Just too much
It has been a long time since Mr. Tidbit visited the baby food aisle. A very long time. So he wasn't really surprised to find many surprises. There's organic baby food, for example. And there's baby food in squeeze pouches (no doubt to foster babies' ability to squeeze Go-Gurt at each other later in life).
But Mr. Tidbit's new look at baby food was occasioned by two new varieties of Beech-Nut's Stage 1 (for age about 4 months) single-ingredient "Just" baby foods. These products contain nothing other than the named food — not even added vitamin C. There are, for example, Just sweet potatoes and Just green beans.
While that seems reasonable to Mr. Tidbit, it does seem pretty far-fetched that Beech-Nut now offers 4-month-old babies not Just apples and Just pears, but Just Honeycrisp apples and Just Bartlett pears.
Isn't this encouraging babies to be a little too nuanced in their preferences? Mr. Tidbit fears we could be developing children whose first words are "Phooey d'Anjou pears!" or "Grape juice too oaky!"
New from Progresso, two varieties of chili: Pork & Beef Chili With Beans and White Chicken Chili With Beans. At the store where he found them, next to Progresso's canned soups, the 20-ounce pouches were $4.19 (21 cents an ounce). It's not clear why the chili comes in a pouch, which isn't microwaveable, so it's no more convenient than a can. Maybe it's to make the chili look very different from Progresso's canned soups, which are only $1.99 at that store.
And there's a new canned-chili entry from salsa maker Pace (owned by Campbell's), in three versions: with beans, no beans and spicy with beans. At that store the 14.5-ounce can was $1.69 (12 cents an ounce).
Taste preferences are personal, but that price difference is so large that it begs for some semi-objective comparison. OK: The Pace product was thicker than Progresso's, but by cholesterol and saturated-fat content (and appearance), Progresso's was meatier. Enough to be worth 75 percent more per ounce? Hmm.
For what it's worth, Hormel's chunky with beans (13 cents an ounce) was thicker still and had almost as much meat as Progresso.