I was shopping for something sweet when a friendly-looking goldfish cracker with rainbow sunglasses caught my eye. His name is Finn and he has a couple of colorful cracker friends. He invited me to sample a few of them. What is it with product mascots and cannibalism? Doesn’t anyone find it weird that the friendly characters on boxes are asking you to eat their own kind?
Goldfish is targeted at kids. The packaging is cute, colourful and very nicely executed. In fact, Pepperidge Farm is one of the few brands that has consistently good design over its range. But I don’t know why there’s no clip for the bag (like their biscuit range) though, so once open you either need to use your own bag clips or transfer to an air-tight container. I did neither of this, resorting to fold the bag a few times over. Surprisingly, the crackers stayed crisp for two weeks!
The colors of the fishies are very vibrant and is part of the fun of eating them. Some did remark how toxically deep the colors were but I kind like them that way. There’s also a cute website supporting this product. There was a version of the website(2006-ish) that was so well-done I kept going back just to experience it over and over again. Kudos to the marketing team.
For all the aesthetic appeal of the packaging, product and website, the taste is a big letdown. I have eaten Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Cheddar before. I picked Colors because I thought it was a different product failing to read the label properly (same great cheddar taste). The thing is, I didn’t like the normal version that much so it’s no surprise that this cracker and I don’t go swimmingly well together.
Cheddar is a sharp cheese with a balanced buttery saltiness. What is passed off as cheddar here tastes just like 50 tablespoons of salt with none of the creamy cheesy sharpness I’ve come to associate with cheddar. One wonder what kind of “real cheese” these fish crackers were actually baked with.
The box shouts that this is a “baked, not fried fried”, subliminally implying that this is healthy. Yeah, I’ll fall for that one. I did, really.A serving size is 55 pieces or 140 calories. For me, this is more than enough (I usually stop at about 20 per sitting) so I assume it’s more than sufficient to satiate an average child.
A bag lasts for two weeks. If you don’t mind the salty, one-dimensional taste, Goldfish Colors is gives good bang for your buck.
Photo: Pepperidge Farm