The End of 100-Calorie Packs?

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on June 3, 2009

Yesterday I came across an interesting article on 100-calorie packs! You may have also noticed the Tip of the Day mentioned it too.


Kraft was the first company to pioneer the 100-calorie packs and they made an estimated 75 million off them in the first year alone. Even the Girl Scouts are banking in on the trend. I admit, when I first saw them, I thought they were the greatest idea. The only thing that prevented me from buying them much was the fact that I was a student and couldn’t afford much for groceries. When I did buy the packs I would often eat 3 in one sitting because I just didn’t feel full!

Have you ever opened all of the 100-calorie pack bags and dumped it into a bowl? Not exactly getting the best bang for your buck!


However, that didn’t stop me from buying those 100-calorie chocolate bars- the Cadbury Thin. Eric would say to me each time, “You know you are paying the price of a regular chocolate bar, but they are only giving you half of one?” He was right, and I admitted defeat to the chocolate mastermind.

They even came up with clever ads to market to women only:


But those days are now long behind me. I chose not to buy 100-calorie packs and instead eat whole, real foods free of chemicals, high fructose corn syrup, and the like. It is also so much more cost efficient to buy in bulk, and better yet, to make your own food when possible. And let’s be honest, the 100-calorie packs aren’t doing anything for the environment.

100-calorie packs do work for some people and I know that many people swear by them for potion control. I guess it just depends on the person and what you take from it.

The study mentioned in this article is quite interesting!

  • The study, led by researcher Marcia Mogelonsky created two groups of participants
  • One group was given 100-calorie packs and the other was given potato chips that were in regular sized bags
  • Both groups were put in front of a television
  • The results were simple: Participants who were given the 100-calorie packs consumed more food than the group who wasn’t.
  • It is thought that when people eat what is perceived to be a ‘diet food’ it gives them a license to eat more and they feel less guilt

I thought these results were really interesting however I think the study is a bit flawed because they should have created a 3rd group who ate from the same size bag as the 100-calorie bag, but didn’t label it as so. This 3rd group could serve as a control to see whether it was in fact the words 100-calorie on the bag that gave them the desire to eat more, or if it was simply the small serving that tricked them into thinking they weren’t eating much.

Today’s question: What are your thoughts on 100-calorie packs? Do you think they are a fad that will soon fade out? Do you see companies creating more 100-calorie packs for different products? Have you ever been lured into buying 100-calorie packs?


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{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

Janette June 3, 2009 at 10:05 am

Yes I buy the 100 cal packs for a few reasons, I am one of these people if the bag is open I will eat the whole bag, the 100 cal packs keep me under control. I also buy them for my kids, its good portion control and a quick snack to keep in the car when we are out and about.


Jennifer @ His N' Her Health June 3, 2009 at 10:10 am

I used to eat them constantly, I would have them as a snack and wonder why they weren’t filling me up! I don’t eat them anymore, but the boyfriend still does sometimes and i am trying to get him to stop!


Shannon (The Daily Balance) June 3, 2009 at 10:12 am

“they should have created a 3rd group who ate from the same size bag as the 100-calorie bag, but didn’t label it as so”

I totally agree! Now THAT would have been interesting.

I think 100 cal packs are good if you have a bad time with portion control — if not, you are right they are a waste!


Joanna June 3, 2009 at 10:13 am

We don’t have 100 calorie packs here in the UK (or at least I haven’t seen them!) I’m going to the States next week and I have to admit, I’m intrigued. Like Janette above, if I were to open a BIG pack of any less-than-healthy snack (or worse, a healthy one!) I’d probably just keep scoffing them without noticing, so I can see the appeal of a portion control (perhaps for keeping in the office drawer for those emergency moments when anything other than chocolate is just not an option and I haven’t had time to bake!) I agree about the environmental advantages of buying in bulk with less packaging – I try to buy a large pack of something and then re-package into small ziploc bags that I re-use, to take my snacks to work. By the way, Angela, my husband is totally converted to homemade granola bars now! I can’t wait to try the peanut butter version. He has one as an energy booster before biking home from work.


