100 Calorie Packs Are Still A Scam, Cost More For Less Food

You may still enjoy the 100 calorie packs that have become so popular lately, but you should realize you’re being had.

ABC News took a look at the issue, grabbing soundbites from Michael Jacobson from the CSPI as well as collecting rebuttals from the various snack-mongers.

The most important thought to take away? If you’re fine with paying a premium for 100 calorie packs, make sure you don’t eat more than one. ABC News says eating two 100 calorie Hostess cupcake packs means you’ve eaten more calories than if you ate 1 large Hostess cupcake, and paid a lot more for those extra calories.

Buy the big box and some sandwich baggies!

PREVIOUSLY:Like Those 100 Calorie Packs? You’re Paying Twice As Much


Edit Your Comment

  1. Buran says:
  2. chrisgoh says:

    But, if buy purchasing these, a consumer is successful in changing their eating habits for the better, isn’t it worth the cost?

    A similar argument would be why buy a gym membership when all you need is basic, inexpensive workout equipment. For some people the act of having the membership is the motivation to exercise so as to not waste what they paid for it.

  3. SodeDogg says:

    My GF loves these things. I try to convince her to buy the regular package and I’ll divide it into baggies for her, but she refuses.

    The nutrition info is right on every box people! It is your friend! Use it and save your money!

  4. Juliekins says:

    I should change my handle to “Broken Record.” Seriously. Food scale + snack ziploc bags + a few minutes of your time = homemade 100 calorie packs. Or 120 calorie packs, or whatever.

    OTOH, it’s a free country. If it takes little prefabbed baggies of cheese nips to get you to not eat the whole box, I’m not going to be the one to stop you.

  5. GoEliGo???? says:

    As has been pointed out before, the Oreo and Chips Ahoy 100 calorie packs contain completely different cookies than the regular packages. So I can either eat 1 or 2 regular Oreo or Chips Ahoy cookies or I can have an entire package of the mini cookies.

  6. foghat81 says:

    until the snack companies make the little wafer-thin snacks available in the big bags, it’s still worth it to many people. Tell me where I can get those Chips Ahoy-like wafers and make my own snack pack w/ a zip loc bag?!?!?!?

  7. foghat81 says:

    @Die Eli Die: beat me to it…but that’s exactly what I was trying to say!


    Every time I see these thing in the store I’m reminded of the Futurama episode with the individual wrapped sandwich cookies. Fry would unwrap the cookie, then unwrap the creme, then the other cookie. He’d then load them into the little machine that presses them all together.
    He’d then take out the finished sandwich cookie, twist off the top, lick off the creme, and toss the rest over his shoulder.

  9. pine22 says:

    i think most people already know that they are paying more for less food, but they are instead paying for portion control and convenience. if people are too undisciplined to eat only a few cookies or sort them into smaller packages then this is good for them.

    i have to admit, i bought some last week and the oreo ones are delicious, but the cheese nips ones kinda suck.

  10. @chrisgoh: No, no, no! It is much better to fail repeatedly using the “acceptable” dieting methods than to pay more for something that works for you. You know, so you won’t be had. <– end sarcasm

    @Die Eli Die: I think people are ignoring the psychological and physical satisfaction from eating more of the cookies even if they are smaller and have fewer calories.

  11. Elijah-M says:

    WOW. You have actually posted this information twice. Just… wow.

    Have you posted yet about how it’s cheaper to buy a travel mug and make your coffee at home? Or about how a six pack of soda is more expensive than a two liter bottle?

    How about just posting about stuff that people with triple-digit IQs don’t already know? I would be amazed if anyone buying these 100 calorie packs is unaware that they’re paying a premium for convenience. Obviously they’ve made an objective decision that it’s worth it. End of story.

    The only tangible result of your posting this information (TWICE) is the sophomoric flame war that ensues.

  12. ElizabethD says:

    To FitJulie and others:

    I have always realized that the 100-calorie packs are not the thrifty way to go.

    However, for people who have trouble with portion control (“Oo, I want just one more… and another… and, oh, what the hell, I’ll eat the whole box”) these packages can be a smart option. I know from experience that I am not going to sit there filling baggies with Wheat Thins from the econo-sized box. just as I’m not going to stop eating Wheat Thins! (hey, I buy the low-fat kind)

    Most dieticians will vouch for the value of the 100-calorie packs for those watching their weight, and diabetics.

  13. Hollywood590 says:

    Oh wow, I never knew. Here’s some info for a new post. I went to buy groceries the other day and it cost less per ounce for the big box of Cheerios than for the smaller one. They’re obviously ripping off the Consumer. Oh please do another update.

  14. MeOhMy says:

    Where is the scam? The weight, nutrition information, and pricing is right on the package.

  15. Tristan Smith says:

    The other day when i was at the store i notice that they now stock the 100 calorie packs of Coke. I seen these before but they what i hadn’t see was the small size cans of diet coke. What’s the point of that. regardless of the size it still has 0 calories.

