Buffalo cauliflower?

As the wave of "simple" or "simply" food products continues to inundate us with groceries notable by what they don't contain — no artificial colors or flavors, no preservatives, no trans-fat, no high-fructose corn syrup, etcetera — what is a food company to do if most of its products are already as simple as they can get? That's the dilemma faced by Birds Eye with its list of just-plain frozen vegetables.

Solution? Go the other way! Introducing Birds Eye Flavor Full frozen vegetables. True, Birds Eye offered several "lightly seasoned" and "lightly sauced" vegetables, but the word "lightly" wouldn't seem to apply here, and the deep-blue bags of the Flavor Full items mark them as quite different from the others.

Mr. Tidbit thinks that this is a sufficiently odd development that, rather than follow his usual space-saving practice of offering two or three examples, he's naming all eight varieties:

Barbecue Sweet Corn, Ranch Broccoli, Teriyaki Broccoli, Buffalo Cauliflower, Sour Cream and Onion Potatoes, Wasabi Peas, Fiesta Lime Corn and Sweet Chili Carrots.

Multiple Milanos

As long as he is violating his rule about not bothering to discuss new food products that are merely new flavors of existing ones — a guideline he uses to excuse himself from mentioning yet another flavor of potato chips or Special K cereal, not something as notable as Buffalo Cauliflower — Mr. Tidbit has to admit it might be worth remarking when three new flavors appear at once.

Pepperidge Farm's line of Milano cookies was growing, slowly, over time, and it might be a marker of that slow growth that it took three years of salted caramel everything before we got new salted caramel chocolate Milanos. Mr. Tidbit has no idea why we also got new mocha chocolate Milanos and new "limited edition" banana chocolate Milanos at the same time.

Measured peanut butter

New in the peanut butter aisle: Skippy Baking 1/2 Cups, a four-pack of 4.5-ounce tublets for, as the package proclaims, "no-mess measuring," presumably for cookies and the like. Of course they cost more. Where Mr. Tidbit saw it, the 18-ounce four-pack was $4.29 (24 cents an ounce); the 16.3-ounce jar of Skippy was $3.29 (20 cents an ounce).

(Jif's long-standing entry in this "convenience" category is Jif to Go, eight-packs of 1.5-ounce tublets, presumably for sandwiches. They're overpriced, too.)

Al Sicherman