Taste Test: chocolate-peanut butter snacks

Serving size 1 pack (two crackers) 1 1.5-ounce cup 1 pack 1 brownie
Calories 190 250 140 90
Fat/Fiber 9g / 1g 19g / 2g 6g / 2g 3g / 5g
Sugars/Sodium 12g / 150mg 13g / 105mg 5g / 160mg 7g / 110mg
Carbs/Protein 24g / 2g 17g / 5g 18g / 2g 17g / 1g


Reese's had the head start on chocolate-peanut butter snacks with its famous peanut butter cups, but that hasn't stopped food manufacturers from trying to find their own popular and yummy chocolate and peanut butter concoctions. This week, we found four new items on grocery store shelves, designed for those of us who love to mix our chocolate with our peanut butter. Some are packaged to look healthier than chocolate candy but our panelists weren't fooled. For the most part, the new products were a disappointment. But our judges will be buying Jif's new easy-to-pack spread for as long as it's on the market.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

ProductCracker

Creations

Granola Bars
Jif to Go Ritz CrackerFuls Fiber One

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies
Judges'

comments
One judge described these crackers as British digestive biscuits "with a slight cinnamon flavor." They weren't really sweet or savory. "I don't think kids would eat these," she said. These are sold with either chocolate or peanut butter centers. The cracker taste overpowered the chocolate and the peanut butter fillings. "How many granola bars can we have in the United States?" one panelist asked. Another said the name "Creation" implied "some divine intervention." But, he said, "I suggest the powers that created this should have rested on that day!"Shoppers who like Nutella better buy these chocolate-peanut spreads from Jif before our judges get to them. These have a smooth chocolate taste and enough peanut flavor to combat any guilt. "This is a dip and a spread that would be great on toast or waffles," said one judge. "I can't wait to put this on my apples," said another. "Great Stuff!" All of the panelists said they would buy this. One said he would buy it by the case, saying "Does it honestly get any better than this?"

Where Jif's chocolate and peanut butter combination was a hit, the one tried by Ritz was a miss. Judges rejected these crackers because they couldn't taste the chocolate. The cracker overwhelmed the filling. "The cracker has the instantly identifiable Ritz pattern and flavor," he said. "If you are unable to smear peanut butter on a cracker yourself, this if for you."Judges said this brownie lived up to its name because it tasted like fiber. "The texture is all wrong," one panelist said. "It's almost like a Fig Newton. It has no peanut flavor, the chocolate is very fake, with an unappealing flavor." Another said, "It's just not brownielike."
Would

they buy?
All four judges said no.All four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.All four judges said no.
Shopping information$3.29 for a box of six 1.3-ounce packs at Publix.$4.75 for a 12-ounce box of eight 1.5-ounce cups from Target.$2.99 for a 6-ounce box of six 1-ounce bars from Publix.$3.69 for a 5.34-ounce box of six brownies from Publix.


Panelists: Jim Yockey, aesthetician at Clinique of Plastic Surgery in St. Petersburg; Jeff Jensen, public information officer for the city of Treasure Island; Wayne Conery, manager of the R Bar on Treasure Island; and Laura Reiley, Times food critic. All foods were tasted blind.

Send suggestions for product testing to: Taste section, Tampa Bay Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or email them to jkeeler@tampabay.com. Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to food.tampabay.com.

Taste Test: chocolate-peanut butter snacks 04/17/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 5:30am]

© 2014 Tampa Bay Times

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...