Sandwiched by Cheez-Its
The world of cheesy lunchbox snacks has a new entrant: Cheez-It sandwich crackers. The standby brand here, Lance, has been around forever, although many people who buy the cello-wrapped six-packs of little cheese or peanut butter cracker sandwiches singly or in boxes of eight might never have noticed their name. Keebler was already in this business, with a number of cheese/ peanut butter sandwichettes including some on little Club crackers. Nabisco’s Ritz is in this business too, with cheese, peanut butter and cream cheese fillings, and Frito-Lay’s many Munchies extend to a peanut butter and chocolate item.
But Keebler’s Cheez-It entry, while not stepping out of the cheese category, makes it much more particular with Italian 4 Cheese, in addition to Spicy Queso and Classic Cheddar.
Ever the skeptic, Mr. Tidbit dragged himself through nine wide lines of all-caps tiny type and verified that the filling in the Italian 4 Cheese version contains Cheddar, ricotta, Romano and mozzarella cheeses.
These Cheez-It entries are a little pricey. At one store, the Lance 11-ounce boxes of eight 1.37-ounce cello-packs are $3.39 (31 cents an ounce), the same size boxes of Keebler’s Club cracker sandwichettes are $3.19 (29 cents an ounce), the essentially same size Ritzes are $2.99 (28 cents an ounce) and the Munchies — also essentially the same size — are only $2.29 (21 cents an ounce). The box of Cheez-Its contains only six 1.48-ounce packs, totaling just 8.9 ounces, and at that store sells for $3.59 (40 cents an ounce).
A bolds departure?
Mr. Tidbit was walking away from the sandwichette department when he noticed that Lance had already fired back, with Bolds (plural), the only one of which he found was Buffalo Ranch, which seems to not include any cheese (or peanut butter) at all, but comes in the same 11-ounce 8-pack box at the same price. But at the Lance website, those don’t exist and instead there are three other new Lance Bolds, all cheesy: pizza, Buffalo wing blue cheese and bacon Cheddar. Mr. Tidbit must report that the “bacon” consists of imitation bacon bits and natural bacon flavor. These Lance Bolds come in an 8.25-ounce box that contains only six 1.37-ounce packs, so although Mr. Tidbit hasn’t yet seen them in stores, he’s confident that when they arrive they will cost more per ounce. Stay tuned.