On July 18th, Teen Center teens participated in a taste testing, blindly comparing Co+op snack foods to their conventional cousins at the Los Alamos Teen Center. We asked the teens to vote for their preferred (snack A or Snack B) and why. It was fun to hear the explanations for why they preferred one snack over the other and watch everyone compare the snacks with thoughtful faces. Our next blind taste testing event will take place at the Los Alamos Teen Center, Friday, August 22. If you or a teen you know interested in comparing snack foods, then stop by and hang out at the Teen Center’s Back to School Barbeque.

Here are the July 18 results:Graphic


We first compared two types of cheese puff snacks (Cheetos vs. Barbaras Jalapeno Cheese Puffs). There were 10 votes for Barbaras, 7 for Cheetos, and 2 teens remained neutral. Most of the comments about Cheetos stated they were crunchier and had a stronger flavor, while Barbaras had better texture and tasted “more real.”

Then we moved on to Annie’s Bunny Fruit Snacks, Summer Strawberry flavor, versus conventional fruit snacks. This test had some overwhelming results. Annie’s Fruit Bunnies got 16 votes while the conventional received only 4 and 3 teens were neutral. The consensus was that conventional fruit snacks had a strange smell and a more distinct texture while the Annie’s Bunnies were chewier, tasted more natural and the smell was fruitier.

We then compared some conventional root beer to our own Blue Sky Creamy Root Beer and the results almost matched up. The conventional received 12 votes while the Blue Sky received 16, with only 1 neutral. The Blue Sky Root Beer was deemed “creamier, smoother and had a longer lasting flavor.” The conventional was “sweeter and had a softer taste” along with a certain level of spiciness.

Then we compared the lemon-lime flavored sodas. The Blue Sky Lemon Lime soda received only 7 votes and Sprite came in with 12 with 3 teens remaining neutral. The Blue Sky was described to be more “lemony, with a stronger flavor,” and the Sprite was deemed “sweeter with a smoother taste.”

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