SarahF June 3, 2009 at 10:18 am

I use to be a huge consumer of the 100 calorie packs. I think I bought every flavour. But after you eat a couple you realize-their disgusting. Their is a reason that they only have 100 calories-I think their made out of cardboard. So I stopped buying them for the most pat-the exception is the chocolate covered pretzel 100 calorie packs. I have no self control when it comes to chocolate covered pretzels so I like the packs for them-as well as their the exception to the 100 calorie cardboard food.


Katherine June 3, 2009 at 10:19 am

I used to buy them all the time, but I was never satisfied. I was also one of the people who thought “oh well it’s a diet food so I have license to eat more” and I spent a lot of energy counting my calories.

Now, I make things like bars and snacks myself. They are full of whole foods and nutrients and I do NOT know exact calorie amounts so I have to rely on my feelings of satiety. The good news is that I tend to be satisfied much sooner b/c I am eating nutrient rich foods and I appreciate eat bite more b/c it’s not full of air or no-calorie chemicals.

Great topic!!


AGS June 3, 2009 at 10:31 am

Good post! I don’t think that the 100-calorie trend will go away any time soon. It’s just way too marketable. I think that the idea isn’t a terrible one. . . it’s just not one that works very well in helping people reach larger health-goals.


Mara @ What's For Dinner? June 3, 2009 at 10:32 am

I have something I’m going to send you, I think you’ll find it interesting! You’ll have mail from my work address in a few minutes!!


SarahF June 3, 2009 at 10:33 am

This is off topic but I had a GM this morning (I commented yesterday how I’m trying your Project Glo this month) and it is a great hangover cure! I know it’s not it’s intended purpose but in between my GM this morning and my Gatorade, I am feeling really good. Which considering last night I had a bottle of wine and 4 shots, combined with less than 5 hours of sleep, I think is miraculous! A heads up for anyone who’s going out this weekend :)


Jaime (Embracing Balance) June 3, 2009 at 10:35 am

I definitely fell into the trap. Those packs were just coming out when I was on my WW weight loss journey. Typical of most beginner dieters I was only looking at calories and points, and not at what I was actually eating.

Eventually I stopped buying them…first, due to cost (rip-off!), second due to waste (all those little packages!!), and third because I clued in that REAL food is better than any packaged FAKE food. :)


Sarah June 3, 2009 at 10:36 am

Ugh, I hate 100 calorie packs! They drive me crazy :) I used to use them a lot too and ALWAYS felt unsatisfied from them. My parents often buy a box and finish the entire thing in one night!

I hate the way companies try to market them to people too. I’m very frustrated with the food industry 90% of the time. All these “hidden” trans fats and chemicals make a girl want to eat nothing but veggies!

I hope 100 calorie packs are a passing fad, but it seems like new ones come out every day. I always shake my head and sigh when my husband points them out at the grocery store!

You are right, they are not very economical or environmentally friendly either. BOO 100 calorie packs!


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 3, 2009 at 10:37 am

Hey guys! Look what Mara sent me- it’s all the foods you can eat for just 100 calories (and the serving size) Super fun!!

Here it is:

The Most Filling 100 Calorie Packs!
1/4 0f an avocado
1.75 cups apple slices
1 medium banana
1 cup grapes
2 cups berries
1.5 cups sliced peaches
1.25 cups orange sections
1.25 cups blueberries
2 cups diced watermelon
1 cup sliced pears
1.33 cup diced pineapple
1.5 cups raspberries
1 cup cherries
2 large kiwi fruit
3 clementines
4 cups cherry tomatoes or 10 plum tomatoes or 3 large beefsteak tomatoes
1 medium baked sweet potato
1 small baked white potato
2 cups carrot strips or slices
12 cups torn lettuce
10 large broccoli spears
8 cups sliced cucumbers
5.5 cups sliced bell or sweet peppers
5 cups whole raw mushrooms
32 spears cooked asparagus
2.5 cups cooked green beans
80 snow or sugar snap pea pods
4.5 cups mixed vegetable salad (without dressing)
1/2 cup cooked grain/rice/pasta (most, bulgur is 3/4s cup)
1 jumbo hard boiled egg
20 large boiled or steamed shrimp
2 oz chicken breast meat (a little more than 2 oz)
2 oz sirloin steak (a little less than 2 oz)
0.75 cup plain fat free yogurt
3 cups air popped popcorn



