March 15, 2006

Cheetos Natural White Cheddar Cheese Puffs

I love the concept behind this product. To me, Cheetos Natural Cheese Puffs signifies the explosion in the healthy food market. Nothing like taking one of America's least nutritional snack foods, sprinkling in a decent ingredient or two, add a couple of marketing buzz words in 48 point font, and voila! Instant health food!

While the idea of natural cheese puffs greatly amuses me, I have to confess something... they taste pretty good. Much like their "unnatural" version, they are light and crunchy and full of cheesy taste. However, these natural cheese puffs don't stain your fingers neon orange, apparently another beneficial side effect of cheese puffs found in the wild (even the signature cheetah character is paler on the natural packaging!)

Yes, we are a fan of Cheetos Natural White Cheddar Cheese Puffs in our household (as of this writing, I'm still looking for the opened bag that I was supposed to review), but I believe this is a VERY dangerous and VERY telling product to hit consumer grocery store shelves. Whether or not this food uses organic materials (it does, organic corn meal) is besides the point of eating healthy. I believe the average consumer is already miseducated and misinformed about what it means to eat healthy, and labeling Cheetos Cheese Puffs as a "natural" food, only leads to the confusion. Just as there once was the obsession with the "no sugar" food products and the "no carbs" food products, we are now seeing the "natural" obsession.

So, should you buy them? Of course! If you are eating a well balanced diet of fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains, there is no reason why Cheetos Natural White Cheddar Cheese Puffs can’t grace your pantry as the occasional treat. But if you feel relief now that Cheetos has gone organic and is actually good for you, put the bag down, back away and go buy yourself something that really is found in nature.

About Frito-Lay

Frito-Lay was started in 1932 by Elmer Doolin of San Antonio, Texas and Herman W. Lay of Nashville, Tennessee. Both of these men started this joint snack food venture with the business philosophy: "Provide the customer with a product of the highest quality and value; sell it for a fair profit; and make service a fundamental part of doing business."

In 1965 Frito-Lay merged with the Pepsi-Cola Company and became PepsiCo, Inc. Today Frito-Lay has more than fifteen $100 million brands including, Chee.tos, Fritos, Lay's, Ruffles, Doritos, Tostitos and SunChips.

To find out more about PepsiCo, Inc. and their good deeds, including the Smart Spot marketing campaign, go here (my favorite is where they list nutritional snacks for kids and how many of their products are on the list.)

Ingredients: Organic corn meal, expeller-pressed sunflower oil, sea salt, whey, cheddar cheese (cultured milk, salt, enzymes), maltodextrin, natural flavors, disodium phosphate, sour cream (cultured skim milk, cream, cornstarch, nonfat dry milk), torula yeast, lactic acid and citric acid

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    Posted by Mikko at March 15, 2006 09:47 PM | TrackBack

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