Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Dogs versus Cats (fruit snacks that is)

Scooby-Doo SnacksSummertime is about long trips in the car with whiny, sweaty children. One of the options to appease the little ones, of course, is candy. But I know a lot of parents want to do better by their kids so they opt for fruit snacks, items that are ultra-portable, don’t spoil and can take the heat of a parked car.

So while on a trip to the 99 Cent Only store I decided to pick up a couple of brands that seemed to be positioning themselves for kids but not made by candy companies. I found the Betty Crocker Scooby Doo Fruit Flavored Snacks and the Kellogg’s Hello Kitty Fruit Flavored Snacks. Both say they have 100% of the RDA of Vitamin C and have six flavors (naturally and artificially flavored).

Hello Kitty SnacksThe Hello Kitty snacks come in one large bag (3.8 ounces) while the Scooby-Doo ones come in four pouches of .9 ounces each (3.6 ounces total weight for the box). The portion control of the Scooby-Doo ones is a nice feature, since it’s only 80 calories for a pack. (And if you have kids who can’t share from a single bag, that might be a good option.)

Just a note, when I looked online for these products I did see that the Hello Kitty ones come in boxes with individual packed portions as well, so you can have it either way.

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I used to watch Scooby-Doo when I was a kid so I can tell you that I didn’t have to go looking up anyone’s name (like I tried for Hello Kitty). My packages (I’ve only eaten two of the four so far) were slight on Velma, which is too bad because I like orange best. Shaggy was grape and tasted like magic markers and the Mystery Machine was green and tasted like floor wax. Daphne is red and cherry ... which fits because she was always my least favorite character.

They were soft and fresh. Not bouncy like a gummi, but not as chewy as Swedish Fish either.

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The Hello Kitty ones are so cute I could cry. Look ... a bow! Look ... a star! Of course my favorite is the little pink bunny winking at me (someone help me out with a name there).

The pieces are soft and chewy, but not sticky. Firm, but not hard. The flavor is good, it’s easy to tell them apart (pink is cherry and red is strawberry). They’re not super-tangy, but do have a little tart kick to them. It may just be my imagination, but these have a little coconut background flavor to them. I know that the ingredients mention coconut oil which is way down on the list and I’m guessing is something they use to keep them from sticking together.

The only real difference so far between these snacks is the shape of the candies and that one comes in individual portions. So I turned the packages over to study the nutrition (the same) and ingredients. I found this part rather interesting, so I’ll share what’s inside each:

Scooby Doo Fruit Flavored Snacks

Fruit Juice from Concentrates (apple, pear), Corn Syrup, Sugar, Modified Corn Starch. Contains less than 2% of the following: pectin, citric acid, dextrose, sodium citrate, vitamin C, malic acid, mineral oil, potassium citrate, natural and artificial flavor, color (red 40, yellows 5&6, blue 1), carnauba wax, sulfiting agents and beeswax.

Hello Kitty Fruit Flavored Snacks

Corn Syrup, Sugar, Modified Corn Starch, Apple Juice Concentrate, Pear Juice Concentrate. Contains less than 2% of the following: pectin, water, citric acid, hydrogenated coconut oil, ascorbic acid, malic acid, sodium citrate, natural and artificial flavors, carnauba wax, color added (Yellow #5, Red#40 & Blue #1).

So when I first looked at these I thought, Scooby Doo wins ... the first ingredient is fruit juice! But upon looking closer, Scooby Doo has lumped apple & pear juice together as a single ingredient, while Hello Kitty breaks them out into two separate ingredients, which makes them fall, by proportion, lower on the list.

Both products are made by cereal companies (Betty Crocker is run by General Mills). While they both have fruit juice as an ingredient, let’s be realistic here, Apple and Pear juices aren’t known for high antioxidant properties or their nutrition profile. (There’s a reason why applesauce makes such good cake, after all.) The packages call these “snacks” but these products are candy plain and simple and the 99 Cent Only store rightfully put them in the candy aisle. (I don’t know where they keep them at the grocery store, but I don’t see them in the candy aisle.)

