While 100-calorie packs have been in stores since 2004, it took until last year, when Hostess released 100-calorie packs of Twinkies -- freakin' Twinkies! -- for people to finally realize that these packs have gone much too far. Bill Maher put it succinctly:
Sales of some 100-cal packs, like Oreo thin-crips, have dropped 30 percent or more this year. It takes BrandWeek two pages to list all the reasons not to buy these products.
The packs are wasteful. They're expensive -- and easier and cheaper to make at
home anyway. The products often have different formulas than the full-size
versions. Plus, instead of cutting down on snacking, people eat more
A Journal of Consumer Research study last year, for instance, found
participants given 100-calorie snacks while munching in front of the TV
ate significantly more. A second group munching from two, regular-sized
potato chips bags exhibited greater portion control.
It was almost as though the 100-calorie packs were " a license to overeat," said Mintel food analyst Marcia Mogelonsky.
It's as if they were the
perfect snack for the stock bubble -- overpriced, excessive and
extravagant, they made people were careless. But the
bubble has burst and what was once Kraft-Nabisco's fastest-growing
segment may not even exist in a few years. Good riddance.