Tidbits: A little less pudding for more money

  • Article by: AL SICHERMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 1, 2011 - 1:53 PM

Also: Ice cream bars from Magnum (not the P.I.)

There's yet another new refrigerated pudding product from Jell-O: Two "ice cream shop" flavors: orange and strawberry. Ordinarily, Mr. Tidbit would let this slip by, unmentioned -- just another couple of flavors. But he has to note that the six-pack of tubs totals not 24 ounces, as do the six-packs of other regular Jell-O refrigerated puddings, but 23.3 ounces: Instead of 4 ounces, each tub contains 3.88 ounces.

Mr. Tidbit believes that until now the various Jell-O pudding tub products that have contained less than 4 ounces each have in some way not been part of the regular pudding lineup: They have been sugar-free or whipped or in premium-flavor three-packs. But he suspects that the 23.3-ounce six-packs of "ice cream shop" flavors are harbingers of 23.3-ounce six-packs of the regular Jell-O refrigerated puddings.

Perhaps you are saying "Who cares? Who could notice the missing 0.12 ounces in a tub?" Mr. Tidbit has two things to say about that: First, stop talking back to your newspaper or website. That's a slippery slope: Next you'll be talking back to voices in your head. And second, the 23.3-ounce six-pack, a 3 percent price increase, is another slippery slope. Do you remember the 7-ounce can of tuna (then the 6 1/4-ounce, and then 6-ounce can)? Now it's 5 ounces. Just saying.

Who's Magnum?

Have you been wondering about the origin of the new Magnum brand of premium-price ice cream bars (ice cream on sticks coated in Belgian chocolate)? Mr. Tidbit is happy to help:

The Magnum bars come from Unilever, a global consumer-product giant like Kraft and Nestle, but somehow not as well known by name. Among Unilever's food brands are Lipton, Wish-Bone, Hellmann's, Knorr, Skippy, Bertolli, Ragu and Breyers.

Wait. If Unilever makes Breyers ice cream, why give the bars a new brand name? Well, notice the words "premium-price" back in the first paragraph. (Nestle makes both Edy's ice cream and Häagen-Dazs. Häagen-Dazs bars probably couldn't command their high price if they were just Edy's bars.)

AL SICHERMAN

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