As portion controlled candy, hey, they’re fun. They’re small, they don’t have a lot of calories because there’s no fat, but then again, they don’t have any fiber or protein in there either. If your kids want some candy and they like these, then hey, give them to them as a sometime snack. If you think that these are part of a balanced breakfast, well, do some more reading and maybe buy some fresh fruit instead. There are other candies that have a similar nutrition profile (jelly beans) so don’t be afraid of looking at some labels to find a good compromise between treat and indulgence. (There’s an article in the Detroit Free Press today that lists 10 great healthy snacks for kids.) If you’re actually looking for a candy that’s free of artificial colors and flavors, try the Organic Surf Sweets.

Name: Scooby Doo and Hello Kitty Fruit Flavored Snacks
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Betty Crocker (General Mills) & Kellogg's
Place Purchased: 99 Cent Only Store (Silverlake)
Price: $.99
Size: 3.6 ounces & 3.8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 89 & 92
Categories: Jelly, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:47 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. Most grocery stores keep the “fruit snack” genre in the same area as dried fruit.  Ironic isn’t it?  We avoid these.

    Comment by April on 7/11/07 at 7:09 am #
  2. awesome blog! i never liked the odd texture of fruit snacks. i think the winking bunny’s name is Hathy.

    Comment by gabby on 7/11/07 at 8:23 am #
  3. Our grocery stores stock fruit snacks with the breakfast cereals and granola bars.

    I know they’re candy, but they’re still fun occasionally—I love me some Fruit by the Foot (if only to play with!)

    Comment by Beth on 7/11/07 at 8:24 am #
  4. The bunny is My Melody.

    Comment by lindseyQuinn on 7/11/07 at 8:32 am #
  5. Love your blog!! I subscribe to it in my google reader!! smile My Melody is the bunny and she is oh so cute. smile

    Comment by Jeny on 7/11/07 at 9:16 am #
  6. I’m surprised these fruit snacks fell into the category of “candy” for your candy blog.  For some reason, when I was growing up and eating these (daily, part of my school lunch!) I always equated them with like a chip or fruit side snack, not like a swedish fish/candy product…but really, what is the difference!? huh.

    thinking back on some of my favorites…gushers, soda-licious, and fruit by the foot.  review possibilities???

    Comment by caitlin on 7/11/07 at 5:46 pm #
  7. I got some of the Scooby snacks a few weeks ago.  My son likes them.

    Comment by Angie on 7/11/07 at 11:33 pm #
  8. The bunny could be My Melody, but she usually wears a hood. It could also be Miffy. Usahana has a flower instead of a bow on her ear smile

    The Orange…bear?... could be robear, howdy, or tweedle dee dee

    then again it could be daisy and coro @,@ since they show up together… o.O one thing’s for sure smile they’re cute!

    Comment by Erica on 7/12/07 at 2:33 am #
  9. You should check out the Sunkist Fruit snacks—although I think that they may be being discontinued!  They have 100% of your vitamin C and are a good source of calcium (at least it says on the box) and they actually taste like fruit!  I really really like them!

    Comment by girlbuffalo1 on 7/12/07 at 7:21 am #
  10. ok so i know this is a really old post, but i’m a new reader and was reading the archives and the bunny is named Cathy, she wears a little pink dress and has the litle bow on her ear. My Melody always has a hood and usually a flower instead of a bow. if you go to this website it has Cathy on the list. http://hellokittyworld.tripod.com/friends.htm

    Comment by toe-knee on 4/27/09 at 8:17 am #
  11. Having the right cat treat for your kitty is important to some cat owners. Treats are fun to give and are a nice way of bonding with your cat. There are several brands and varieties of cat treats available from which to choose.

    Comment by pet food on 7/08/12 at 11:06 pm #

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