Less than what?

In his recent discussion of Raisinets and pretzel-centered M&M's, Mr. Tidbit didn't pass along the information that, according to their bags, the pretzel M&M's have "30% LESS FAT than average of the leading chocolate brands," and all four kinds of Raisinets have "30% LESS FAT than the leading chocolate brands." Neither claim is surprising: The leading chocolate brand (make that a Hershey bar) is just chocolate -- there's no low-fat center of fruit or pretzel.

What did surprise Mr. Tidbit was to find a similar claim on a new flavor of Kellogg's Pop-Tarts. The box of Frosted Ice Creme Sandwich flavor Pop-Tarts carries this note -- as do the other three Ice Cream Shoppe flavors: "25% LESS SUGAR than leading toaster pastries." Those anonymous "leading toaster pastries" are, of course, other Pop-Tarts! Maybe they figure "25% LESS SUGAR than other Pop-Tarts" would make other Pop-Tarts sound bad.

Although it accounts for only a small fraction of the reduction in sugar, Mr. Tidbit must point out that all four Ice Cream Shoppe flavors weigh 48 grams each -- less than all other Pop-Tarts, which are typically 52 grams.

Superprice Fusion

Mr. Tidbit has made a vow, as he points out every time he breaks it, not to mention "new" food products whose only claim to newness is a new flavor. (Umm, like, for example, Frosted Ice Creme Sandwich flavor Pop-Tarts.)

Anyway, he is making another exception for the new Superfruit Fusion flavors of Kellogg's Nutri-Grain cereal bars. The flavors are strawberry açai and cherry pomegranate. FYI, if you're scanning the ingredients lists, you have to get down to just above the first chemical in the filling (sodium citrate) to find the açai juice concentrate or pomegranate juice concentrate, but that's not today's breathtaking insight.

Although the shelf price of all Nutri-Grain bars is the same, there are eight 1.3-ounce bars to the box in every other flavor; there are only six 1.3-ounce Superfruit Fusion bars per box, so they really cost 33 percent more.