Small Packages, Big Profits

Snack-packs, 100-hundred calorie packs, and grab-n-go foods—they’re sweeping the nation! People really seem to buying into the idea of portion control. “Buying” is the operative word, because as Jeremy W. Peters of The New York Times reports, junk-food companies are making millions:
In just three years, sales of 100-calorie packs of crackers, chips, cookies and candy have passed the $20-million-a-year mark, making them a breakout hit on par with the SnackWells low-fat fad of the 1990’s.

But food companies are cramming store shelves with even more offerings, and new ones are on the way. Frito-Lay has started selling 100-calorie servings of beef jerky. Pepperidge Farm said it was developing several more 100-calorie variations of Goldfish and cookies, after rolling out three new ones a couple of weeks ago. In time for back-to-school, Hershey said it would offer 100-calorie bags of Twizzlers, and Nabisco will sell two new cookies, Alpha-Bits and Animals Choco Crackers, in 100-calorie packs.

Michael Simon, vice president for snacks at Pepperidge Farm, a unit of Campbell Soup, predicts that the market for these pint-size packages could easily double because of their simple appeal: they help consumers eat less without having to count calories themselves.
This is another sad commentary on our society—it gets worse! Just look at how much people overpay when they buy up all these portion-controlled garbage foods:

Clearly, no matter the size, junk-food is still junk—big or small. And as for eating smaller portions, well, according to Dr. Fuhrman it’s just futile. He talks about it in Eat to Live:
It is meaningless to compare foods by weight or portion size. Let me provide and example why this is the case. Take one teaspoon of melted butter, which gets 100 percent of its calories from fat. If I take that teaspoon of butter and mix it in a glass of hot water, I can now say that it is 98 percent-fat-free, by weight. One hundred percent of its calories are still from fat. It didn’t matter how much water or weight was added, did it?

In fact, if a food’s weight were important, it would be easy to lose weight, we would just have to drink more water. The water would trigger the weight receptors in the digestive tract and our appetite would diminish. Unfortunately, this is not the way our body’s appestat—the brain center in the hypothalamus that controls food intake—is controlled. As I’ve explained in the past, bulk calories and nutrient fulfillment, not the weight of the food, turn off our appestat. Since the foods Americans consume are so calorie-rich, we have all been trying to diet by eating small portions of low-nutrient foods. We not only have to suffer hunger but also wind up with perverted cravings because we are nutrient-deficient to boot.
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Stephanie - July 10, 2007 5:25 PM

Wow, I knew it was expensiver to buy those 100 calorie packs, but not that much more expensive! This just shows that eating whole, natural foods like fruits. vegetables, nuts, & seeds are just a smarter (and cheaper) choice than buying those. Also it's prbably better for the enviroment due to less packaging.

(vegan, celiac, health foodie!)

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