Putting (everything) on the Ritz; portioning the cheese

rsz_ritz_everything  rsz_cracker_cuts

The ultimate Ritz?

The Nabisco part of what’s now Mondelez International was making endless versions of Ritz crackers long before it started doing the same thing with Oreo cookies. Judging by its name at least, the latest sounds as if it could be the final variation: it’s Everything Ritz crackers – with onion, poppy seeds, garlic and sea salt.

On second thought, what it sounds like is a bagel.


More cut-up cheese

Months after he saw an ad for Kraft Cracker Cuts (little square portions of sliced cheese that would fit nicely on, say, Ritz crackers), Mr. Tidbit was just about to give up on looking for them. He can no longer locate that newspaper ad, but he’s pretty sure that they were then described as new. He’s even surer that he’s never seen them, and increasing reductions* of the supermarket cheese display space allotted to Kraft products (on Mr. Tidbit’s home turf the space is going to Sargento, Crystal Farms and house brands) led him to suspect that a marginal shape like cracker cuts wasn’t likely to occupy any of it.

*Increasing reductions are related to jumbo shrimp.

On what might well have been his final search for Kraft Cracker Cuts, he stumbled upon Crystal Farms Cracker Cuts. Unlike the Kraft version, which Mr. Tidbit gathers from the Internet is sold (somewhere) in 5-ounce bags and 7-ounce trays, the Crystal Farms item, available in several varieties, contains 10 ounces of cheese in a thing that looks like a disposable butter dish. (It’s not labeled new, so maybe it has been here all along, just somehow never catching Mr. Tidbit’s eye.)

Like the Sargento Snack Bites mentioned a few weeks ago, Cracker Cuts save the harried consumer the onerously time-consuming and mind-numbing task of cutting a piece of cheese into several smaller pieces. To add to that tremendous appeal, Crystal Farms Cracker Cuts (where he found them, anyway) were an exception to Mr. Tidbit’s near-universal supermarket truth: Any spinoff, “convenience” or novelty version of an existing product will cost more per ounce than the original. But the 10-ounce tray of Crystal Farms Cracker Cuts was $3.99 (40 cents an ounce) – not a sale price – and an 8-ounce regular block of the same cheese was $3.69 (46 cents an ounce).

If this turns out to have been only a shelf-marking error, Mr. Tidbit will be greatly relieved.

Al Sicherman

Author: Al Sicherman

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

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