Monday, July 6, 2009

The Original Flavor

Every good product eventually reaches a point of such success that its makers are faced with the question: Do we create additional versions of the product or do we continue with our current offering alone. Like a sequel to a movie, adding additional variations rarely improves upon the original. As a result, it's usually the original flavor that's the best. ... but that doesn't seem to be enough to prevent companies from continuing to try to improve on perfection.

At a recent trip to the supermarket, I found two such examples:

While the 'Double Stuf' comes pretty close to being as good as the original, Nabisco seems to have taken things to a whole new level with this wide assortment of products. (I know there are lots of folks who prefer Double Stuf, but I still favor the original.)

Oreos are a classic which are hard to improve upon. I've tried a number of these product variations and none comes close to the original snack.

Like the Oreo, the original Cheez-Its approximate perfection. Cheez-Its and a can of Coke is one of my favorite ways to binge.

While, in theory, there are lots of great options in terms of cheeses to use, the original cheese flavor seems to work the best. The White Cheddar tastes pretty good, but is far too messy. And the new Pepper Jack has a nice aftertaste -- but not a great during-taste.

Additionally, along with different flavors, the Sunshine Company added variety by creating different sizes of the product. The Big Cheez-It is like the original Cheez-It, only bigger. While, in theory, this should result in an even better experience, more often than not, a larger version results in poor eating ergonomics or a disruption in the delicate balance of flavors in the product.

So remember, aside from Cool Ranch Doritos and maybe Hint of Lime Tostitos, it's always best to go with the original flavor.

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