Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fiber Face-off: Pop-Tarts vs. Fiber One

So you’ve seen them on the shelves and you think to yourself, “Hmm, 20% of my daily fiber in a Pop-Tart? Sounds like a good idea but they probably taste like a bail of hay.” Am I right? Well I’ve tasted offerings from 2 companies producing these fiber filled pastries so lets see how they stack up.

Tale of the Tape

Let’s begin with the technical stuff. For this post, I purchased 1 box of Pop-Tarts Frosted Chocolate Fudge and 1 box of Fiber One Frosted Chocolate Fudge. The first thing I noticed was that, for nearly the same price, the Pop-Tarts brand included 8 pastries. The Fiber One brand only included 6. Not a great start, Fiber One. Packaging aside, let’s get to the nutritional details.

As you can see, the Pop-Tarts have just a little more fat and 60% more sodium. A case could be made that, even though they both have the same amount of fiber, the Fiber One brand is just a little healthier than the Pop-Tarts brand. Hmm, I wonder if that extra fat and sodium is going to make any difference in the taste…

Alright you two, let’s have a clean fight.

Before we get to the taste, let’s have a look at both brands side-by-side. Both come in similar foil wrapping. However, the Fiber One wrapping has a more generic look with a little extra material. When you open them up, you’re looking at two pretty similar pastries with some slight differences. First, although it’s difficult to see in the picture, the Fiber One pastries (Right) are just a bit smaller than the Pop-Tarts (Left). Second, the edges of the Fiber One brand are crimped. This reminds me of the old Post Toaster Pastries. Anyone remember those? Not a bad thing, just different. Finally, there are little white specks on the Fiber One frosting. I can’t seem to figure out what these are or what they’re for. I suppose they’re some kind of decoration but the attempt seems pretty weak.

Ding! Ding! Round One.

I know, I know, you’re dieing to find out about the taste. How will the slimmer challenger, Fiber One, stack up against the chubby champ, Pop-Tarts, where it really counts? Fiber one got in some good licks with the arguably better nutritional stats but they just couldn’t cut the mustard when it came to taste. The Pop-Tarts are exactly what you would expect. They have a slight “whole grain” kind of flavor to them, but it’s not overpowering and they’re still, in every way, Pop-Tarts. Over all, the flavor is pretty good and the texture is about the same as any other Pop-Tart flavor. As for the Fiber One pastries, that’s a whole different story. In fact, when I took the first bite the phrase, “This is awful,” was the first thing to pop into my head. The texture was fibrous and reminded me of that bail of hay. I struggled through the first pastry and move on to the second. I guess my taste buds had given in as they not longer seemed quite as bad as they had initially. That being said, I haven’t really had the urge to try them again.

It’s a knockout!

I’ve said it before, I’m no nutritionist. So to me, the Pop-Tarts are a far better fiber option than the Fiber One brand. Who knew that an extra 100mg of sodium and an extra gram of fat could do so much for the taste?! That being the case, I had to stop the fight in the first round. After all, a little extra fiber in your diet can’t be a bad thing but if you have to choke it down every morning, you might as well buy some shredded wheat or bran cereal.


  1. I saw these fiber intruders the other day while grocery shopping and I immediately thought of you. Then, I wondered if you had blogged about them yet. Thanks for not disappointing oh-knowledgeable-pop-tart-man.

  2. I love the fiber one toaster pastries. The chocolate requires proper heating to taste good, you should smell the chocolate in the air before you stop heating it. Also, the strawberry is much better. I don't enjoy pop-tarts very much though.. they taste very sweet and like fake fruit to me.