Alison June 3, 2009 at 10:39 am

I think they are good and bad…. good that they might help make consumers become more aware of what portion sizes are supposed to look like, but like you said, they are more expensive and I don’t like how much waste they create with the extra packaging. It would make more sense and to buy something and divvy it up into 100 calorie portions your own containers at home, that you can wash and reuse… this could work for anything, prepackaged snacks or better yet, fruits and vegetables! Do this with produce, all you’d need is a calorie counting book or website and a scale or some measuring cups!


Marisa June 3, 2009 at 10:40 am

I used to eat them as well. But since I started reading more (especially your blog!), I discovered a few almonds will fill me up and tatse better, or organic 85% dark chocolate will satisfy my sweet tooth, but is too bitter to overindulge in.

That being said, I think the 100 calorie idea is beneficial to people who need that control of the individual wrapping. I still struggle if I have baking chocolate chips in the house. The more I come to understand my hunger the more I can move beyond the 100 cal pack (and proud of it, I also felt like I was buying into a fad). But I think many people struggle with portion control. It may not be nutritionally amazing, but if you are willing to see it as a stepping stone to think about portion control, then that is a good thing. Great post!


brandi June 3, 2009 at 10:41 am

yeah, that list is awesome! It’s been on the WW site for a while now. IT has some great ideas!

I’ve bought some of the 100 calorie packs, but they do NOT fill me up at all! Plus, you are just paying more for something you could buy and separate into single servings yourself.

I’m hoping it kind of dies down – I get that people like having convenient packs of things, but it’s not so great when you eat 3 because you’re still hungry.

I’ve even seen 100 calorie packs of DOG TREATS!!! that is ridiculous.


Tanya June 3, 2009 at 10:42 am

I’ve never subscribed to 100 calorie packs, but I do like “portion controlled” snacks. Who said 100 calories is the right amount of calories for a snack? It’s not. However, I do like some things in individual baggies – not necessarily 100 calories, like bars & nuts. I go a little crazy with nuts if they are not portion controlled.


Jenny June 3, 2009 at 10:58 am

i’ll be honest, i was absolutely obsessed with 100 calorie packs at the worst of my struggle with disordered eating.. though they were never filling for me.. i would restrict myself to only eating one and then ignoring my hunger.. i think in my many ways 100 calorie packs led me to become consumed with calories and contributed a lot to restrictive behavior.. i cared way too much about portion control and making sure i was only getting in 100 calories and honestly didn’t care at all that they were will with sugars and high fructose corn syrup.. i can proudly say that i am at a point in my life where i’ve strayed from 100 calorie packs and will only eat them occasionally because they are great for on the go snacks.. especially the 100 calorie pack almonds :)

thanks for this post girl. .definitely interesting and made me a lot more aware of my past tendencies.


Jenn Eats Nutritiously Now June 3, 2009 at 11:01 am

I have eaten them before. Not much now. I’m not sure about the other ones, but with the sun chips, a 100 cal pack is actually a smaller serving than with the regular sized bag. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.


Kimberly Lee June 3, 2009 at 11:11 am

I have been guilty of eating the 100 calorie packs. But as I become more aware of my body, and how to treat it, I am finding that there are a plethora of other more filling options for me to it.


kayla June 3, 2009 at 11:13 am

Hi Angela!- I drink green smoothies (thanks to you!) but lately i have been skipping the milk!! it tastes just as amazing to me.. Today i did one banana, 2 Tbsp of powdered Peanut butter and lots of spinach + ice.. Just wondering is there a nutritional reason you add the milk? Mine stil came out in complete smoothie form.. i got this idea after being in europe where they make smoothies with just fruit + ice.. no milk/yogurt!! it tastes just as amazing in my opinion!

