January 12, 2011

Snickers Peanut Butter Squared

When is a square not a square? Why, when it's a Snickers, of course.

I speak of Snickers Peanut Butter Squared, one of the most aggravating candies I've ever torn into. It packs some decent packaging -- the wrapper helpfully suggests twisting it closed to preserve half of the candy, and said wrapper actually stays shut after twistage. But this innocuous-looking Snickers also reflects a dangerous move in the world of candy.

Snickers Peanut Butter Squared takes a nefarious trend in sweets and wraps it in a cute name. Several candy bars rolled out recently have not come packaged as traditional single bars, but as two small bars in one wrapper. It sounds useful enough -- the two bars give you the option of saving one for later.

Sadly, the only people going to re-wrap a bar for later are those who've recently had bariatric surgery or who are misguidedly trying to tackle a New Year's resolution to lose weight ... but still eating Snickers. Look at it from the candy company's perspective, and you'll see that Snickers saves a great deal of candy with the two-bar format. Each Snickers Squared weighs 1.78 oz. Each standard Snickers bar weighs 2.07 oz.

That's a difference of 0.29 oz. per bar, which sounds minimal until you consider the thousands upon thousands of Snickers sold each year. It adds up to the eater being gypped out of a considerable amount of chocolate while the candy company pockets a pretty penny. Snickers Squared isn't the only example of this dastardly plan, as 3 Musketeers Mint bars have been doing it for quite some time. Snickers is, however, the latest attempt wrapped in a cute name.

Speaking of the name, it's another black mark on the bar. The marketers at Snickers apparently failed geometry, because Snickers Squared bars aren't squares. Squares are flat, while Snickers Squared bars are three-dimensional cubes. Come on Snickers! At least educate eaters while you withhold candy from them!

You won't learn much about the taste of peanut butter with these bars, either. The title ingredient is buried in there somewhere, but it's largely overshadowed by the real peanuts and caramel. These things should be slathered in peanut butter rather than running from the taste like Captain Hook fleeing the ticking crocodile.

It's too bad, because once you get past the blemishes, the bars aren't an unpleasant eating experience. The flavors are fairly well balanced, and I'd probably rate this as a good snack -- three sporks out of five -- if not for the fact that it comes in the Scrooge-like double bar format and fails in every way at living up to the "Peanut Butter Squared" emblazoned on the wrapper.

I'm most interested in penalizing that miserable double-bar design, and Snickers Peanut Butter Squared pays the price with a shameful one spork out of five rating. I will continue to heavily penalize candy bars utilizing the weight-saving two-bar format. It isn't thinking outside the box. It's looking eaters square in the eye and insulting us.