5 On Your Side

100-Cal Snack Packs Convenient But Pricey Compared to Counterparts

Posted January 15, 2007

One-hundred-calorie snack packs keep multiplying.

More than 100 products are out on supermarket shelves. At least 45 new ones came out last year, alone.

Consumer Reports tested nearly a dozen of the most popular, including Oreos Thin Crisps, Doritos and Ritz Chips.

Testers compared the 100-calorie snack packs' nutrition and taste to their regular-sized counterparts.

Some snacks look like miniature versions of the regular-sized versions. Others, however, did not come close in neither appearance nor taste.

"Chips Ahoy had barely any chips in them, and the Oreos -- well we couldn't find any creamy inside," Consumer Reports' Lisa Lee Freeman said.

Another difference is price. You pay more and get less. The snack packs cost more than twice as much per ounce. As for the bottom line:

"If it's really tough for you to open up a bag of chips or cookies without devouring the whole thing, then these 100-calorie packs are a great way to control your portion size," Freeman said. "And it may be worth spending the extra money on them."

So, if you need to pay more to make sure you eat less, testers say the tastiest snack packs are the Cheez-It Rite Bites. They are a bit milder than their regular counterpart but testers still liked the taste.

Another calorie-counting option is Doritos MiniBites, which tasted pretty close to the real thing.

Worth noting %u2015 all of the 100-calorie snack packs tested are transfat-free.

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  • A_Patriot Jan 21, 2007

    Wife almost fell for this today at the store. Luckily, I was there to explain cost per ounce...

  • Execution Style Jan 19, 2007

    just eat fat free pretzels.. you can eat what seems like a ton of them before meeting the serving size!

  • Harrison Bergeron Jan 17, 2007

    So, if you can't control yourself and put down the snack bag, then you are paying the cost for the manufacturer to control the portion for you. Makes sense to me.

  • sondrajarvis Jan 16, 2007

    I agree with the article that it is definately more expensive to buy the packs. The other downfall that i have is I am more likely to eat more because they are so easy to pick up and eat. I stick to my one or two fat free fig newtons.

  • morebadnews Jan 16, 2007

    Chips Ahoy are my favorites along with Ritz Chips!

  • WhatEver Jan 16, 2007

    I feel the same way QPID180. If I would to buy a whole package of cookies or chips, my husband would sit and eat them all in one setting. He just does not know when to stop nor have any self control, but try telling him that. It is also about convience for me. I just grab the pack and take to work. The chips ahoy are tasty.

  • qpid180 Jan 16, 2007

    I understand it may be a bit pricier, but you can only have 2 oreos if you buy real oreos. for me that's not enough, but eating the chips i feel like i get to eat alot more. Even thought there is no creme, it still tastes like there is. If you have the money and not alot of self control these packs are the way to go :)

  • Frank Downtown Jan 16, 2007

    It's cheaper and easier just to use your head and read the label and make you own "packs" at home. Like the article points out, these snack pack cost about double what the normal packaging would.