Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Nabisco Newtons Fruit thins

Nabisco Newtons Fruit thins are a crispy answer to the ever-popular Fig Newton. They come in a variety of flavors: Fig and Honey; Blueberry Brown Sugar; Cranberry Citrus Oat; and Raspberry Chocolate.

They are thin and look like round crackers.

Because the packaging is alluring on the grocery shelf, and the product was showing off in an eye-catching point-of-purchase display rack, I bought a bag - without a second thought - on a recent Sunday morning.

I tried the Fig and Honey and even though the package says that Newtons Fruit thins are "crispy cookies," I was hoping for a flavor and texture closer to that of the venerable Fig Newton. But my preconceived Fig Newton notion crumbled - literally - as I took a bite of one of the crisps.

My initial reaction: cardboardy, dry, sawdusty with a slightly sweet overtone.

Here's the kicker - Newtons Fruit thins boast no high fructose corn syrup, are made with real fruit (although I'd be hard pressed to find but a few rubbery specs of hardened fig) and are a good soruce of whole grain. Ultimately it's really not a cookie in the traditional sense but more like a product produced out of guilt for the guilty consumer of cookies.

It's really just another product falling within that new "thin" (snack) food trend we're seeing more of on grocery store shelves. It's a psychological ploy with the promise of dietary nirvana - "Hey! A thin cookie!"

For those worried about such things, you get about 30 cookies in a package of Newtons Fruit thins. Three cookies have 140 calories from fat. And three is probably all you'd eat in one sitting anyway. They're not as compulsively consumable as, say, Oreos, which are easily - if not joyfully - devoured by the stack.

Although I know this goes against Nabisco's crispy intent for these cookies, I believe Newtons Fruit thins would be better with a softer consistency injected with more palatable fruit swirled throughout.

On the other hand, the packaging for Newtons Fruit thins is truly a work of art. It's a gusseted flexible bag lined with an aluminum coating for freshness, while the outside is a gorgeous glossy four-color print of a cookie in action. The cookies inside come side-by-side in a plastic double-sided tray.

The bag, by the way, is recloseable.

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