Oreo Cakesters

By: Nabisco

Suggested Retail Price: $2.99 for six packs of two

Taste: 1stars

Marketing: 2stars

What is it that we dig about Oreos? The best-selling cookie of the 20th century is pleasantly crunchy, dunks well in milk, is hackable (as anyone who has crafted homemade Double Stuf Oreos can vouch for), and magically compels unholy levels of consumption.

What, by contrast, do Oreo Cakesters have going for them? These Oreo-branded chocolate snack cakes cannot be effectively dunked, cannot easily be torn asunder, and are pretty much as addictive as an off-brand Ho Ho, which is to say not very. A single Cakester, removed from its wrapper, also looks kind of like poop.

Though they retain some of the grainy texture and chocolate taste of their older, smaller kin, Cakesters can be defined by a single adjective: squishy. They coat the interior of your mouth not with little chocolate crumbs, but with a fuzzy slime of indeterminate flavor.

Perhaps the greatest sin of the Cakester is its soft exterior. It erases that delightful contrast between hard cookie and soft crème that defines the treat it’s modeled after.

If these things stick around for more than a year or two, don’t take it as an endorsement of the snack; take it as an indictment of the American consumer.

Go-Gurt Fizzix

By: Yoplait

Suggested Retail Price: $2.79 for eight 2.25-ounce tubes

Taste: 4stars

Marketing: 3stars

The acting theory over at General Mills is that this carbonation-infused yogurt will lure older children into patronizing Yoplait. General Mills isn’t crediting dugh—a carbonated yogurt beverage popular in Iran, Afghanistan, and other parts of Central Asia—as the inspiration for Fizzix, but it seems possible that the lassi-esque drink may have provided the original creative spark. It doesn’t, after all, follow naturally that once you have yogurt, you may as well carbonate it.

The flavors—Wild Cherry Zing, Strawberry Lemonade Jolt, Blue Raspberry Rage, Strawberry Watermelon Rush, Triple Berry Fusion, and Fruit Punch Charge—make no pretense to culinary excellence. That, said, they don’t taste so very different from the “fruit” souping up other sweetened yogurts, and they’re legitimately yummy if you like candy. Which I do. Fizzix is packaged in (relatively) healthy serving sizes (2.25-ounce tubes), and unlike Oreos, it doesn’t demand repeat consumption: One tube is both pleasurable and plenty.

Although Fizzix contains 40 percent more calories and double the cholesterol to a similarly sized container of nonfizzy strawberry banana Yoplait, it also has double the calcium and more riboflavin. If Fizzix is the sweetest, most dessertlike item in your kids’ lunchboxes, they are probably doing fine. If it’s the healthiest, they’re boned.

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