I did try my first GM’s with no milk- they were all veggie and I definitely didn’t have the right combo down! I should experiment a bit more without milk to see what kind of combos I can come up with! No real nutritional reason I add the almond or soy milk, I just like the taste :) ~A


Chelsea June 3, 2009 at 11:13 am

I’ve never bought them. I think they are a waste (as far as the packaging is concerned) and don’t taste very good. I do agree that eating out of a big bag is not great either. There’s a huge connection (at least for me) between “There is not more” and “I’m full”. A compromise of going to the kitchen, pouring from the big bag into a dish, eating what’s in the dish, and then evaluating if you want more seems to work for me as far as economy vs. portion control.


tj June 3, 2009 at 11:17 am

I used to buy them but when you eat 2-3 packs at once it kinda defeats the purpose. I actually got rid of a lot of processed foods from my lifestyle. Those 100 cal. packs dont have a place in my life anymore. :)


Susie June 3, 2009 at 11:21 am

I have bought them before but not often. I then really started reading the ingredients and realizing that I could not knowingly put all those chemicals in my body. I would rather have something wholesome. 100 calorie packs may have portion control but they come with a big price – terrible ingredients. I find the very act of creating my own food makes me appreciate it more; therefore, I consume it more mindfully.


Run Sarah June 3, 2009 at 11:25 am

I lived off these throughout undergrad but now I rarely buy them – they aren’t filling at all and are a total waste of money!


Jocelyn June 3, 2009 at 11:26 am

hmm I think it’s a fad…and I did used to buy them alot..but now to save money..if i want those prodcuts I’ll just go for the big box and then porton them in baggies lol..saves alot of money. But as it is, I don’t really crave those products anymore :P


Erin June 3, 2009 at 11:27 am

I just portion control for myself? Now, anyways. I totally get the appeal – it’s a treat and it’s only 100 calories! Simple, no work (story of our generation?). But, when I used to buy them (for about a month), I would eat more. Not that I would eat 3 bags in one sitting – but I’d have my ‘Oreos’ every day since 100 calories is nothing, instead of having a treat when I actually wanted one. Plus, the 100-calorie nutritional stat sounds nice, but the ingredients paragraph? Not so much.


SweetKaroline June 3, 2009 at 11:31 am

Always tempted to buy them but the whole packaging waste always deterred me.


Krista June 3, 2009 at 11:42 am

I used to go gaga over those 100 cal packs, but not anymore! I finally got it through my thick skull that I could eat more of other, healthier foods for 100 cals and actually feel like I’ve eaten something! I do still buy them sometimes but not because they’re 100 cal packs….the kids like some of the cookies/crackers, etc and they are great for lunches.

Thanks for another great post!


Elisabeth June 3, 2009 at 11:45 am

I bought them in the past, and quickly realized that they were a total waste of money. I’m not big on packaged food anyway, and definitely not a fan of cookies and crackers. I found myself buying them just because they were “100 Calorie Packs”. I was buying food that I would normally never even look twice at. I always completely SKIP the entire cookie/cracker aisle at the grocery store. I can see how people would end up eating more with these.

The one 100 Calorie Pack that I used to buy all the time were the Hostess Cupcakes and coffee cakes. One day on the way home from the store, I ate almost an ENTIRE BOX of them! It was insane. That was the last time that I bought them.


Kiersten June 3, 2009 at 11:45 am

I don’t like 100 calorie snack packs. Even though they are small portions and only 100 calories, doesn’t mean they are “healthy” snacks. They are still processed junk food. Personally, I’d rather snack on something healthier like a piece of fruit, veggies, or nuts.

They’re not very cheap either, considering how much you are actually getting in each pack.


Becca June 3, 2009 at 11:46 am

I don’t buy them because they are often $3.50+ just for a box and to me that is a waste. That and the fact that they are loaded with chemicals even though you’re only eating 3 tiny little 100 calories worth of oreos. If I’m going to have a snack, I’ll have some almonds, a cliff bar or an apple. Those are much more filling to me than a crappy pack of oreos that will only leave me wanting more. I agree that it works for some and that is perfectly fine!


