5 On Your Side

100-Cal Snack Packs Convenient But Pricey Compared to Counterparts

Posted January 15, 2007 7:54 p.m. EST

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.