

By Aimee Picchi Feb 12, 2013 4:18PM

Fortune cookies (Marcus Mok/Asia Images/Getty Images)Wonton Food, the world's largest maker of fortune cookies, has seen the future of the $17 billion Chinese food industry, and it doesn't include romantic messages. 

"Some parents sent us emails. They said they didn’t want their kids reading them,” Derrick Wong, a vice president at the Brooklyn company, told The New York Post. "Different people have a different perspective," he added. (Hmm. Is he quoting one of his own fortune cookies?)

It's not as if the romantic messages were terribly suggestive to begin with. They included such cryptic lines as "Romance and travel go together" and "One who admires you greatly is hidden before your eyes." 

Wonton Food said that after receiving two or three complaints about a fortune, it will eliminate the message from its catalog. Cutting the romantic messages won't leave Wonton Food destitute of choice: The company keeps a catalog of 10,000 fortunes, and uses 5,000 of those at any time, the Post notes. 

“Messages have to be rated 'G.' They can’t be offensive," Wong added. 

It's likely that a fair number of Americans have cracked open a fortune cookie and found a romantic message hidden inside. There are roughly 41,000 Chinese restaurants in the U.S., ringing up sales of $17 billion annually, according to Chinese Restaurant News.

As for Wonton Food, it bakes 5 million cookies every day and ships them to stores and restaurants across the country.

Keeping messages bland is best, Jennifer 8. Lee, the author of "The Fortune Cookie Chronicles," told the Post. 

"You never know who will get the cookie,” she said. "‘You will meet a tall, dark stranger,’ means one thing to a 20-year-old fashionista -- and another to a 6-year-old kid. Romantic messages aren't one size fits all."

More on moneyNOW

Feb 13, 2013 4:12PM
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