Veggies and gardein

Three new additions to the Lean Cuisine lineup are labeled VeggieCuisine, apparently a subset of the Spa Collection. They are: Indian-style masala; Enchilada rojo with Mexican-style rice and Tuscan-style vegetable lasagna.

The packages describe VeggieCuisine this way: "Finally meatless entrées bursting with flavor from nutritious ingredients. It is the goodness that we put into each recipe by featuring chef-inspired sauces paired with carefully selected wholesome ingredients." One of those ingredients in the masala and enchilada items is "gardein chick'n strips." The lasagna contains "gardein crumbles." (The more meat-based readers might not recognize gardein as a brand of "garden-grown protein.")

Oreo kidding me?

No new Oreos this week, for a change, but there are new Oreo convenience-packaging options — at (of course) extra cost.

The new Grab&Go boxes of regular Oreos and Golden Oreos both contain five little packs, each containing six cookies. That's 30 cookies. The Grab&Go version of DoubleStuf Oreos contains eight packs of three cookies each, total 24 cookies. All sell for the same price as every other version of Oreos, such as the current 14.3-ounce bags of both regular and Golden Oreos, which contain 36 cookies, and the 15.35-ounce bag of DoubleStuf Oreos, which contains 30 cookies.

The sharp-eyed will have noticed that there are fewer cookies in the Grab&Go boxes than in the same-price regular bags. But that's not all: The fewer cookies are also smaller:

The 36 cookies in the bags of regular and Golden Oreos total 14.3 ounces. That's 0.39 ounces each. The weight of the 30 cookies in the Grab&Go box of both regular and Golden Oreos is 10 ounces. That's only 0.33 ounces each: The Grab&Go cookies are only 85 percent as big as the regular-bag cookies.

The 30 DoubleStufs in the regular bag total 15.35 ounces (0.52 ounces each); the 24 Grab&Go DoubleStufs total 10.64 ounces (only 0.44 ounces each). That's also only 85 percent as big as the regular-bag cookies.

Fewer cookies that are also smaller, for the same price. How very convenient!

Al Sicherman