Food Engineering

Editor's Note: Grab the mini-packs and run

May 8, 2006
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of my colleagues in the food and beverage industry for finally bringing to market a group of products I have been requesting for more than a decade: single-serve packs of food & beverage, the latest of which are the popular 100-calorie packs.





About two years ago, Kraft introduced 100-calorie packs of Nabisco Oreo Thin Crisps, Chips Ahoy! Thin Crisps, Wheat Thins Minis, and Cheese Nips Thin. Soon, other food and beverage makers followed the pack.

I am happy to report that in just the past few months, I have purchased small cans of Pepsi, dined on mini snack packs of Pepperidge Farm goldfish and satisfied my sweet tooth with tiny Hershey bars.

I know it costs more per pound for consumers to buy these types of products than the normal-sized packages, but the point for some consumers is to lose unwanted pounds.

As I was driving to work today drinking a diet Cherry Coke (regular size), I heard a radio report declaring that it costs consumers a third more to buy the smaller-sized packs.

I am all for saving money, but if consumers can afford smaller packs and it helps them fight the battle of the bulge, I say grab the mini-packs and run.

"100-calorie packs are a ‘great grab and go' option for people who want to snack and still stay on track with sensible eating habits," says Kraft, and I have to agree. It's all about convenience.

You could buy a big box of Chips Ahoy! and put them in little baggies for a small, now and again snack. If you are like me, it's not going to happen; the bag will be gone in a few days if not hours.

It took a while, but the food industry finally caught on to the dieting secrets of the rich and famous. A few years ago, I happened to be in a very upscale grocery store in Palm Beach. There, in the freezer case, was the most miniscule single-serve pack of Häagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream known to mankind. Then I realized how the social x-rays kept the weight off. After all, in Palm Beach, you can never be too thin or too rich.