Jif granola bars

Were you thrilled earlier this year when Kellogg's introduced Jif cereal, and again when Keebler (well, that's Kellogg's, too) introduced Jif cookies? Prepare to be thrilled again, as Jif itself (a product of J.M. Smucker) has brought forth three kinds of Jif peanut-butter granola bars. There's creamy and crunchy and peanut butter chocolate, which has a layer of "chocolate-flavored spread" on top. (Or maybe that's the bottom; Mr. Tidbit doesn't want to judge.)

At one store, a 7-ounce box of five 1.4-ounce Jif granola bars was $3.69 (53 cents an ounce). At that store an 8.9-ounce box of six 1.5-ounce Nature Valley crunchy peanut butter granola bars was $3.49 (39 cents an ounce).

Jif peanut powder

Mr. Tidbit just noticed another new Jif product. At least the bags are still marked "New," but he learns it's been around a while; it just escaped his attention. As you just read above, it's Jif peanut powder: ground-up defatted peanuts. (It's powder, so there's no crunchy version, but there's also chocolate peanut powder, which includes cocoa.) The front of the bag proclaims that both versions have 85 percent less fat than traditional peanut butter.

At first, Mr. Tidbit must admit, he was at a loss to imagine who would want such a product. The bag features instructions for reconstituting it with water (and optional salt and optional sugar or honey — no oil is even suggested), so his first guess was it's for folks willing to go to unimaginable lengths to avoid fat. He hopes the reconstituted unoily peanut spread gives those folks some satisfaction.

Then he noticed the smaller blaze at the top of the bag: "Great for smoothies and baking." OK, it's a way to get a peanut butter flavor into muffins, milkshakes and such with only 2 grams of fat per added 3-tablespoon serving, instead of the 16 grams of fat per added 2-tablespoon serving of actual peanut butter.

At one store, where a 16-ounce jar of regular Jif (14 2-tablespoon servings) costs $2.54 (18 cents a serving), a 6.5-ounce bag of Jif peanut powder (12 3-tablespoon servings) costs $4.49 (37 cents a serving). (Yes, the serving size is different; Mr. Tidbit hopes you won't ask why, as he has no idea.)

Al Sicherman