Tidbits: A cheesy expansion and the price of convenience

  • Article by: AL SICHERMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 31, 2013 - 12:20 PM

Branding the Ranch

Was it only last week (or was it last year?) that Mr. Tidbit mentioned the arrival of new flavors of shredded Velveeta, including mozzarella flavor?

(It was both.)

In any case, the Velveeta machine at Kraft seems to be in high gear, as there are two new salad dressings featuring Velveeta: Velveeta Cheesy Ranch and Velveeta Cheesy Jalapeño Ranch.

But Velveeta isn’t the only brand name Kraft is adding to its salad dressings. There are also new Kraft salad dressings featuring two other Kraft brands: Grey Poupon (Dijon Ranch) and Bulls-Eye BBQ (BBQ Ranch).

Yes, all of these new dressings are Ranch dressings, a name pioneered by Hidden Valley, but now apparently generic, that indicates the presence of buttermilk. There are also two new Kraft Ranch dressings carrying the Taco Bell label (which Kraft somehow doesn’t own): Spicy Ranch and Southwest Ranch. Oh! And there’s also new Kraft Homestyle Ranch.

Mr. Tidbit should note that all of these new dressings — actually labeled “dressing and dip” — are in 15.8-ounce bottles instead of the 16-ounce bottles of other Kraft dressings. You might not miss 0.2 ounces of dressing, but that’s something like a nickel’s worth of dressing per bottle that Kraft is holding back, and they make lots of bottles.

All these new dressings also are wrapped up at the top of the neck (the part of the label that tears when you twist off the cap) with an extra moniker: a hand-written-style “J.L. Kraft.” And, at least at one store, all the J.L. Kraft dressings cost 20 cents more than the other Kraft dressings.

But so convenient!

If you’re very fond of Kellogg’s Krave, Apple Jacks or Froot Loops cereals, but you find the large boxes agonizingly inconvenient for snacking, take heart. Now you can buy small Munch Zone boxes of those products, each containing five 0.63-ounce pouches of cereal. (That 0.63 ounces is about two-thirds the size of a regular serving.)

At one discount store, where the regular 11- to 12.2-ounce boxes of those cereals were $3.14 (26 to 29 cents an ounce), the Munch Zone versions, each five-pouch box containing 3.15 ounces, were $3.29 — a staggering $1.04 per ounce!

Al Sicherman

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