14 March, 2011

New Cheez-It Flavors

Photo of original Cheez-Its by Evan-Amos
Kellogg's Sunshine Biscuits has been aggressively working Cheez-Its lately.  It's impossible not to notice the large number of new flavors and flavor combinations that have been hitting the shelves.  Back when I was a kid, walking five miles to school barefoot in the snow under a blazing sun uphill, we only had one variety of Cheez-It, and that was "cheez."  Cheez, as you probably know, is a tangy bright orange product of vaguely dairy origin with a flavor reminiscent of cheap mild cheddar. For years, it was all we had.

Now, of course, there is some kind of corporate rule that doesn't allow anyone to sell less than three varieties of any single product.  That's why there are a dozen different flavors of Cheerios, for example. and that's why there are more than 15 different kinds of Cheez-Its these days including the obligatory stupid ones based on cartoon characters.  You might think that would be enough variety for anyone, but no, Sunshine has three new Cheez-It flavors and right now, those flavors are duking it out in a Snack Food Cage Match to determine which one will be introduced into the regular Cheez-It lineup.

I found out about this competition purely by chance; Lynnafred and I happened to be in Stop & Shop and passed by a big display of little boxes of Cheez-Its.  Each box, selling for a dollar, contains one small pouch of each of the new flavors: Colby, Asiago, and Romano.  Printed on the box is an invitation for the snacker to log onto Cheez-It's website and vote for their favorite flavor.

Pretty cool idea, and mad props to Sunshine for getting people to pay cash money for samples that they would once upon a time have given away free.

Here's what I thought of each of the flavors:
  • Romano - Quite authentic Romano cheese flavor backed up by a surprisingly strong buttery flavor throughout. Really took me by surprise because I don't ordinarily associate the two flavors very closely, yet here they were.
  • Asiago - Sharp and tangy, but not nearly as sharp and tangy as the real thing. I completely understand, too, because good Asiago can be an aggressive cheese, and I think most people who are used to encountering it in "five cheese Italian" blends aren't going to be ready to be slapped in the face by real Asiago cheese.  Anyway, I think it's a good choice for a cracker flavor.
  • Colby - Very much like the original Cheez flavor, but with a bit more depth to the cheese flavor. It's familiar and cheesy and kind of orange, so it wouldn't surprise me if Colby emerged as the winner in the voting.
You can click here to go to the Cheez-It website, where the voting screen is the default display at the time of this writing.  When I went over there, I was surprised at the number of votes each ad had gotten - they were in the millions! - but you'll soon find that the actual numbers are fairly meaningless, because Sunshine is giving people an opportunity to cast thousands of votes by doing things such as Liking them on Facebook.


Michelle_Randy said...

My sister and I used to love to eat Cheez-Its by dipping off a chunk of cream cheese with them. Something about the smooth, creamy with the cheesy crunch. Would you like some cheese with your cheese? :D

Anonymous said...

I used to love Cheez-its back in college. I'm going to have to check out these new flavors. Only problem, the one I like best probably won't win and will be discontinued.

Just like those special pop flavors they come out with now and then. I try one and it becomes my favorite soda, then they stop making it.

Liz Parker said...

I actually did get this sample box for free, through Cheez-It on Facebook, and I devoured them yesterday. My favorite was the Colby as well. Do you know if that or the other two flavors are in stores yet?

Dave said...

Liz -

They're not in stores individually yet, only in the little sample boxes. Colby is ahead in voting last time I looked.

Liz Parker said...

Aww. I was craving more of those Colby ones, was going to stop at the store on the way home.

Guess I will stick with regular cheddar for now. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Picked up Asiago cheese at Walmart tonight. The box states "Walmart Limited Edition:.. Asiago was the top choice at WALMART. Enjoy the great taste. For a Limited time only!"

I am hoping Colby and Romano can be found at Target and Kmart or 7-11.

Love Cheez-its...

Anonymous said...

I like to taste blue cheese cheez it's I've tried all the Cheez it flavors. I love them keep it up