Ashley June 3, 2009 at 11:49 am

I used to be a HUGE fan of the 100 calorie pack. I would have a couple different kinds in my house at any given time and when I would go to the States I would STOCK UP!! I remember coming home after one visit and my fiance said “honey, all you bought was junk food” and I was really offended stating that I needed my “treats”.

Since going gluten, dairy and (mostly) sugar free I’ve cut out the 100 calorie packs as a necessity. I couldn’t be happier! I don’t miss them. I don’t miss the waste. And I don’t miss the feelings of (sometimes) wanting more! They were great for portion control once in awhile, but I really didn’t need them in my life all the time. They really work for some people, but I can definitely see why they would cause others to overeat.

I feel so much healthier these days and my body is truly thanking me for it! When I want a treat I reach for fruit, nuts, coconut ice cream or the occasional gluten free baked good. We all need treats, but we also need moderation.


Recipes for Creativity June 3, 2009 at 12:06 pm

I get why they can work, but I’ve never bought them and don’t ever plan to. They are too expensive, not foods I normally eat anyways, and I want to control my own portions, thank you. If was in a crazy emotional-eating mode and had those around, I wouldn’t just eat one pack, you know? It’s just a marketing gimmick and a way for those companies to make money!


Michele June 3, 2009 at 12:18 pm

Hi Angela!! I don’t eat the 100 calorie packs. I try not to purchase processed foods.

By the way….I’ve been following your blog for a couple of days and I love it. Thank you for the great information you have posted. My husband and I tried your green monster last night and it was not at all what I expected – much, much better. I plan on having them for breakfast more often. Thanks again.


Rose June 3, 2009 at 12:42 pm

Amazing post here. Those 100 calorie packs have bothered me for so long. I regularly house sit for a woman who has about 10 varieties on hand at any given time. Honestly, I hate house-sitting sometimes because she says I can eat her food – but there’s nothing of substance anyway!

I won’t say that I didn’t jump on the 100-calorie pack bandwagon because I did. But you’re right – not enough bang for the buck, and what’s it really doing for you?

I hope this is coherent. Too many thoughts on this subject!


Gillian June 3, 2009 at 12:45 pm

I wrote about this recently, and how frustrating it is that many people would feel less guilty eating one (or more) of these than something like a avocado. It takes away the idea of learning to portion control by hunger and common sense, and wastes SO much packaging! I love making my own trail mixes and putting out what I think I might need in a small bowl. If I need more, I have a bit more, and if I need less I don’t finish the bowl! As for chocolate-it’s best in big chunks-and I portion control by buying a tiny bag from the bulk section (which I can re-use later for snacks).


Kayzilla June 3, 2009 at 12:55 pm

I hate them. They’re insulting to me, because they’re marketed as “guilt-free” treats. So.. we’re supposed to feel guilty for eating normal treats if we’re dieting or eating healthier? That’s the message I’m getting. No one should be guilty for eating ANYTHING. That’s the kind of crap that can lead an eating disorder on. Even if it does seem harmless, little messages like that from ads, especially when directed towards WOMEN, can really do some damage to someone in the long run.. I don’t like their marketing strategy and I think they cause more problems to dieters then they do actually help.

It’s not cost effeciant, it’s not good for the environment, it’s unsatifying. I’d rather go buy the real stuff and portion out my own goodies then buy that crap, either that.. or not buy those goodies at all! An apple will make me happier then a bite sized cookie any day.


JavaChick June 3, 2009 at 12:55 pm

I tried a few varieties of them. As far as portion control goes, they worked for me – I had no problem stopping at one pack. No, they don’t fill you up, but if you are watching your calories and you want a treat, 100 calories is fairly easy to fit into your meal plan.

That being said, the ones that I tried just didn’t taste that great to me, and if I’m going to have a “treat” I want it to be something good, so I don’t buy them anymore.


