It's been almost two years since the introduction of Ritz Crackerfuls, sandwiches of crackers and semisoft cheese in several flavors, in a box that was kind of a natural-look homage to grain. At the time, Mr. Tidbit pointed out that the crackers are large rectangular made-with-whole-grain or multigrain items (the fiber content is 3 to 5 grams per serving), and he noted that neither the regular nor multigrain version of the cracker bore much resemblance to regular Ritz crackers. Since then there have been several additional cheese-filling varieties.

Mr. Tidbit just noticed two developments -- several new quite-different Crackerfuls flavors, and a redesign of the Crackerfuls box -- that between them seem to indicate a rethinking of what Crackerfuls are. The new flavors are peanut butter, peanut butter & chocolate and "extreme peanut butter," plus "colossal Cheddar." And the box is now the bright red of Ritz boxes past and present.

"OK, fine," you are no doubt saying, "but get to the good stuff: What is 'extreme peanut butter?'" Good question; thanks for asking. Whereas the other Crackerfuls each weigh 1 ounce and come six to the box, both extreme peanut butter and colossal Cheddar are Big Stuff Crackerfuls: They have 75 percent more filling than the others, weigh 11/4 ounces each and come five to the box.


New Creations

Do you recognize the Lance brand? That's the name on umpteen kinds of itty-bitty cracker sandwiches and cookies in cello-wrapped trays of six for lunch bags. Mr. Tidbit had not noticed, but probably about the time that Ritz gave us Crackerfuls, Lance introduced Cracker Creations, with grain-themed boxes holding six (1-ounce) packages (each such serving consisting of a pair of cracker and cream cheese sandwiches). Although some whole-grain wheat flour is present, there's only 1 gram of fiber per serving.

And now, in time to fulfill Mr. Tidbit's endlessly puzzled observation of simultaneous product introductions, Lance has added three new flavors: Granola with peanut butter filling, Granola with chocolate filling and 5-grain with peanut butter filling (that one has 2 grams of fiber).