SPOTTED ON SHELVES – 6/8/2012

Here are some new products found on store shelves by us and your fellow readers. We may or may not review them, but we’d like to let you know what new items are popping up. We’ll also occasionally throw in an unusual product.

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Oh, Fiber One, is there anything you won’t stick awesome amounts of dietary fiber into? I just realized if I eat a bowl of Fiber One Original bran cereal with a Fiber One yogurt for breakfast and then this Fiber One Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownie as a mid-morning snack, I would have consumed 97 percent of my daily value of fiber before lunch. My colon will so love that.

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If I’m feeling adventurous after eating 97 percent of my daily value of fiber before noon, I could end my lunch and break the 100 percent fiber barrier with these new Fiber One Chewy snack bars. These look like a tasty way to consume chicory root extract, which is the ingredient that allows each bar to provide 20 percent of your daily value of fiber. Each bar has also 100 calories and comes in the two varieties you see above.

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According to its packaging, the new Hershey’s Simple Pleasures have “30% less fat vs. the average of the leading milk chocolates.” Hey, wait. Doesn’t Hershey’s make the leading milk chocolates? So the packaging should really say, “30% less fat than our own milk chocolates.” Each individually wrapped candy consists of a chocolate outside with a crème-filled center and comes in 24-count bags. Hershey’s Simple Pleasures come in three flavors: Dark Chocolate with Chocolate Crème, Milk Chocolate with Chocolate Crème, and Milk Chocolate with Vanilla Crème.

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FLAVOR BLASTED! BOOYAH! I’M TOTALLY GOING TO WRITE THIS ENTIRE PARAGRAPH IN ALL CAPS AND END EVERY SENTENCE WITH AN EXCLAMATION POINT! SMOKIN’ BBQ! YEE HAW! I THINK THEY SHOULD’VE NAMED THIS FLAVOR BOOMIN’ BBQ BECAUSE OF ALLITERATION, ALTHOUGH I WISH ALL PRODUCTS NAMES HAD ALLITERATION! I WONDER IF THESE ARE MORE ORANGE THAN REGULAR GOLDFISH?!

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Quaker’s Chewy School Days! Granola Bars are “designed with school snack policies in mind.” Snack policies vary from state to state, but here are Hawaii’s: less than 200 calories, less than 2 grams of saturated fat, zero trans fat, less than 200 milligrams of sodium, and less than 8 grams of sugar. Let’s see if a Quaker Chewy School Days! Granola Bar can pass these standards. 100 calories. Check. 0.5 grams of saturated fat. Check. 50 or less milligrams of sodium. Check. 7 grams of sugar. Check. However, looking at the nutrition facts of other Quaker granola bars, it appears almost all of them would also pass Hawaii’s snack policies.

Thanks for all the photos, Adam!

If you’re out shopping and see a new product on the shelf (or really unusual), snap a picture of it, email it to us at theimpulsivebuy@gmail.com with “Spotted” in the subject line, and you might see it in our next Spotted on Shelves post.

REVIEW: Hot Pockets Limited Edition BBQ Recipe Bacon Burger

Hot Pockets Limited Edition BBQ Recipe Bacon Burger

At times, I thought the Hot Pockets Limited Edition BBQ Recipe Bacon Burger tasted like a Burger King Rodeo Cheeseburger or BK’s Western BBQ Topper.

If you’re not familiar with those two Burger King sandwiches, because you’re MCD4LYFE or because you eat much healthier than I do, they’re both constructed using a flame-broiled beef patty, cheese, onion rings, and a barbecue sauce served on a bun.

This isn’t the first time Hot Pockets’ mad food scientists were able to make a Hot Pocket taste like a fast food cheeseburger. They originally did it with their Hot Pockets SideShots Mini Cheeseburgers, which I thought tasted like a McDonald’s Double Cheeseburger.

Dang, those mad flavor scientists have some mad burger flavor reproducing skills.

Wait a minute. Why can’t those mad flavor scientists make a pepperoni Hot Pocket taste like a pepperoni pizza?

Anyhoo, the box doesn’t specifically say it, but these are Hot Pockets SideShots, which means instead of a crispy outer crust, they have a soft bun-like crust. According to the ingredients list, stuffed within that crust are: cooked beef pattie crumble, pasteurized process cheddar cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon, onions, seasoning, and tomato paste.

What makes these mini microwaveable marvels taste like a couple of Burger King burgers is the “BBQ sauce.” Oh, what’s with the quotations marks? Well, it’s not really a BBQ sauce, since a barbecue sauce isn’t listed in the ingredients. It’s more like a deconstructed barbecue sauce that tastes like the tangy and sweet stuff Burger King uses.

