9 out of 10 snackbacks

Triscuits are good. Triscuits with cracked pepper are better. 

The brown rice ones are kind of nasty.

But what makes these crackers interesting to a snack expert, is the history behind this crunchy snack.

Triscuits were originally created by a man named Henry D. Perky. This new cracker Henry created was so innovated, that he was actually able to get a couple patents. 

Triscuits were first produced by Nabisco in 1903. At that time they were more a rectangle shape and were marketed as being "Baked by electricity." Check out the add for Triscuits below. 

It is interesting to note that the line, "Baked by electricity," would probably have a negative effect on sales today. Especially with consumers preferring more "whole" or natural foods.

In 1935, Nabisco started to add oil and salt to the crackers. This addition was common among snacks in the 1930s.

Today, instead of positioning Triscuits as this innovative cracker "Baked by electricity," it is instead positioned as a whole wheat natural cracker. In the photo below, Triscuits are even paired with a "home FARMING" kit.

Oh how I yearn for the times of baking with electricity!
10 out 10 snack backs

Okay, Sun Chips are good. In fact, they're really good!

But that's not the type of review you come to snackbacker.com for. At snackbacker you've come to expect foremost snack experts to dive deep into why a snack isn't just a snack.

These Sun Chips, for example, are a genius way for Frito Lay to target consumers who believe potato chips are way too unhealthy. The good folks at Frito do this with natural sounding words on the packaging, like "sun,"whole wheat," and "harvest".

Also, on the back of this package their is a comparison of its fat content compared to normal potato chips.

An interesting thing that Frito Lay did with Sun Chips awhile ago, was put them in biodegradable bags. This seemed brilliant! Yet another way to show that Sun Chips are different and more natural than other chips.

Not long after Sun Chips started using the new bags, they went back to the same old landfill fillers. The company claimed the reason was that it changed back was that the new bags were too noisy!  I suspect either spoilage or expense were the real reason.

10 out 10 snackbacks

9 out of 10 snackbacks

Trader Joe's Milk Chocolate Covered Potato Chips are as excessive as they are delicious. These little snacks combine the blood pressure rising saltiness of potato chips with the diabetes inducing sweetness of chocolate. The taste of these sweet and salty treats can be described in one word- Awesome!

The copy on the back of this snack uses more than one extremely interesting word to describe this snack. Here's what a clever copywriter chose to write instead of simply "Awesome!":

"Our milk chocolate covered potato chips gild the potato chip lily by adding rich milk chocolate to salted crunchy thick cut ridged potato chips. The result? A lipsmacking decadent confection with a delicious combination of flavors and textures."

After reading this description I was a little bit confused. Am I the only one who has no idea what it means to "gild the potato chip lily?"

Whenever I am confused, the first place I turned to is Google. So, in this case I Googled "definition of gild" and found out that gild is a term used for covering things in gold. I was starting to put the pieces together- the potato chips were gilded with chocolate like a copper coin can be gilded with gold. Interesting...

But what was this business about the "potato chip lily?"

After consulting my friends over at Wikipedia headquarters, I discovered that gilding a lily is an idiom used to describe adding to something that is already perfect. The origin of this phrase comes from a misquoting of Shakespeare's The Life and Death of King John: "To gild refined gold, to paint the lily, to throw a perfume on the violet, to smooth the ice, or add another hue unto the rainbow, or with taper-light to seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish, is wasteful and ridiculous excess."

So, after much research I agree with the Trader Joe's copywriter. They indeed have gilded the potato chip lily. In other words, they took a perfect potato chip and made it even better by covering it in a thick delicious layer of milk chocolate... I think.

9 out of 10 snackbacks

6 out of 10 Snackbacks

If you are having a tea party with an old timey English woman, I have the cookie for you!

The latest snack I reviewed was Grandma Wild’s Award Winning Butterscotch Biscuits. If you are to believe the marketing hype behind these little cookies, these fancy cookies are to be enjoyed with a cup of tea and light helping of conversation.

These fancy cookies are based on a recipe that is over 100 years old. Apparently a woman named Annie Wild cooked these same cookies in her home bakery and the cookie’s popularity ran “Wild.” 

Today these cookies are manufactured in England and can be found in fancy people stores everywhere.

As far as the taste, they are actually pretty good. This is a very firm and crunchy cookie that features hunks of hard butterscotch. In fact, this cookie is so firm that you’re going to want to make sure the old timey English woman you are having tea with inserts her full set of dentures.

The ingredients are things like wheat flour sugar, butter, and vegetable oil. There isn’t a single weird sciency ingredient, which kind of refreshing to see. 

These cookies were pretty good, but they are just not all that great. Because of this, I'm giving them a middle of the road grade.

6 out of 10 Snackbacks

If you don’t have an old timey English woman to eat these with—no problem. Just watch this video as you properly munch on this proper muchable.

9 out 10 snackbacks

Trader Joe's Chocolate Chip Brownie and Oat Bars are moist, chewy, delicious and the box has a bunch of healthy sounding words on it. I think this snack could be a new staple in my snack drawer.

