October 9, 2006

Lunchbox Treat: Crispy Green Fruit Snacks

Trick or treat. Smell my feet. Give me some...freeze dried fruit?!

That's the message from Crispy Green, makers of a series of freeze dried fruit snacks, samples of which arrived at the Really Natural offices a couple of weeks ago. The company uses the same basic principles used by breakfast cereal makers to make the red berries in your Special K so tasty, and then packages the fruit in single-serving snack packs that make it easy to get your apples, peaches or apricots on the go. According to Crispy Green's press release, the snacks would make a "frighteningly healthy" alternative to sugary Halloween candy. We tried the snacks, and sent some home with our co-workers to see how their kids would like 'em.

Parents praised the convenience, healthfulness and simplicity of the product. Each snack package contains a single serving of fruit, the equivalent of which is listed on the package (e.g. one cup of apple, two apricots, or one medium peach). The ingredients are simple - just the fruit itself - and each bag contains 40 calories or less. Folks also liked the fruit's "lunchbox-ability" - unlike a regular peach which might squish or bruise on the way to work, or cut fruit, which would turn brown if left in a lunchbox all morning, the Crispy Peaches stay fresh, crunchy and delicious in their little vacuum sealed bags.

One colleague lamented all the packaging that goes into single serving snacks, but noted that Crispy Green is hardly the only snackmaker to go this route. And the fact is, single servings aren't just easy to pack; they also make it easy to monitor serving sizes.

Size-wise, folks noted that the individual snack bags of fruit work better as lunchbox addition than as a stand-alone snack. "If this was all my kids ate when they got home from school, they'd need to eat three packages." Then again, three servings of fruit vs. three chocolate chip cookies? You be the judge.

The final and most important question: How did they taste? Michelle's boys, Alex, Colin and Caleb, ages 5-9, loved 'em - for lunchboxes, an afternoon snack, or even Halloween. Caleb thinks they're better than a Snickers bar. Mike's kids said A-OK for lunch, but don't try to swap them for candy at the end of October. The grown-ups in the office were also big fans, though we weren't quite ready to give up the leftover candy. I liked mine in the morning over yogurt.

According to Crispy Green's website, the Trenton Times called the fruit snacks "one of the most wholesome new snacks to come out of New Jersey during the past few years." We find that statement itself kind of funny, but we don't doubt it.

Crispy Green fruit snacks cost $7.99 for a 6-pack or $81.50 for a case.

Available at Crispy Green.

Read More in: Food | Kids | Product review | Really Natural Products

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Posted by Jess Brooks at October 9, 2006 10:24 AM

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