Eat, Live, Love, Dream June 3, 2009 at 12:56 pm

When I didn’t know much about nutrition I used to think those 100 cal packs were sent from heaven. hah! Knowledge is power, wouldn’t you say?


Menden (SkinnyMenny) June 3, 2009 at 1:01 pm

I used to eat them all the time too, but I agree, it’s so much better to have some real, filling, whole food! Just because it’s only 100 calories doesn’t mean it’s doing your body any good :)

Great post, Angela!


Tina June 3, 2009 at 1:03 pm

NOOOOOOO! They only just started selling them here :(… I was so excited about them because they would be perfect for my portion-control issue…

But I guess I could do something like that myself… I started prepackaging my nuts so I won’t overeat them… it seems to be working. Only I learned the hard way that SOAKED ALMONDS do not stay good for long in your cupboard…


P.S. Love your blog, I’m an eager reader, can’t wait till your next post!


Milca June 3, 2009 at 1:06 pm

You’re absolutely right about this trend.


Katy June 3, 2009 at 1:13 pm

I totally agree with what people seem to be saying- 100 kcal packs are a total waste of money and bad for the environment!

On another note, I thought I’d share something interesting-

Here is a question I sent Blue Diamond regarding Almond Breeze:

“Online, your nutritional information for the Original Almond Breeze says that 1 cup has 50% of your daily Vitamin E intake. But on my box at home it only says 10%. Which one is correct?”

And the response (which was impressively quick):

“Good morning Katy –

thank you for contacting Blue Diamond Growers.

The nutritional information you are viewing online is for domestic (US) product that has been fortified with Vitamin E. Canadian product is not fortified.

If I can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact me.”

Darn! I thought I was getting 50% of my RDA for Vitamin E every morning, but I guess Canadians only get 10% :)

Have a good day everyone!


Kristie June 3, 2009 at 1:23 pm

I always thought the 100 calorie packs were kind of ridiculous. I bought them a couple times and would throw them into lunches and things once in a while because they were convenient but more often than not they would just sit in my cupboard for months on end because I never felt like eating them. They didn’t satisfy me and I much prefer grabbing “real” food. If I want a snack, I’ll grab an apple or even a handful of crackers. Something sweet? I’d rather grab a couple handfuls of cereal or half of an ACTUAL cookie. Maybe the portion control isn’t quite there but I feel a heck of a lot more satisfied. If I ate those little packages it would just leave me rummaging for more food anyway. Kind of useless IMO.


Susan June 3, 2009 at 1:23 pm

I can’t stand anything bite-sized so I’ve never bothered with them. Have you ever seen the oreo packs? They don’t even have the cream in the middle!!! I’d rather have one full oreo and call it a day than mindlessly nosh on 100 calories worth of mediocre bite-sized snacks.


Kat June 3, 2009 at 1:28 pm

The only 100 calorie packs that i like (and purcahse) are the 100 cal packs of almonds and the 100 cal pack of almonds and walnuts by Emerald Nuts (I think, the package is green). The only ingredients are raw nuts and while i would love to buy a large bag of almonds, i sometimes have an issue with portion control so, for me, it is worth it. As for the “other” 100 calorie packs, I wouldn’t touch them with a 10-foot pole, especially after reading the extensive ingredient list.


april June 3, 2009 at 1:35 pm

I used to buy them a few summers ago but they never satisfied any cravings. I’ve seen them everywhere now- even the dollarstore brands are coming up with their own! I don’t eat them now because 1. they don’t have any sort of nutrients or fiber/protein that would fill me up and 2. they are so dang tiny! I’d much rather have a huge 100 calorie apple or something of the sort.


KK @ Running Through Life June 3, 2009 at 1:39 pm

Originally, I was all for the 100 calorie packs since the calories were predetermined for me. But then I started to think how little I got for my 100 calories. Along with that, I decided to cut out processed foods. So, good bye 100 calorie packs and hello fresh fruits and veggies!


