Monday, September 19, 2005

What's with the cookies?

What is it with cookies?

Remember Snackwells?

The cookies designed to be lower in fat and still taste good? They were the first attempt by Kraft to jump on a trend sweeping the nation. In this instance, it was a low-fat diet that was capturing the attention of Americans and policy makers. It didn't matter that Snackwells did nothing to help you lose weight - they were promoted as low in fat and relied on the "everything in moderation" mantra for consumers to eat 'em up. It didn't matter they were just another food that was filled with empty calories, nutritionally bankrupt. Consumers wanted to believe they could eat anything in moderation. But then they didn't lose weight - and perhaps even gained some.

So fast forward - the next big trend is low-carb. You can bet Kraft Foods was poised to jump into that one too! Indeed, they did - with the South Beach Diet foods line. And yes, there are South Beach Diet Cookies too! These cookies are promoted as a "wholesome source for on-the-go snacking" - too bad they're anything but "nutritious." Yes, these too are a shining example of empty calories touted as acceptable...afterall, "everything in moderation," right?

So where do you think Kraft Foods is going now?

That's right - jumping right into the newest trend, "whole grains."

And they have cookies just for that too. Kraft unveiled two new products at - of all places - a nutrition and obesity conference in Sacramento, California....Chips Ahoy Cookies and Fig Newtons, both now available with whole grains. They're even being promoted as "wholesome" like the South Beach Diet cookies too!

Kraft Foods is seriously hoping consumers haven't learned the hard lesson that empty calories and nutritionally bankrupt snacks are simply junk food - they're not healthy (as Snackwells are promoted) and they're not wholesome (as South Beach Diet Cookies and the new whole grain Chips Ahoy and Fig Newtons are promoted).

I have a better idea. Kraft Foods should go back to the basics - make cookies and forget about the diet trends. Cookies are not diet food; do not help you lose weight; do not provide any real measure of essential nutrients; and are not wholesome or healthy options. They're cookies - junk snack food, pure and simple.

And, that's not necessarily a bad thing folks! But let's stop pretending that cookies can or should be part of a weight-loss diet or even a snack eaten each day, even in "moderation."

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