How sweet it is!

There's something new in the canned-fruit aisle: Two of Dole's many four-packs of 4-ounce little tubs of fruit — diced peaches and mandarin oranges — are now available in a "no sugar added, no artificial sweeteners" version, packed in water sweetened with monk fruit concentrate.

The regular version of each, packed in "100 percent juice," contains 80 calories and 18 grams of sugar in each tublet, including the 5 grams of sugar inherent in the fruit. (Incidentally, that 100 percent juice is white grape juice from concentrate.) Each tublet of the version sweetened with monk fruit contains 30 calories and just the 5 grams of sugar in the fruit.

Astonishingly (at least to Mr. Tidbit), the new monk fruit version four-packs are selling for the same shelf price as the regular "100 percent juice" four-packs. Mr. Tidbit expected that the price would go up — not because monk fruit concentrate might cost more than white grape juice concentrate, but because it seems that the new version of a grocery product almost always costs more per ounce than the original. (And yes, the monk fruit tublets still contain 4 ounces each. Did you think Mr. Tidbit wouldn't check?)

How thin are they?

Nabisco, which makes Wheat Thins, has introduced gluten-free Rice Thins, small rice crackers in four versions: white rice original and three brown rice flavors — sweet barbecue, sea salt & pepper and white Cheddar. Oddly (at least to Mr. Tidbit), the box calls them "thin rice snacks," not "crackers." The Rice Thins box, which is only a bit smaller than the Wheat Thins box, contains just 3.5 ounces of crackers ("about 3½" 30-gram servings), compared with the box of Wheat Thins, which holds 9.1 ounces ("about eight" 31-gram servings). At one store, they both sell for $3.99, so Wheat Thins are 44 cents per ounce and Rice Thins are $1.14 per ounce — 160 percent more per ounce.

Incidentally, the Sesmark brand was already making a gluten-free product also called Rice Thins, which their package labels "snack crackers." (Maybe this is why Nabisco's Rice Thins aren't called "crackers." Or maybe there's a copyright-infringement suit just waiting to happen.) At the same store, anyway, Sesmark's Rice Thins (sesame, Cheddar, teriyaki or brown rice) are $3.19 for 4.25 ounces (just 75 cents per ounce).

Al Sicherman