  16. marsneedsrabbits says:

    I don’t see how this is a scam unless there is more than 100 calories in a package or purchasing a box requires you to do 10 years of indentured servitude or something.
    They have 100 calories per pack? Yeah…
    They cost what the price label says per pound? Yeah…
    Eating two packs will give you twice as many calories? (snicker) Yeah…
    Please explain where the “scam” is, and while you’re at it, maybe explain why the CSPI should be given a soapbox when this is the level of “science” they routinely spew forth.

  17. DeeJayQueue says:

    Next up on Consumerist: United baggage handlers steal your shit from the philly airport. What? They already did that today? Yeah, like I said…

  18. huadpe says:

    @rndmideas: Those mini-cans can be useful for people with mini-fridges. If you have a short shelf, you can fit those smaller cans there where larger ones would not fit. Also, I enjoy my soda fizzy, and by the time I’m 2/3 through a 12 oz can it’s often flat, so a 8 oz can can be convenient.

  19. Indecision says:

    @rndmideas: “The other day when i was at the store i notice that they now stock the 100 calorie packs of Coke. I seen these before but they what i hadn’t see was the small size cans of diet coke.”

    Mixing. No, seriously. The mini-cans are the perfect size for highballs. One shot of your liquor of choice plus one full mini-can of soda is just about the perfect ratio.

  20. MagicJewball says:

    Oh God, don’t make me argue this all over again.

  21. maevro says:

    Actually buying them in bulk from the BJ’s, Price Club, etc. makes the a lot cheaper.

  22. @maevro: bingo. You pay for packaging convenience. I am suprised this is news.

  23. drjayphd says:

    @Elijah-M: “How about just posting about stuff that people with triple-digit IQs don’t already know?”

    What, and risk losing the lucrative mouthbreather demographic? ;)

  24. MyCokesBiggerThanYours says:

    SHEESH. We know we are paying more for less. We are doing it on purpose because we can’t manage family size packages. Where we are saving money is in our dieting expenses, healthclub, and doctors bills.

    If you guy’s want to make a stink about something, single serving packages to help us control our weight one of the last places to wage war.

  25. LipstickLibrarian says:

    I did some comparison at Trader Joe’s this morning; their 100-calorie packs of cheese crackers are actually a better deal, when you factor in the nutrition info.

    And I do love biting off the heads of those little toucans…

  26. katewrath says:

    Since this is apparently Repeat Yourself Monday, I’ll join in as well:

    The 100 calorie bags of Doritos contain PHYSICALLY SMALLER CHIPS, with less breakage and more individual pieces to nibble on. If I bought a jumbo bag and divided it into 100 calorie ziplocs, each bag would contain about 9 chips, which would quickly be ground to powder in my trunk.

    I don’t buy any other 100 calorie packs, and the Doritos are only for Treat Emergencies, but for me, they’re worth the money.

  27. b612markt says:

    The quality of the items in these packages is inferior (the oreos are pitiful!) and at the grocery store you can see RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR EYES the price per ounce is way more than the regular boxes. I don’t know why ANYONE would buy these.

    The only reason I have any experience with these 100 calorie packs is because they’re given on long Southwest flights.

  28. astrochimp says:

    OP: “100 Calorie Packs Are Still A Scam, Cost More For Less Food”

    Incredulous reader: Doesn’t the fact that they are in smaller packages mean that the production costs will be higher than if they were sold in bulk?

    OP: “you’re being had”

    Incredulous reader: Not if I have even the most rudimentary understanding of economics.

  29. papa_panda says:

    It isn’t a scam at all. It’s just marketing skills. Everyone knows buying in bulk saves you money. People don’t mind paying premium prices for convenience. Theres also a psychological issue, eating a lot of cookies makes you feel more satisfied than eating four cookies of the same calorie count.

    If you don’t mind eating the big cookies, but need the portion control, and you have time, then you’d be stupid not to buy the big bags and divide them up yourself.

  30. MagicJewball says:


    One person’s lack of quality is another person’s willful choice of fewer calories, sugar, and fat. Of *course* the Oreos in the 100 Cal Packs are dinkier than real Oreos. That’s why we eat them!

    People have listed all their reasons here why we buy them. We like the smaller chips, we like the smaller packages, they are a boon to those who have trouble with willpower and portion control. Why can people not respect others’ personal choice? If I know what I’m getting then it’s not a scam.

  31. Jesse in Japan says:

    The 100 calorie packs are perfect for people who can’t do math.

  32. guymandude says:

    Does this really rate an article on Consumerist? If people are too stoopid to do consumer math who’s fault is that? Is there anything illegal about it?

  33. mst3kzz says:

    I agree the post is obvious, but it is at least topical (as compared to higher prices for smaller boxes of cereal). It just comes down to what works for you. My wife loves these, but one of these 100 calorie packs doesn’t satisfy me and I would just end up eating more than one which defeats the purpose of the extra cost.

  34. bitsnbytes says:

    However, making up your own 100-calorie bags of microwavable popcorn is not so easy.