Goldfish variations

New from Pepperidge Farm are Goldfish Puffs, a puffy version of the little fish-shaped cracker. The bag describes the new item as "puffed extra crunchy and packed with big, bold flavor." Only two weeks ago Mr. Tidbit discussed Sunshine's new Cheez-It Crunch'd, the puffy version of that little cracker, which is described on its bag as "crunchy, puffy and still 100 percent Cheez-It."

There are more flavors of the Goldfish (Salsa con Queso, Buffalo Wing, Cheddar Bacon and Mega Cheese) than the Cheez-Its (Cheddar Cheese and Hot & Spicy), but otherwise, Mr. Tidbit would say, the products seem surprisingly similar, especially considering that there is a big ingredient difference: The Cheez-its are made with wheat flour and cornmeal; the Goldfish are made with only cornmeal, so they are gluten-free. At one store, the per-ounce prices were virtually identical.

Another Oreo

Ordinarily Mr. Tidbit doesn't bother mentioning new products that are merely new flavors of existing products, but he makes exceptions when he thinks the new flavors are unusual or downright weird. That last tends to mean that every new flavor of Oreos is an exception.

The newest Oreo, Red Velvet with "Cream Cheese Flavored Creme," is no exception (to that exception). But, while Mr. Tidbit has been positive, or at least neutral, about other recent Oreo experiences (including pumpkin spice, caramel apple and watermelon), he finds Red Velvet Oreos well short of the mark they set. Notably, he would say that the filling tastes nothing like cream cheese.

In addition, although almost every "limited edition" Oreo has appeared in a bag somewhat smaller than the current (but ever-shrinking) 14.3-ounce bag of regular Oreos (and every bag of Oreos sells for the same price), the bag of Red Velvet Oreos is the smallest yet — just 10.7 ounces. So they cost 34 percent more per ounce.


Here's a quick list of other unusual new flavors that Mr. Tidbit noticed recently: Lindt Excellence dark chocolate bar with pieces of pineapple and caramelized hazelnuts (Mr. Tidbit loved that one); Sour Watermelon, Blue Raspberry and Party Cake Peeps; Russell Stover's Lemon Cake dark-chocolate-covered Easter eggs; and Chocolate Chili Milano cookies, which Mr. Tidbit would say are smoky, with just a little afterbite.

Al Sicherman