How sweet is it?

There's a whole new category of Pop Secret microwave popcorn: Sweet 'n Crunchy, with (at this point, anyway) three flavors: Caramel, Kettlecorn and Cinnamon Roll.

There already is a Kettlecorn variety of regular Pop Secret, but this new Sweet 'n Crunchy Kettlecorn — like the Caramel and Cinnamon Roll flavors — is said to "pop up glazed." Mr. Tidbit didn't really see that, but even if it does happen he's not convinced that it's particularly interesting.

What Mr. Tidbit did find interesting was what he discovered when, curious to see just how much sweeter new Sweet 'n Crunchy Pop Secret Kettlecorn is than regular Pop Secret Kettlecorn, he looked at the nutrition labels. There isn't any sugar. At all. In either of them. Nor is there any sugar in the other Sweet 'n Crunchy flavors nor in Orville Redenbacher's Kettlecorn or Act II Kettlecorn. All are sweetened with sucralose. (Well, the Pop Secret Sweet 'n Crunchy Cinnamon Roll flavor is sweetened with monk fruit extract, but you get the idea.)

Mr. Tidbit was stunned, as he's been eating Pop Secret Kettlecorn for years and never noticed. But now that he thinks about it, he suspects that sugar would burn in the microwave before the popcorn popped.

It almost goes without saying, but: The regular Pop Secret flavors come in boxes of three 3.2-ounce bags; the new Sweet 'n Crunchy flavors, which are selling for the same price, come in boxes of three 2.64-ounce bags, so they cost 21 percent more per ounce.

How hot is it?

This week's new "limited edition" variety of Chips Ahoy! cookies is Hot Cocoa. The package advises that you can warm them in the microwave, and Mr. Tidbit acknowledges that they aren't bad that way.

On the same shopping trip that turned up the cookies, Mr. Tidbit also spotted YoCrunch Marshmallow Hot Cocoa yogurt, which turns out to be marshmallow-flavored yogurt with a few stir-in "fudge" pieces. There's no way to get any "cocoa" out of that except to run it through the microwave and stir, but that isn't suggested on the package, so Mr. Tidbit guesses that what he encountered might be the tip of a wave of "hot cocoa" flavored food products, whether or not they taste like cocoa. Move over, pumpkin spice pretzels.

Al Sicherman