Someone sure likes coffee creamer


Adventures in food absurdity

We were about to head for the grocery check out, when I realized I’d forgotten tofu.  We walked over to the tofu display of our enormous major grocery store located in what is probably the most health-obsessed county in the USA.  My better half, who doesn’t do much grocery shopping, marveled at the tiny selection: a mere 3 square feet of space allotted to tofu packages.  I picked one up and headed around the corner of the aisle, past a display of what people really want to buy:

Giant vats of sugar-sweetened, artificially flavored coffee creamers.

This display was probably 20 square feet, and there were more displays of coffee creamers in the dairy case.  That says something about what people are really eating, vs. what they say they’re eating.

Honestly, what does anyone do with a gallon of this stuff?  Drink it like milk?  Pour it on cereal?  Drink dozens of cups of grossly over-sweetened coffee everyday?  Way to ruin coffee.

In case you need more ideas to use up your big vat of treacly artificial coffee creamer, there’s a Coffee Mate website, with recipes.  For example, if plain old sugary coffee creamer isn’t enough, you can add brown sugar and butter to your White Chocolate Caramel Latte Flavored espresso.  Or use Chocolate Chip Cookie Flavor creamer to make French Toast Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups.  Gah!

And if you can’t believe anyone would put Chocolate Chip Cookie creamer in coffee, how about Girl Scouts® Caramel Coconut flavor, or Snickerdoodle.  At some point, why bother with the charade of putting this stuff in coffee.  Just drink it straight.  The giant vats are starting to make sense.

Nutritional aspects of coffee creamers:

  • Serving size is one tablespoon, but who uses just one tablespoon?
  • 35 calories, mostly from sugar, the rest from fat
  • no protein.

That’s it.  Nothing else of consequence.  The first 3 ingredients are water, sugar and soybean/cottonseed oil.  Then it’s pumped up with flavors, colors and thickeners.

By comparison, a tablespoon of whole milk has 10 calories and about 1/2 gram each of protein and fat.  Unfortunately, plenty of people have now been trained to think coffee drinks have to taste syrupy sweet, with junk food flavors that hide the actual coffee flavor.  Few people are going to put plain milk in their coffee.  The good news: products like this make my job easier.  Finding products to critique at the grocery store is like shooting fish in a barrel.  And someone is always adding more fish.

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