New Product Reviews: Chicken Broth, Coke and More

Swanson Chicken Broth

Taste 20
Value 17
Health 12
Ingredients 12
Preparation 5
Appearance 5
Packaging 5
Sustainability 1
Total score 77

So here is the good news; Swanson’s new chicken broth has no MSG, but look-y here, it does say that small amounts of glutamates occur naturally in yeast extract… It says it has more chicken flavor, but I would still like to see even more. And take a look at this picture, this is misleading – with the average product in the supermarket getting only a fraction of our attention it is easy to pick up this can by mistake, thinking it has chicken, pasta and vegetables already. And to top it all off, just 1 can has 1720mg of sodium; almost a full day’s amount.

Retails for about $1.
Campbell Soup Company
Camden, NJ
800 44 BROTH
swansonbroth.com

Jungle Grub Snack Bars - Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Flavor

Taste 29
Value 18
Health 15
Ingredients 14
Preparation 5
Appearance 5
Packaging 4
Sustainability 1
Total score 91

If you have a buck, or are a celiac, love chocolate and cookie dough and want a snack bar that tastes great, reach for Jungle Grub. With just 100 calories and 31/2g of fat per bar this is a very satisfying snack which also has 20% of the RDA of calcium and 4g of protein. While the package makes it look like it is just for kids I guarantee everyone will enjoy them.

Retails for $4.99 / box of 5.
Organic Nutrition, Inc
Carlsbad, CA
760 828 7345
junglegrub.com

Coca-Cola Mini

Taste 28
Value 17
Health 10
Ingredients 11
Preparation 5
Appearance 5
Packaging 5
Sustainability 1
Total score 82

I guess the people at Coca-Cola are starting to panic – their new 71/2oz can has just 90 calories, but c’mon, it still had 25g of sugars and if you really wanted to revolutionize the soda industry why not use this new package size to introduce Coke with real sugar, or Diet Coke with stevia. I guess one would argue that in a smaller can you’ll consume less, or you could argue that 7 1/2oz is not enough and instead of consuming a 12oz normal size can you will drink 2 of these, doubling the calories and sugars.

Retails for $3.79 / 8 pack.
The Coca-Cola Company
Atlanta, GA
800 438 2653
coke.com

Boulder Canyon Natural Foods Rice & Adzuki Bean Snack Chip Natural Salt Flavor

Taste 28
Value 18
Health 14
Ingredients 14
Preparation 5
Appearance 4
Packaging 4
Sustainability 2
Total score 89

I bet you this is one chip that you have never tried it is Rice & Adzuki Bean. The adzuki bean is a nutty and sweet red bean and it is made with rice flour and is gluten free – but here is what I do not understand – the product says Adzuki bean and they even have this logo that says it is made with “Premium Adzuki Beans”, but in the ingredients it says “adzuki beans and or black beans” – huh? This company does everything right when it comes to sustainability and their recipes… don’t use black beans instead maybe because they are cheaper?!

Retails for $2.49 - $2.99.
Boulder Natural Foods
Boulder, CO
800 279 2250
bouldercanyonnaturalfoods.com

Cormier’s Gold Double Garlic Stir Fry and Cooking Sauce

Taste 20
Value 16
Health 12
Ingredients 14
Preparation 5
Appearance 5
Packaging 5
Sustainability 1
Total score 78

Open up the bottle and there is a fabulous aroma of garlic, but taste it and it tastes just like sugar - and there is no doubt why when just one tablespoon has 11g of sugars. If you call a product Double Garlic you should deliver a garlic-y flavor. It is fat free and contains no oil, but also has 560mg of sodium per tablespoon – stir fry or marinade with this and I have little doubt that you will be consuming 2500mg of sodium or more. There are actual pieces of garlic, but the soy sauce and sugars just overpower them.

Retails for $2.75.
Cormier’s Kitchen
Stoneham, MA
No phone available
cormierskitchen.com

 

Phil taste-tests and judges each product based on the following 8 criteria:

1. Taste (30 points): the most important attribute of any food
2. Value (20 points): is it worth it?
3. Health (15 points): based off the nutritional information, is it nutritionally balanced?
4. Ingredients (15 points): what's in it, how natural is it?
5. Preparation (5 points): when applicable, how accurate or good are the directions *
6. Appearance (5 points): is it appetizing and does it resemble its photo or description
7. Packaging (5 points): Is it appropriate for the product and does it have any benefits such as resealability, added freshness, better storage, etc.
8. Sustainability (5 Points): is the packaging biodegradable, is it wasteful, is the company endeavoring to offset their carbon footprint?

*products that do not have any preparation will have the full value of these points included in their total score.

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