Hot Pockets Limited Edition BBQ Recipe Bacon Burger Closeup

Each bun isn’t bursting with beef pattie crumble and bacon, like in the picture on the front of the packaging, instead there’s a smidgen of beef and an almost equal smidgen of bacon. If you’re expecting crisp bacon in these pockets of hotness, your expectations are way too high. They are as limp as a cardboard box in a rainstorm. The bacon’s smokiness and the added onions also helped these Hot Pockets taste like I’m eating a Burger King Rodeo Cheeseburger. The bun was kind of a letdown because most of the time it was dry and a bit tough, which wasn’t what I experienced with the mostly soft and a little chewy buns of the Hot Pockets SideShots Mini Cheeseburgers.

The Hot Pockets Limited Edition BBQ Recipe Bacon Burgers would make a flavorful snack or a tasty part of a complete lunch or dinner. While it still kind of blows my mind they taste like my beloved Burger King Rodeo Cheeseburger, I found that flavor to be inconsistent as I chowed my way through the two servings.

I hope those Hot Pockets’ mad flavor scientists attempt to emulate the Big Mac’s flavor for next year’s limited edition Hot Pockets flavor and calls it Hot Pockets Limited Edition Special Sauce Burger or something as unimaginative as the name Hot Pockets Limited Edition BBQ Recipe Bacon Burger.

(Nutrition Facts – 2 buns – 290 calories, 80 calories from fat, 9 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat*, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 620 milligrams of sodium, 42 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, 10 grams of protein, and a bunch of vitamins and minerals.)

*made with partially hydrogenated oil

Item: Hot Pockets Limited Edition BBQ Recipe Bacon Burger
Price: $2.49 (on sale)
Size: 4 buns
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: They taste like Burger King’s Rodeo Cheeseburger. Tangy and sweet deconstructed barbecue sauce. A nice snack. Contains seven vitamins and minerals.
Cons: Buns were dry and tough at times. Inconsistent flavor. Made with partially hydrogenated oil. Spelling patty with an “ie.” Unimaginative name.

REVIEW: Jif Hazelnut Spreads (Chocolate and Mocha Cappuccino)

Jif Hazelnut Spreads (Chocolate and Mocha Cappuccino)

There are some of you out there who can blame Nutella for adding several pounds to your frame. I’m not one of them. For years, I heard from many people about the great hazelnut spread called Nutella, but never dipped a knife, spoon, fork, finger, or tongue into a jar of it.

If a lot of people were saying it was so wonderful, why didn’t I try it?

Maybe I purchased several Costco-sized jars of peanut butter because I had a coupon and didn’t want to try spreading something different on my bread until I used all of them up. Or perhaps I trust Flavor Flav when he says, “Don’t… Don’t… Don’t… Don’t… Don’t believe the hype.” Or maybe because Nutella comes from the Italian company Ferrero, I wanted to be patriotic and eat my way from a 30-inch waist to a 32-inch waist with American food.

However, my Nutella virginity was taken away from me during a foursome with a jar of Nutella and the two new Jif Hazelnut Spreads — Chocolate and Mocha Cappuccino. I could’ve kept my Nutella virginity intact, but I thought who better to find out whether these Jif Hazelnut Spreads can compete with the world famous Nutella than a guy who would be trying Nutella for the first time.

So, what do I think of Nutella?

Holy balls! Nutella is nuterrific! It makes me want to go from a 32-inch waist to a 34-inch waist by eating lots of it. Oh man, so many years lost that could’ve been filled with spreading Nutella on top of 100 percent whole wheat bread or dipping shortbread cookies into it. Oh. My. Goodness. What else am I missing out on? Damn, I need to make a bucket list.

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But what about the Jif Hazelnut Spreads?

The Jif Chocolate Hazelnut Spread is nuttier, while Nutella has a deeper chocolate flavor and is sweeter, but if you were to create your own 1980s Folgers-like commercial at someone’s house, where you’ve secretly replaced the Nutella they usually serve with Jif Chocolate Hazelnut Spread to see if anyone can tell the difference, I think most people won’t. Personally, I prefer the stronger chocolate flavor of Nutella.

As for Jif’s Mocha Cappuccino Hazelnut Spread, it’s a shade darker than the chocolate spread and it had a noticeable coffee flavor, but after the initial coffee flavor, the chocolate and hazelnut took its place on my taste buds. At first, I wished the spread had a stronger coffee flavor, like I just ate some chocolate covered espresso beans, but then realized that would’ve been stupid because the spread would’ve been a bit too bitter. Overall, I enjoyed Jif’s Mocha Cappuccino Hazelnut Spread as much as the chocolate version.

While there isn’t a significant difference in flavor between Jif’s Chocolate Hazelnut Spread and Nutella there are notable differences between the two. The Jif Hazelnut Spreads have the visual consistency of Jif peanut butter and at times they also look like Duncan Hines cake frosting. Nutella, on the other hand, is creamy, silky smooth, and sexy. That silky smoothness isn’t only sexy, it also makes it easier to spread on bread or skin. Yes, Nutella looks like I should be using it as body paint. Another difference between the two are their prices. A 13-ounce jar of Nutella was a dollar more than a 14.1-ounce jar of Jif’s Hazelnut Spreads.

