Can you top this?

If you are a fan of new Velveeta Toppers (in boxes of three 4-ounce microwaveable pouches of cheese sauce — original or queso blanco), you are already a fan of even newer Velveeta Cheese Sauce (in boxes of three 4-ounce microwaveable pouches — original or queso blanco). Yes, Velveeta Toppers, which Mr. Tidbit hadn't yet noticed, and which is new enough to still say "new" on the box, has been renamed Velveeta Cheese Sauce. That's probably a better name, as that's what it is — just stir it in or squeeze it on.

What it isn't is Velveeta loaf in microwaveable pouches. Kraft uses the word Velveeta on a wide variety of cheesy products, which have in common that they are somewhere between yellow and orange. The first six ingredients of Velveeta loaf are nonfat milk and milkfat, milk protein concentrate, water, milk and whey. The first six ingredients of Velveeta Cheese Sauce are whey, milk, whey protein concentrate, canola oil, milk protein concentrate and salt.

Because a serving of Velveeta loaf is a 1-ounce slice, and that of Velveeta Cheese Sauce is a 67-gram ¼ cup, Mr. Tidbit had to break out his slide rule to establish that (to mention the most significant nutritional difference) ounce for ounce the sauce has half the saturated fat of the loaf.

Surely by now you don't need Mr. Tidbit to tell you that the new product costs more. The new product always costs more. At one supermarket, the 12-ounce box of Velveeta Cheese Sauce was $4.49 (37.4 cents per ounce). At the same store, a 16-ounce box of Velveeta loaf was $4.79 (29.9 cents an ounce).

But you can't use regular Velveeta to squeeze funny messages on your meatloaf.

Rounding up

Over in the cracker aisle, the newest version of Nabisco's Premium Saltines is Rounds. Why would you need a round Saltine instead of the square one? Mr. Tidbit has no idea. But he does know you'll pay more: At one store, the 16-ounce box of regular Saltines was $2.99 (18.7 cents an ounce). The 10-ounce box of the round version was $2.79 (27.9 cents an ounce).

Al Sicherman