Like Those 100 Calorie Packs? You're Paying Twice As Much.

Portion control is going to cost you, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. They took a look at the new “100 calorie” portion control fad and guess what they found? You’re paying a hefty premium for your portion control. Those packs cost, on average, about two-and-a-half times as much as bigger bags.

“Cheese Nips” were the worst offenders—charging an unbelievable 279% markup on their 100 calorie pack. Other price offenders: Keebler Chips Deluxe Cookies (250%), Chex Mix (248%),Ritz Crackers/Snack Mix (229%) and
Goldfish Pretzels (196%.)

“Hundred-calorie packs are an ingenious way for companies to charge consumers more for less,” said CSPI Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson. “Manufacturers get the best of both worlds–they make more money, and they look like they’re helping people control their weight. But consumers could save money by divvying up their regular box of Cheese Nips themselves if they are worried about downing the whole container. Or better yet, they could skip the junk foods altogether and reach for a piece of fruit.”

CSPI says companies get away with charging an arm and leg because the packages look and cost about the same as a regular box of crackers and cookies. It’s only when you look at the prices per ounce that sticker shock sets in. Keebler Deluxe Chocolate Chip Cookies in the regular box, for example, are $.17/ OZ at internet grocer Peapod. The same cookies in the 100 calorie packs weight in at a hefty $.82/ OZ. Both boxes cost about the same $3.59 for the 100 calorie packs and $3.07 (on sale) for the regular box.

Eating smaller portions of snacks is a great idea, but do you really want to pay, on average, 146% more?

Consumers Pay Hefty Premium for Air, Packaging in 100-Calorie Packs
100-Calorie Pack Cost Comparison (Full Results, PDF) [CSPI]