Jif’s Hazelnut Spreads are just as tasty as Nutella. I’m no choosy mom, but if I was one, I might consider buying a jar because of their lower price. And while I give my children Jif peanut butter, I’ll spread Jif Hazelnut Spread on top of my bread, and if my children ask if they could try it, I’ll tell them, “No, just like the grape juice in the tall glass bottles, this is for mommy only.”

(Nutrition Facts – 2 Tbsp – Chocolate – 230 calories, 120 calories from fat, 14 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 21 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, 6% calcium, and 6% iron. Mocha Cappuccino – 230 calories, 130 calories from fat, 14 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 21 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, 6% calcium, and 6% iron.)

Other Jif Hazelnut Spread reviews:
Foodette Reviews

Item: Jif Hazelnut Spreads (Chocolate and Mocha Cappuccino)
Price: $6.49 each
Size: 14.1 ounces
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Chocolate)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Mocha Cappuccino)
Pros: As tasty as Nutella. Makes bread taste so much better. Cheaper than Nutella. Eating Jif Hazelnut Spreads with a spoon. Nutella. Secretly replacing things.
Cons: Has the consistency of peanut butter, which is less sexy than Nutella’s consistency. Being a Nutella virgin for so long. Expanding waist size.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Ice Cream Oreo Rainbow Shure, Bert!

Limited Edition Ice Cream Oreo Rainbow Shure, Bert!

According to the internet, I’ve been saying sherbet wrong all these years. I thought it was pronounced how Nabisco presents it with their new Limited Edition Ice Cream Oreo Rainbow Shure, Bert!

But it turns out it’s pronounced sher-bit and it rhymes with hermit.

Oh, hold on for a second. The internet is telling me it’s pronounced sherr-bet.

Oh wait, Nabisco is also correct.

Geez, internet, you’re no help. You’re as reliable as Price is Right audience members shouting random numbers at contestants.

If there’s one thing more frustrating than pronouncing sherbet, it was my attempts to get my hands on a package of Limited Edition Ice Cream Oreo Rainbow Shure, Bert! It’s a limited edition flavor exclusive to Walmart, but I visited my nearest Walmart several times over the course of three weeks and each time I walked out empty handed. After being disappointed for the umpteenth time, I decided to drive 17 miles to the next farthest Walmart, which had a diabetes-causing stock of Limited Edition Ice Cream Oreo Rainbow Shure, Bert!

So to Walmart store #5274, you’re awesome! And, to Walmart store #3478, I hope the Sam’s Club on top of you gets so heavy that it crushes you.

If you were able to purchase a package of Limited Edition Ice Cream Oreo Rainbow Shure, Bert!, congratulations, you have in your possession a tasty sandwich cookie.

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It has a strong fruity aroma that hit my nose soon after lifting the easy open pull tab for the first time. It did smell like sherbet and what I imagine releasing the ghosts of the Fruit of the Loom guys would smell like. Limited Edition Ice Cream Oreo Rainbow Shure, Bert! is made up of raspberry and lime filling in between two Golden Oreo cookies. The raspberry and lime creme ratio varies from cookie to cookie, but I thought they all tasted the same.

One of the issues I had with last year’s Limited Edition Creamsicle Oreo cookies was that the Creamsicle flavor was hidden behind the Golden Oreo cookies, but that was not the case with these Rainbow Shure, Bert! Oreo cookies. Actually, because the sherbet flavor is quite strong, I think some eaters might think they’re a bit too sweet.

When I first heard about these cookies, I thought what kind of rainbow sherbet has only two flavors, but the raspberry and lime combination was extremely tasty and it did taste like sherbet. The raspberry creme had very little tartness and the lime had an equal amount of sourness, but they were both really sweet. While the raspberry was noticeable while chewing the cookie, it disappeared soon after and my taste buds were left with the lime flavor, which lingered in my mouth long after the cookie was swallowed.

The Limited Edition Ice Cream Oreo Rainbow Shure, Bert! cookies are damn good, but if you want to make them slightly better, albeit slightly tougher to bite through, I’d recommend sticking some in the freezer for a few hours. For some reason, the freezing temperatures enhances the sherbet flavor. I’d also like to suggest you not eat these Oreo cookies by twisting the top off and licking the creme. I thought they were significantly less enjoyable that way.

While I still don’t know how to properly pronounce the word “sherbet,” I do know these Limited Edition Ice Cream Oreo Rainbow Shure, Bert! cookies are super duper delectable and if you’re able to find them, I’d suggest you pick them up.

(Nutrition Facts – 2 cookies – 150 calories, 60 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, 3 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 15 milligrams of potassium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.)

