Tidbits: Jif, Cheez-It

  • Article by: AL SICHERMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 24, 2013 - 3:44 PM

Let me count the Jif

Quick: How many kinds of Jif peanut butter are there? If you said two — creamy and crunchy — you are living in the distant past. First of all, it would be creamy and extra-crunchy, but that’s not Mr. Tidbit’s point.

Besides those two, there are also these kinds of Jif peanut butter: reduced fat (creamy and crunchy, not extra-crunchy — only regular Jif is extra-crunchy); Omega-3 (creamy and crunchy); natural (creamy, crunchy and creamy with honey); Simply Jif (only creamy), and 3-tablespoon tublets of Jif To Go (in many of those versions plus a peanut butter and chocolate flavored spread). Not to mention Jif hazelnut spreads and Jif almond and cashew butters.

And now there’s Jif Whips, the air-puffed version of regular Jif peanut butter, promoted as having “25 percent less calories and fat than regular Jif.” It also has 25 percent less carbohydrate and 25 percent less protein. It has 25 percent less peanut butter! It’s 75 percent peanut butter and 25 percent air! And although Mr. Tidbit doesn’t know how to measure flavor, he’d say this product has at least 25 percent less taste.

At one store, the 15-ounce tub of Jif Whips (two kinds — creamy peanut butter, and peanut butter and chocolate flavored spread) are $3.49, 23 cents per ounce; and the 16-ounce jar of regular Jif is $2.89, just 18 cents per ounce. But weight is only one way to compare. That 15 ounces of Jif Whips is 18 (2-tablespoon) servings, so it’s 19.4 cents per serving. The 16-ounce jar of regular Jif is only 14 (2-tablespoon) servings, so it’s 20.6 cents per serving — virtually the same price.

But each same-price serving of Whips is a serving of diluted peanut butter.

In fairness, Mr. Tidbit must point out that Whips spreads much more easily than regular Jif, so for the 6-year-old who will be spreading it on bread, Whips is ideal.

 

With two Z’s

There’s a new line of spicy Cheez-It crackers: Zingz, in two kinds: Queso Fundido (that means “melted cheese”; it’s white Cheddar, jalapeño, onion, garlic and more); and Chipotle Cheddar (Cheddar, chipotle, coriander, red pepper, cumin and more).

Al Sicherman

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