Fruit snacks: a supermarket food review

Spencer Doar

 

The Uptown Rainbow grocery has had the majority of their fruit snack selection on special for a while now, prompting me to decide to revisit my childhood in a sickeningly sugary way. 

I have eaten my way through multiple varieties of the main brands’ products to the tune of probably a dozen boxes.  This is far from comprehensive, but I nonetheless wish to share my findings.  The supermarket fruit snack selection around here has a couple of key players: Kellogg’s, Welch’s, and Betty Crocker (a General Mills company).  I threw Ocean Spray into the mix for more comparison.

Last place has to go to Ocean Spray.  First off, one of the ten packages in my first round of purchases wasn’t sealed properly and the fruit snacks were rock hard from exposure; somewhere an assembly-line robot needs to be fired.   The flavor of the citrus snacks was off: almost sour and reminiscent of a Ricola lozenge.  However, they were highly consistent when it came to number of fruit snacks contained per package, at right around eight.

Close to second, but lacking in oomph, Kellogg’s fruit snacks were okay.  If you get a Kellogg's variety, you can pat yourself on the back for being awesome and nomming on fruit snacks, but that’s about it.  Super Mario and Avengers packaging were not enough to save them. 

Welch’s fruit snacks are a worthy silver medalist.  They are consistently the most tender and freshest fruit snack out there.  Not only that, they have a better balanced sweetness focused on the fruit’s flavor rather than straight sugar.   

All those qualities are not enough to save Welch’s from the grand champion of all: Betty Crocker.   Their fruit snacks are a bit more adventurous in colors and flavors, but most importantly, count a mythical hero in their midst: Gushers.  Gushers slay all the competition in one fell swipe of a savory broadsword.  When you throw in Fruit by the Foot and Fruit Roll-Ups, any lingering doubt is washed from my mind.