If you thought Kit Kat sushi was weird, the latest food to get the mashup treatment is going to blow your mind: Candy. Flavored. Cheese.
Yup, you read that correctly — candy-flavored cheese is an actual product that’s available for consumption. And if the bizarre creation isn’t enough to get you pondering the current state of humanity, perhaps the cheese’s intended consumer will. The snack was created to appeal to kids.
Dubbed “Cow Candy,” the Monterey jack cheese sticks come in the following five flavors: fruit punch, grape, honey, orange and strawberry. According to a recent press release, the company’s founder was motivated to merge cheese and candy to develop a snack for even “the pickiest little eaters.”
“As a parent, it can be difficult to find a healthy, easy-to-serve snack that competes with candy,” said Cow Candy founder Danyel O’Connor. “This struggle led to the creation of Cow Candy, a high-quality cheese bursting with fruit flavor to tempt kids’ taste buds and establish healthy snacking habits.”
While Cow Candy does provide 15 percent of the daily value of calcium (1,000 milligrams for children and adults ages four and over, according to the USDH) and four grams of protein, the cheese sticks also contain one to two grams of sugar per serving (for comparison, Polly-O string cheese contains 0 grams of sugar). So the question becomes: Is the calcium and protein worth the added sugar?
Considering that recent studies have shown sugar to be largely responsible for the obesity crisis, we’re thinking no. That being said, Cow Candy does have far less sugar than portable snack alternatives like Danimals Squeezables yogurt pouches (12 grams sugar) or Mott's applesauce cups (11 grams sugar).
And we know this isn't the first time companies have used questionable tactics to market their products to children, but we can't get past Cow Candy's totally-geared-to-kids brand integrations with My Little Pony and Transformers.
Ever wonder why companies use cute, familiar cartoon characters to market to kiddies?Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab explains that when grocery shoppers can make eye contact with the brand ambassador (aka cartoon), it creates a more positive feeling toward the product, which in turn makes the consumer more likely to want to buy it.
While candy-flavored cheese may sound like the answer to the prayers of parents with picky kids everywhere, don’t let the meticulously thought-out marketing keep you from properly weighing the pros and cons of a supposedly “healthy” snack.