Nutty surprises from Nutri-Grain and Nature Valley

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Nutri-Grain Fruit & Nut surprise

New from Kellogg’s are Nutri-Grain Fruit & Nut bars: There’s Blueberry Almond and Cherry Almond. The box calls them “chewy breakfast bars,” and under the “Blueberry Almond” and “Cherry Almond” designations it reads “naturally flavored with other natural flavors.”

So what do you think is the first ingredient in both of these bars? Blueberries/cherries? Almonds? Mr. Tidbit recognizes that the very fact that you’re reading this delightful column is indicative of a high level of consumer sophistication (that, or utter boredom), so you probably know it’s a trick question and that the answer is none of those. But really: Guess what the first ingredient is.

Nope. It’s peanuts. Then raisins. Then oats. Then almonds. (Mr. Tidbit hopes he needn’t point out that peanuts, raisins, and oats are all cheaper than almonds. But he did it anyway. You’re welcome.)

Nutri-Grain’s existing line of soft-baked bars come in a 10.6-ounce box containing eight 1.3-ounce bars. The Fruit & Nut bars come in a 6-ounce box containing five 1.2-ounce bars. Prices vary, but at most stores the boxes of Fruit & Nut bars cost more. But even if they were selling for the same price per box, Fruit & Nut bars would cost 77 percent more per ounce.

That ain’t peanuts.


Nature Valley Simple Nut surprise

And new from General Mills are Nature Valley Simple Nut Bars. There are two: Almond, Cashew & Sea Salt, and Roasted Peanut & Honey. Under the variety designation, the box reads “Made of Nuts, Seeds, Honey, Tapioca Syrup & Sea Salt.”

So what do you think is the first ingredient in the Almond Cashew & Sea Salt bars? Amazingly enough, it’s roasted almonds! The next is roasted cashews! (Mr. Tidbit will give you that the first ingredient in the Roasted Peanut & Honey bars is peanuts. But guess what the next one is: It’s roasted almonds!) Yes, these bars cost more than the Nutri-Grain entries.

Unfortunately, about a week before this item was posted, General Mills recalled both flavors of Simple Nut bars, as well as two Nature Valley Protein bars – Peanut, Almond & Dark Chocolate and Honey, Peanut & Almond – because the sunflower kernels in all four were recalled by their supplier, SunOpta, for possible listeria contamination. (That recall also includes some Quaker, Clif and Kashi bars, and numerous other products. See and search for SunOpta sunflower seed recalls. Mr. Tidbit hopes you don’t get all your news from him.)


Al Sicherman

Author: Al Sicherman

Al Sicherman and his used dog, Gus, live in Minneapolis. Al is on the left/

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