Annie’s Homegrown Cheddar Bunnies

Pros: Wholesome.  Certified organic.

Cons: Colored with Annatto.  More expensive than Goldfish.

In the pre-enlightened era of Baby-Boomer snackhood, it took a PhD in chemistry to analyze most of the junk that we kids consumed.  Every display at the check-out aisle presented tantalizing items from sweet to chewy to crunchy – to the bane of over-stressed parents everywhere.

The bulk of these treats offered a rainbow of artificial colors, stabilizers and preservatives sufficient to enable a host of obscure behavioral disorders in a percentage of those junior lab-rats among us.

I know.  I was one of them.

The ensuing quest to avoid such discomforting side-effects in the Atomic Age has led to an Organic one.  The all-natural bandwagon has been rolling for decades, but approach with caution – the middle-aged driver may be in the throes of a Yellow 5 flashback.

No Gouda

Designed to allay such fears, Annie’s Homegrown Cheddar Bunnies are as wholesome and kid-friendly as their cotton-tailed counterparts.  Baked in the shape of running rabbits, their initial crunch reveals an authentic cheese flavor derived from honest-to-goodness Cheddar.  The fact is, both Annie’s Bunnies and Pepperidge Farms’ Fish were created from essentially the same formulation – give or take the pinch of ground celery seed absent from the Goldfish DNA.

Fortunately, my allergy to certain artificial dyes does not include the plant-based yellow coloring Annatto – which is found in both examples.  However, Annatto is known to be an allergen to a certain percentage of other peeps, so parents take note.  In a tribute to Roget’s thesaurus, Annie’s claim is that no “synthetic” colors are used.

Splitting hares

The real grudge match between these two golden boys exists in the area of retail price.  In my experience, Annie’s Bunnies are way-more expensive than the familiar frugal Fish. My impulse buy was further encouraged by a sale that knocked nearly a buck-twenty-five off the $4.19 retail for a 7.5 ounce box (all prices US).  The same store stocked an 8 ounce bag of Goldfish for $2.59 – reflecting its everyday retail price.

The Goldfish label exhibits the word “natural”, where the Bunny’s purple box displays the claims “made with organic wheat” and “certified organic by Oregon Tilth”. Can the Bunny’s slightly lighter weight and better seat on the bandwagon justify the higher price?

Personally, I find Annie’s Bunnies a refreshing break from their piscatorial rivals.  Perhaps this is due to memories of the fifth-grade abuse of my last name.  By imbibing in Bunnies, I am no longer reminded of those on the opposing team who would hurl such epithets as fishface and fishhead at the guy on the pitcher’s mound.  I look at the extra dough as a post-retro form of protection money.

Rabbithead‘s bottom line…

Munch Bunnies and quit Fishin’.  When was the last time you woke up to find a milk chocolate fish in your Easter basket?

Annie’s Homegrown

Berkeley, CA  94710


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