Purchased at: Grocery Outlet (Seattle – Madrona)
Price: 33 cents
Ben’s Take: Munching on Ritz Bitz and Oscar Mayer generic meat sticks reminded me of the Mediocrity Principle philosophy. The Mediocrity Principle is based on the scientific notion that the universe is really big. Really big and full of stuff. Then it takes the thought that the Earth and the stuff that lives on it, are based on some pretty basic and fairly common things. Carbon, silicon, hydrogen, iron, oxygen, even a little uranium here and there. It’s all kind of the same stuff that’s all over the place in every galaxy that’s ever had a super nova. I mean, this stuff is all over the interstellar medium.
So you take all of this stuff and all of that space and add an awful lot of time and you shake it up pop it in the oven and out comes life. Maybe it’s intelligent life. Life intelligent enough to come up with Shake and Bake. That’d be pretty cool, huh? Well, the brainologist who came up with the Mediocrity Principle say that not only is that not really that cool, but everyone is doing it. Now, not only is everyone doing it, but the whole Universe is doing it, and they’ve been doing it for a really long time. So what does that mean for us? Why, that means that neither you nor I are particularly special. As this philosophy would have us believe. We’ve been done before.
Now, I don’t know if someone else has done a combination pack of Ritz Bitz cracker sandwiches and mediocre meat, but I can tell you that it’s not special. At all. I mean they’re both two fairly unremarkable products. Buttery crackers with shelf-stable cheese and oily shelf-stable meat. Nothing special there. There’s also nothing particularly special about pairing meat with crackers with cheese. Heck, throw in a little juice box of boxed wine, and you’d have an all-American take on a French classic.
There’s really not much to say about this product combination. The oily meat stick is salty yet flavorless. The Ritz Bitz Cracker Sandwiches taste just like Ritz Bitz Cracker Sandwiches with their buttery hydrogenated goodness and mediocre cheese-like middle. If you’ve ever wanted a pathetic, yet shelf stable party snack then you won’t need to look much further than Oscar Mayer’s Snack Combos. They’re about as underwhelming as snack products come, and I’ve consumed some rather dull meat and cheese products. I mean. It’s an Oscar Mayer meat stick and a Ritz Bitz Cracker Sandwich. It’s so boring, you’ll find space philosophy interesting.
Marisa’s Take: Oscar Mayer’s Snack Combos (not to be confused with Combos Snacks, a snack which everyone seems to love to hate) are one of the newest additions to the processed meat producer’s line-up. Along with its other preserved Oscar Mayer patrons like shelf-stable Fully Cooked Ready-to-Serve Bacon and infamous “instant children’s meals” Lunchables, this is a product that you can ensure will stay unspoiled indefinitely. (Note: We bought and consumed this product several weeks ago, so please disregard the “Use By” date. We usually disregard them anyway.)
As I do for most of our other products, I try to research each product a bit before I write (college memories come flooding back). I shot an e-mail to Kraft, Oscar Mayer’s parent company about locating a specific product page for their Snack Combos. A charming rep by the name of “Maximillian Popielarski” let me know that unfortunately there was not one at this time, but that I should add their site to my favorites and keep checking back for future updates. I know I’ve reached the low point of my life when I’ve bookmarked Oscar Mayer’s website and fervently monitoring it for new additions. Currently, it seems the only place I can find any info are scores of coupon/mommy blogs advertising a $1/2 coupon for these, so I’m gonna put the MSRP at around 75 cents – $1.00. For the record, we paid 33 cents.
This product is really nothing new. It’s just a repackaging for convenience (plus it’s bothering me that the labels on the front aren’t corresponding to the correct compartments). Thankfully, if it’s too difficult for you to buy a box of Cheese Ritz Bits and some low quality sausage bites, Oscar Mayer combines a small amount of each into the perfect snack. It’s 390 calories – sadly, less than a Pepperoni Pizza Lunchables (meant for children). When you think about it, this product is a sad, unhealthier adult equivalent of Oscar Mayer’s Lunchables. If your diet already consists of salty, processed, non-refrigerated food products, then by all means, go nuts. Or should I say crackers?