Meredith (Pursuing Balance) June 3, 2009 at 2:11 pm

My thoughts: too expensive, too much packaging = bad for the environment, and full of weird/scary ingredients. If you need portion control, it’s better to buy in bulk and separate into re-washable tupperwares.


valerie June 3, 2009 at 2:19 pm

I stopped eating these as well b/c they are full of chemicals and the excess packaging is ridiculous. Plus,”diet” food is often processed and really unhealthy. Great post! Thanks!


Erika June 3, 2009 at 2:49 pm

I tried a few of the 100-calorie packs when they came out, but wasn’t too impressed. I think the idea is nice, but I could easily eat 3-4 of the packs. Plus, I am too cheap to spend that much. I only tried the packs when they were on sale as it was, and even that was more than I really could see paying. So, I like to buy things at the best price and I use zippies to provide myself with the amount that is appropriate for me – whether that amount is 50 calories or 300. Plus, I like to eat dried or fresh fruit/veggies rather than packets of cookies anyways. Soooo, they aren’t omething I’ll ever buy again in the future…and I have a feeling they will stick around for a while because they are “easier” and trick folks to thinking they are being better at providing their kids or themsleves goodies in smaller, more reasonable portions rather than really looking at what they are eating. Just my opinion….thanks for the post :)


Heather June 3, 2009 at 3:04 pm

I think they were most popular when they first came out and were new to the world. Now, I think that people are beginning to realize how unhealthy and overpriced all of these snacks are and are finding better ways to watch portion control. I do think this fad will pass pretty soon. I never really caught on to it, but I think that’s mostly because I don’t eat the foods that started this craze. Although, I do agree that I can see where it would be helpful for some people who have problems with portion control.


Jenn June 3, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Honestly I’ve never bought them. They are too darn expensive!

RE: Mara’s list of 100 calorie snacks. I’ll take almost any of those over bite sized cookie packs anyday! Though, I’m laughing out loud at the thought of movie theatres serving containers filled with 12 cups of delicious lettuce – only 100 calories!

In really puts things into perspective. So interesting.


Julie June 3, 2009 at 4:10 pm

I used to eat 100 Cal packs ALL the time when I was on weight watchers and sometimes I would eat like 5 a day and say “okay thats 10 points” but it was 10 points of nothingness. I stopped eating them and now would much rather have 100 calories of healthy fats then processed junk. But I think it’s good for people who are first starting dieting and have trouble with portion control, atleast they can know that that serving is 100 calories.


Faith June 3, 2009 at 4:44 pm

I’ll admit, I’ve tried a few of the 100-calorie packs. (The advertisements are really enticing!) The problem is that they’re just not filling. For me, I’ve found that raw, natural snacks (like an apple and a small handful of almonds) keep me satisfied much longer.


Holly June 3, 2009 at 4:53 pm

I used to be a HUGE fan, and ended up eating 2-3 in a sitting! lol. Needless to say, the 100 Cal People no longer get my money.

That said, I can see how they might be good in certain situations (like my sisters keep them in their purses for emergency kiddo snacks, since they don’t spoil easily – or at all?!). But for me, I’ve definitely learned that I’d choose 15 almonds over these packs ANYday! Man, those Lorna Doones were SOOOO good, though. Sigh.


D June 3, 2009 at 5:13 pm

I buy the 100 cal packs of natural almonds…I like them and they are more satisfying than 100 cal of oreos or something…but I definitely think it depends on the person. If you simply can’t live without a little bit of an oreo then it gives you a good option to portion control it…even if it is the best bang for your nutritional buck. (so to speak)


Angelea (Cabin Fever Feast) June 3, 2009 at 6:03 pm

100 calorie packs have always annoyed me! Too much packaging and waste and it’s so gimmicky and most are just junk.

With a toddler, I always have to be prepared with snacks on hand. I’ve been packaging up dry cereal mixes or Kashi crackers as they travel well. I also keep a fruit and nut bar in my purse for hunger emergencies for anyone in the family that needs it.


