Pillsbury Sweet Moments Bite-Size Brownies

Pillsbury Sweet Moments Bite-Size Brownies

I Paid: $2.78 for a 5.6-ounce bag (prices may vary by region)

Taste: 2 stars

Marketing: 2 stars

Selling quotidian chocolate as a high-end, miniature escape is nothing new; just fire up this vintage 1986 Nestlé commercial (“Nestlé makes the very best, N-E-S-T-L-E-S”) to get a feel for how entrenched the sales pitch is. And while there’s nothing surprising about a new edition of a timeworn marketing tactic, it’s a little bit surprising that consumers aren’t yet wise to it.

Here’s a good rule of thumb: When a major corporation offers luxury at an affordable price, get ready for silken, elegant bites of disappointment. That luxury image/low-grade reality switcheroo is the basic play-by-play description of Pillsbury’s new Sweet Moments ready-to-eat refrigerated brownie bites.

Looking at the bag, which bills the snacks as “decadent & delicious,” you’d hope that they’d be cocoa-rich, fudge-y little bonbons. The actual product falls short: The brownies are covered in low-grade chocolate (which isn’t improved by being chilled to refrigerator temperatures) and have a soft cakelike interior that lacks either satisfying fudge-y density or rich cocoa flavor. A caramel variety has no distinct caramel flavor or satisfying chew—Sweet Moments are little more than low-grade, mass-manufactured petits fours.

The product is particularly frustrating because it’s a pricier way to get a dessert inferior to what any of us could come up with in a lazy evening’s work—take a reliable store-bought brownie mix, dip small bites of brownie in a good melted chocolate, refrigerate, and enjoy.

The one thing these suckers have going for them is that they’re good for dieters: Each mini-brownie is just 60 calories … and with the way they taste, it’s relatively easy to stop after eating one or two.

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