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Taste test: New snack foods

Along with summer vacation from school comes summer snacking. Many of us struggle to keep up with the constant ravaging of our pantries by the always hungry and always bored students in the household. Snackmakers are hard at work trying to cash in on those cravings. Our tasters tried four new snack items rolled out just in time for summer.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent


Special K White Cheddar

Popcorn Chips
Ocean Spray Greek Yogurt Craisins Lay's Kettle Cooked Lattice Cut Roasted Garlic & Sea Salt ChipsPepperidge Farm French Toast Grahams

Fans of white cheddar-dusted popcorn will probably really like these chips, judges decided. Our tasters really enjoyed the crunch of the chips and the thicker texture, but they weren't thrilled with the cheddar coating. Overall, judges said they would have preferred a sharper cheese taste and more of the cheese. One described the cheese flavor as faux.The sourness of the cranberries and the Greek yogurt gave these a very tangy taste. Judges appreciated the healthiness of the snack and the unique flavor. "They are nice and creamy-sweet with a sour punch," one panelist said. "These would be a great snack after boot camp." Another said they looked like raisins "encased in white lab coats." The yogurt coating was thick, but not overpowering. Only one judge rejected these outright, asking, "Hmmm . . . how can we improve on a delicious cranberry? Let's wrap it in sugar!"Judges raved about these chips, saying they loved the lattice look and the salty, garlic flavor. "I love the garlic, and the sea salt slams into the chips with vigor," one taster said. "These would taste great with a nicely grilled chicken hot dog," another said. The sea salt flavor was light with just a hint of garlic. "I would love to dip these in my favorite hummus," one judge said.At first glance, these French toast-flavored crackers didn't sound too appetizing. Bu, judges were pleasantly surprised. "The flavors are sweet and syrupy," one panelist said. "They are a nice twist to the Goldfish family." Another said they tasted more like graham crackers than Goldfish. Overall, judges said they preferred the original cheesy Goldfish crackers, but they appreciated the sweet flavor of the sugary option.

they buy?
Two of the four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.All four judges said yes.One of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information$3.79 for a 4.5-ounce box from Publix.$4.29 for an 8-ounce pouch from Winn-Dixie.$3 for a 7-ounce bag from Publix.$2.49 for a 6.6-ounce package from Publix.

Panelists: Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of Studio@620; John Hehn, foodie and owner of All Brite Lighting & Power Design Inc.; Wayne Conery, manager of the R-Bar on Treasure Island; and Jeff Jensen, public information officer for the city of Treasure Island.

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

Serving size25 chips1/4 cup1 ounce34 pieces
Fat/Fiber3g / 0g6g / 0g8g / 1g5g / 2g
Sugars/Sodium0g / 140mg21g / 10mg1g / 125mg7g / 150mg
Carbs/Protein22g / 2g21g / 0g17g / 2g22g / 1g

Taste test: New snack foods 06/09/14 [Last modified: Monday, June 9, 2014 4:54pm]
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