Other Limited Edition Ice Cream Oreo Rainbow Shure, Bert! reviews:
Junk Food Guy
Fatguy Food Blog

Item: Limited Edition Ice Cream Oreo Rainbow Shure, Bert!
Price: $3.48
Size: 15.25 ounces
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Super duper tasty. Slightly better when placed in the freezer for a few hours. Crunchy. Smells and tastes like sherbet. Doing a touchdown dance when I finally found these cookies. Walmart store #5274.
Cons: Might be hard to find. Walmart exclusive. Might be a bit too sweet for some. Which is the correct pronunciation of sherbet? That damn exclamation point in its name. Walmart store #3478.

REVIEW: Extra Dessert Delights Root Beer Float Gum

Extra Dessert Delights Root Beer Float

Since the dawn of stuff, people have been looking for a way to get their dessert fix on for a mere five calories. While early attempts by our ancestors to eat grass and cut pieces of cake just really, really small yielded lackluster results, the efforts of Wrigley and their Extra Dessert Delights gum have recently revolutionized the way we experience dessert.

No longer forced to choose between extreme portion control or insane feats of metabolic fitness to combat the effects of grandma’s apple pie or a container of mint chocolate chip ice cream, we can now chow down on our favorite sweets for the caloric equivalent of an ounce of chopped radishes.

This summer, Wrigley expanded their temping Extra Dessert Delights line of sugar-free gums with a root beer float-flavored variety.

I was an early convert to Extra’s Dessert Delights and have now tried all the flavors, including the now-defunct Rainbow Sherbet flavor (still mourning that one, for what it’s worth). So there was no question I’d be buying the new Root Beer Float gum, eschewing the ever-present threat of becoming a human whoopee cushion, all thanks to those lovely sugar alcohols, which, if I’m not being clear enough, will give you more gas than Saudi Arabia.

I like my Root Beer crisp, rough around the edges, and on the high side of the carbonation spectrum (think Barq’s) and won’t waste time on that smooth A&W crap that might as well be cream soda. No, I’m a Barq’s man, dammit, and when it comes to proper root beer float construction, I won’t settle for no boxed Walmart Frozen Dessert nonsense to pair with my soda. Nope, its good old fashioned, full fat vanilla bean hard ice cream for me, and anything less is a travesty that should be banished from these here United States.

The root beer flavor of Extra’s gum doesn’t have that hard and slightly bitter bite, and it sure doesn’t have the kind of carbonation that will help me win a burping contest with my nine-year-old cousins. It does, however, have a proper balance of vanilla and spice, with a prerequisite sweetness to please anyone not horribly averse to the long litany of artificial sweeteners used in its construction.

Extra Dessert Delights Root Beer Float Closeup

Sadly, Extra Dessert Delights Root Beer Float is another gum that suffers from the time-space continuum of the gum paradox, which, if you’re unfamiliar, confirms the very fact that the better tasting the gum, the less time the flavor lasts. I got a good minute of strong root beer float flavor from my sticks, but after that, it’s the law of diminishing returns. Unlike a real root beer float, you can’t even burp up the taste hours later.

And this, my friends, leads to the greatest travesty of all. Remember those hard-learned lessons regarding sugar alcohol consumption? In my efforts to keep a constant and bottomless root beer float going (and at a mere 10 sticks, only 50 calories) the laws of nature eventually caught up to me. I need not say more.

Extra’s new Dessert Delight’s Root Beer Float Gum tastes like a root beer float, but it doesn’t impress me. For it to impress me, Extra would have to pull a page from Willy Wonka and either A) Make the gum change from apple pie to strawberry shortcake to key lime pie to root beer float without making me turn into a gigantic blueberry or B) Come up with a way to make the flavor last more than a minute.

Given how far we’ve come as a culture in gum flavor development, it amazes me this hasn’t happened yet. Finally, let’s be real, Extra. When it comes to your sugar alcohol warning, tell it like it is. Attempting to recreate a never-ending root beer float may not leave you burping, but it will leave you feeling like the human equivalent to a whoopee cushion in the hands of an overzealous 10-year-old.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 stick – 5 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of sodium, 2 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, 2 grams of sugar alcohol, and 0 grams of protein.)

Other Extra Dessert Delights Root Beer Float Gum reviews:
Mmm…Deliciousness
The Mind of a Big Cat

Item: Extra Dessert Delights Root Beer Float Gum
Price: $2.00
Size: 3 pack/15 sticks
Purchased at: Giant
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Tastes like a root beer float. Smells like a root beer float. Good balance of vanilla and sassafras flavor. Smooth. Only 5 calories a stick. An All-American summer.
Cons: Gum paradox strikes again. Excessive consumption of sugar alcohols. No bite. No smooth, creamy richness component. Mug not included. Sugar alcohols.