They're the latest in the diet craze - those 100-calorie snack packs on the
market today - mini portions from major snack brands. They may be good for your waist line but are they good for
"I am a teacher so when I get packs ready for school lunches or whatever I'
ll occasionally buy the 100 calorie pack," says Jill.
But did you realize you're paying more for less food? The Center for
Science in the Public Interest crunched the numbers and found 100-calorie
portions of Chex Mix and Keebler Deluxe Cookies cost three and a half times
more per ounce than the regular-sized packages. Snack-sized Cheese Nips
cost nearly four times as much.
Spokeman Michael Jackson of CSPI says, "These are extraordinary premiums that people are paying for the little
convenience that they're getting."
In just 3 years, sales of snack packs have reached over 200 million dollars.
Roberta says "I love the 100 calorie packs because its not a lot of calories all at
once and it satiates my craving."
But others say it's more about hype than health.
"When you buy a regular pack it costs a lot less and you get a lot more," says Nicole.
Snack makers say they're not trying to pull a fast one by charging more for
less. General Mills said due to increased manufacturing and packaging costs
, the smaller portions are more expensive to produce.
Nabisco explained most
of its 100-calorie snacks are not just smaller versions of the classics,
and that actually the taste and quantity were developed just for this
purpose. Kellogg added that they act as a built-in stop sign that can help
consumers manage their calories and Hostess said its goal was to create a
product that was portion controlled but still satisfying.
Nutritionist Lisa Drayer cautions, "You have to be careful if you tend to not stop at one package you can run
For example, if you splurge and eat two 100-calorie packs of Hostess Mini-cupcakes, suddenly you've consumed 'more' calories than if you had eaten one 'large' hostess cupcake.
"I think it's important to note that none of these foods are really health
foods. We're talking cookies and crackers, foods that we really shouldn't be
eating much of anyhow."
Some snack makers, think even 100 calories might be too much for some diet-conscious consumers. Hershey, for example, now sells 60-calorie chocolate bars. and Jell-o sells 60-calorie pudding packs.