Meghan June 3, 2009 at 6:22 pm

I have purchased these in the past as I thought they were neater for bringing to work than dishing out portions of snacks. I once bought some 100 calorie mini cupcakes (Hostess, I think?) and they were waxy and gross!
Packaged snacks like this don’t even appeal to me anymore; I guess the body gets used to not having things and doesn’t crave them. Give me a big homemade cookie or just some fruit or grain crackers and cheese anyday. Plus the individual packaging isn’t great for the environment!


Michelle June 3, 2009 at 6:51 pm

Thank you so much for writing this. I have been on WW for 8 years..still on it..however in a different mental framework. I have a friend who is now working for WW as one of their online spokespeople and I went off on her yesterday. Why? Becuase ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL of their WW food is full of CRAP! In fact when WW had the ‘Core’ plan which is eat wholesome food until you’re full you couldn’t eat ANY of the WW food. Why? Because it’s not wholesome. I think the thing with diet food..which you pointed out that it doesn’t work. Why?
1. people who are wanting an Oreo..or twenty…should learn to enjoy the 1 oreo.
2. the diet food is a subsitute..however it doesn’t address the issue of overeating. In fact I think it encourages it.
3. Because the diet food doesn’t taste the same, people tend to eat more, trying to get it to taste like a real oreo..or because ‘it’s only 100 calories’.

I haven’t eaten diet food in forever. I don’t eat artificial sweeteners and/or sugar anymore. yeah I miss ice cream, but not as much as you think that you would. Thank you for writing this.

If you want a piece of cake.have it. just don’t eat the whole cake.


Ellen (Peace in Motion) June 3, 2009 at 6:52 pm

I liked the idea of the portion size, but like you said I often ate more than one. While recovering from an eating disorder, I remember one time that I binged on them. I ate an entire box (6 bags!). I felt AWFUL after, but in my mind, at least it wasn’t an entire box of the same cookies.

So I’m not really sure where I stand on them. I feel they could be great for someone who is learning how to eat again, but at the same time, I no longer make room for them in my diet. I realized they were doing more harm than good. Like you said, because they were ONLY 100 calories, I felt it was okay to eat more than one.

I would rather eat 100 calories of whole grains and things that will fill me up, rather than 100 calories of processed junk!


Sarah (LovIN My Tummy) June 3, 2009 at 7:16 pm

I agree with everyone else (mostly). I would rather eat 100 calories of real food then 100 calories of garbage.


Dea June 3, 2009 at 9:25 pm

We eat well, but sometimes I buy quick snacks for the kids’ lunches. Because I had a coupon and they were cheap, I ended up buying Kudos bars that were labeled “100 calories” which kind of annoyed me. I know they’re not the healthiest, but to put that label to make it seem healthier is a scam.

We buy almonds in bulk, and I was shocked to see 100 cal packs of almonds.

I am so proud of my kids because they make healthy choices and stop eating when they’re full. They’ve learned to eat in moderation and not be part of the clean plate club. They even read ingredients.


Amanda June 3, 2009 at 10:40 pm

I used to buy 100 calorie snacks because they seemed “safe” to me. I admit that I was not satisfied after eating them, but felt that I did not trust myself enough to exercise willpower and portion control! I don’t buy them anymore, and prefer to pre-portion my own snacks .. but I do really like those little bags of popcorn that come in around 100 calories each .. perfect personal size!!


Julie June 3, 2009 at 11:07 pm

Hmmm, maybe I don’t have self control issues but it’s never even crossed my mind to eat more than 1 pack in a sitting. I buy the 100 cal cheese nips every now and then because I enjoy a handful of cheese nips and an apple as a snack every once in a while and if I were to buy a box of cheese crackers they would go stale waaaay before I finished the box. I also buy the Kashi individual pack crackers for the same reason; I cannot finsih a full box before they go stale.


Monique August 14, 2009 at 3:46 pm

i see im a little late on this but in a food network show called Food Detectives, they placed reduced fat cheese crackers in identical bags and split the groups into to and just told them to watch a movie. They told the first group they were eating a reduced fat snack and didnt tell the other group anything. At the end of the experiment, they collected the crackers left on both sides and the side that are the so called REGULAR crackers at less than the reduced fat snackers.


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