Understanding Ingredients

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While at Subway for lunch yesterday, I noticed that there was a new flavor of Sun Chips: Monterey Jack and Sundried Tomato. I can’t help but to find this newcomer to be a bag full of fail.

For starters, of all the past packages of Sun Chips, the color of this bag is the least appealing I’ve ever seen. It’s a drab shade of brown and doesn’t visually persuade me to pick it up.

Sun Chips

Then there’s the typo. “Sundried” tells me it’s a haphazard assortment of different kinds of tomatoes. Dear Sun Chips makers, it should be “Sun-dried Tomato.”

But then when looking at the ingredients, one has to wonder why “Monterey Jack and Sundried Tomato” was even chosen as the flavor name in the first place. Unless I’m mistaken, product ingredients are always listed such that the ingredient that has the greatest proportion of the entire product is listed first, and then other ingredients are listed in order of their overall proportion. In other words, there is less of the last-listed ingredient than there is of any other ingredient. So lets look at the ingredients of this new Sun Chips product:

The Ingredients

So, what are we consuming here:

  • whole corn
  • sunflower oil
  • whole wheat
  • whole oat flour
  • rice flour
  • monterey jack and sun dried tomato seasoning (note different, but still lacking hyphenated spelling)
  • sugar
  • corn bran
  • natural flavor
  • corn maltodextrin

Okay, there’s various corn, wheat, flour, and oil to make up the chips themselves, and some seasoning for the flavor. But then there’s the whole list of what makes up the seasoning:

  • buttermilk
  • salt
  • corn maltodextrin
  • tomato powder (note, not “sun dried” tomato powder)
  • sugar
  • cheddar cheese (cheddar??)
  • whey
  • spices (um, parsley is an herb, not a spice)
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • cream
  • skim milk powder
  • citric acid
  • oh there’s the monterey jack cheese
  • mozzarella cheese
  • and there finally is the sun dried tomato powder
  • natural sun dried tomato flavor
  • blue cheese
  • paprika

If I’m right that the later ingredients are less in quantity than the earlier ingredients, there’s more cheddar in this product than monterey jack, and with the addition of mozzarella and blue cheeses, it’s not impossible that there could be more of all other types of cheese than monterey jack alone. And what’s with the “sun dried” variety of tomato being down at the end?

From what I can tell, some marketer was simply hell-bent on naming this product as monterey jack and sundried tomato, regardless of the ingredients.

Assuming you’ve even read this far into my little soapbox, I’ll suggest you set all of that aside and consider the one last fact that trumps everything I’ve typed to this point: the flavor was boring, so no, I won’t be buying these again. I’m hoping the Garden Salsa flavor doesn’t disappear forever from Subway!

2 Responses

  1. Mandy says:

    imply hell-bent? Sorry had to point out that during your rant you dropped an s. ;)

  2. Lee Bennett says:

    D’oh! Sure enough. Fixing it now.

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