The most interesting thing I found about this snack was all of the implied health benefits of these bars. The box says that they are baked in whole grain rolled oats and they have five grams of fiber. Also, the bars only have 120 calories! This means that you can satisfy your sweet tooth with a slightly more healthy version of a candy bar.

If you're looking for a snack that tastes just like a brownie and is probably healthier than a candy bar, give Trader Joe's Chocolate Chip Brownie and Oat Bars a try.

9 out of 10 tasty snackbacks

3 out of 10 Snackbacks

These interesting cookies were purchased in Target's dollar section. They come in a six pack and each pack contains a very small amount of Teddy Graham like cookies. One interesting thing I found about these cookies is they are not "actual" chocolate chip cookies. Instead, they are chocolate chip "flavored" cookies and then it is noted that they are artificially flavored. That is just bizarre to me.

I did a little research on the ultra generically titled "Global Brands" company that makes these and discovered that Global Brands owns a company that makes only food that is priced at a dollar. They make fruit snacks, cookies, and energy drinks that are mostly sold in the value sections of grocery stores or at dollar stores.

I am pretty sure these cookies were so cheap, because they were made cheaply. The cookies do not have expensive chocolate and on the back it says the product was made in India.

As for the taste, it's as good as can be expected from a value priced cookie from India with "chocolate chip" flavoring. It's alright, but not what I would call good.

I personally would rather splurge and get a pack of cookies with actual chocolate instead of just chocolate chip flavoring.

3 out of 10 Snackbacks.

10 out of 10 glorious snack backs!

These pretzel pieces have to be one of my favorite salty snacks. The packaging says that they are bursting with flavor and I found this to be absolutely true. They are flavored sourdough pretzels that are without a doubt 10 out of 10 snack backs.

Hundred calorie snack packs are all the rage these days but for 40 cal more you can have these awesome Snyder's of Hanover pretzel pieces. They're only 140 calories and I find they are way more filling than any hundred calorie snack pack. The only downsides nutritionally is they have 7 g of fat and about 10% of your daily allowance for sodium.

No one makes a pretzel like Snyder's of Hanover!

10 out of 10 glorious snack backs!
Snyder's of Hanover Honey Mustard and Onion Pretzel Pieces
7 out of 10 Snackbacks

GoGo squeeZ is a semi-new take on an ancient product. Why do I say semi-new?

After doing some research, I found the first squeezable applesauce was eaten by 
astronaut John Glenn, in 1962. Glenn was the first official astronaut and ate the first official snack in space. I'll have to add that fact to my history of snacking section.

As for GoGo squeeZ, here's the run down:
  • It's tasty, just like apple sauce
  • It has no added sugar
  • It come in tons of flavors, my favorite so far is the classic apple cinnamon variety
  • The innovative part of this product is you don't need a spoon! It reminds me of a kiddy version of those energy gels athletes eat
  • I'd like more applesauce than is in one of these containers, but the size is probably good for kids or a quick energy boost
  • The cost of these is a little high, but not too bad. At Costco you'll usually pay about 45 cents per pouch ($7.29 for a 16 pack)
  • The only reason I didn't go 8, 9, or 10 out of 10 snackbacks was because at the heart of this snack, it's just applesauce. I'll save my super high marks for something that has a little bit more of a unique taste profile.

Overall, I think John Glenn had a good idea. This is a great lunch box or picnic basket item for kids and adults. 

My biggest surprise while reviewing these is that General Mills has not tried to launch a similar product. After the success of the Yoplait Gogurt line of squeezable yogurt, you'd think General Mills would give squeezable applesauce a try... I wonder why they didn't. 

Now that GoGo squeeZ is at Walmart, you have to wonder whether Materne, the GoGo squeeZ parent company which is currently owned by an private equity firm, has become a target for General Mills or a similar CPG company to acquire?

We'll find out!

The Nature Valley Crunchy Pecan Crunch Granola Bar is a classic snack that has become a staple in my snack drawer and snack drawers across the country. In fact, I'm pretty sure 99% of Americans are familiar with either this granola bar or another granola bar in the Crunchy Nature Valley Granola Bar family. 

Because of the The Nature Valley Crunchy Pecan Crunch Granola Bar's popularity, I don't really think it's worth my time to write an in depth review on it.  So, here's my quick and dirty review:

1. It tastes good.
2. It's 190 calories, but is relatively filling.
3. My only complaint is that these are really dry, so you probably need to drink a beverage with it.

8 out of 10 snackbacks 


Archer Farms Banana Split Indulgent Granola Bites
4 out of 10 Snackbacks

The Archer Farms Banana Split Indulgent Granola Bites are really strange. They aren’t quite candy bars, and they really aren’t a granola bar either. These snacks are about the same size as a fun size candy bar and consist of a hyper sweet chocolate covered granola square filled with white chocolate chips, strawberry flavored cranberries, and dried bananas.

I purchased the Banana Split Granola Bites from Target. Most of the time I really like Archer Farms products, but these little guys were just okay. There are two things that keep these bites from being great:

1.     They are too sweet and the artificial strawberry taste is overpowering. 

2.     They are tiny, so even though I didn’t like them very much I still ate three… I was hungry.

Next time I'm at Target, maybe I'll try a different flavor.