Is It Cheaper? Yes! More Healthful? Yes! Creamier? Yes! Tastier? Hmmm.
Apr 26, 2008 (Updated Apr 26, 2008)
Review by henry_thoreau
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Zero cholesterol. Satisfactory appearance and texture. A dollar cheaper than the Weight Watchers version.
Cons:Not fully as flavorful as the Weight Watchers "vanilla" version.
The Bottom Line: For a dollar less than Weight Watchers’ counterpart, this zero-cholesterol product might satisfy your cravings. But, to my taste, this "vanilla" is relatively bland (unlike two other "Fit_&_Active" flavors!).
Oh, the "product-testing" ordeals this Epinioner stoically endures solely on behalf of you, my fellow consumers! ;-) Recently I reviewed Weight Watchers Vanilla Round Ice Cream Sandwiches. In that review I alluded to these Fit & Active VANILLA Ice Cream Sandwiches, which are sold exclusively at Aldi discount supermarkets.
Recommend this product?
Let me more fully summarize the "pros and cons" of this product vis a vis its "Weight Watchers" (brand) counterpart:
It's cheaper. At my neighborhood Aldi, a "24-ounce six pack" costs $2.99. By contrast, the Weight Watchers 24-ounce vanilla sandwiches cost a dollar more ($3.99) at my nearby Wal-Mart Supercenter.
It's "creamier." The ice cream (between the two chocolaty wafer layers) is much firmer than the competing Weight Watchers counterpart, which is relatively "milky" (not "creamy"). Indeed, the Weight Watchers product's "ice cream" center--especially if it gets even the least bit warm--tends to flatten out like the proverbial pancake as you hold/eat it. In other words, the Weight Watchers ice cream squishes outward from between the wafers, making for a potentially messy snack!
Packaging. [Actually, this could be a "PRO" rather than a "CON."] Now, I myself like the clear-plastic clamshell container (which, in turn, is sold enclosed in easy-to-remove, clear plastic wrap). Unlike "boxed" products, you can see the ice cream sandwiches even before you pay for them; moreover, you don't have to fuss with removing each sandwich from a tightly sealed wrapper (impatient bingers, rejoice!). However, some consumers might lament that each sandwich isn't "individually wrapped and sealed" (as is the case with the competing, boxed Weight Watchers product).
Flavor. To my palate, this "Aldi" product tastes "good" but not as good as the competing Weight Watchers "vanilla" product [this is not to mention either Aldi's "standard" vanilla ice cream sandwiches (which are predictably tasty but much too fattening) or "The Skinny Cow" (brand) vanilla ice cream sandwiches (featuring both noteworthy flavor and impressive "Nutrition Facts") that I expect to review within weeks)].
As with many "reduced-fat" versions of vanilla ice cream sandwiches, the "ice cream" is basically white rather than yellowish.
The chocolaty wafers have the traditional appearance and texture. However, I can say much the same thing about their flavor as I said about the vanilla ice cream center's flavor: it's, well, "okay" but somewhat bland.
Nutrition: Basically, this "Fit & Active" product is so nutritionally similar to the competing "Weight Watchers" product that it made little sense to me to discuss the details in the above sections. But I'll outline the key (albeit trivial) distinctions for you directly below [DV = "Daily Value"]:
Calories per single four-ounce sandwich:
"Fit & Active": 130
"Weight Watchers": 140
"Fit & Active": 1.5g (3% of DV)
"Weight Watchers": 2g (3% of DV)
"Fit & Active": less than 1g (2% of DV)
"Weight Watchers": 0.5g (label states "3%" of DV)
"Fit & Active": 0mg (0% of DV)
"Weight Watchers": less than 5mg (1% of DV)
"Fit & Active": 130mg (5% of DV)
"Weight Watchers": 140mg (6% of DV)
"Fit & Active": 26g (9% of DV)
"Weight Watchers": 32g (11% of DV)
"Fit & Active": 2g (7% of DV)
"Weight Watchers": 4g (16% of DV)
"Fit & Active": 18g
"Weight Watchers": 12g
"Fit & Active": 4g (% of DV not stated)
"Weight Watchers": 3g (7% of DV)
Basically, these Fit & Active VANILLA Ice Cream Sandwiches will possibly satisfy--but probably not thrill--most consumers wanting a low-fat version of the familiar treat. As I ate these, I was satisfied with (albeit not ecstatic about) the "look and feel" but was otherwise underwhelmed; I failed to derive very much flavor beyond a muted, homogeneous sweetness. Sure, they're "vanilla," but even vanilla could be a tad tastier than this. ["Aldi", if you're listening, I suggest that you jack up the "natural vanilla" ingredient while keeping all else much the same (albeit the run-of-the-mill brown wafers could likewise be more intensely tasty, as "The Skinny Cow" versions are!). Then this product would elicit somewhat more enthusiasm from this taster (and presumably many others).]
That said, you might find these things yummier than I did. Given that the price is (relatively) low and the "look and feel" is pretty good, I can give this product at least a lethargic "thumbs up." [By contrast, two other "Fit & Active" ice cream sandwich flavors pleased me much more (watch for future reviews). I'm alluding to the "Banana Split" (having a "banana-swirled-with-strawberry" ice cream center) and--more especially--the addictively scrumptious "Cappuccino" (i.e., intensely flavorful "sweet-coffee" ice cream center). You should be able to find the latter two flavors (not to mention an unremarkable "Chocolate/Vanilla Combo" six-pack) randomly mixed in the same large corrugated container (as these ubiquitous "vanilla" thingies are in) within the same freezer-cabinet compartment at your local Aldi store. But it's been my experience that the delectable "Cappuccino" flavor sells fast and thus is seldom actually available.]
Of course, basically all ice cream sandwiches largely amount to "dietary junk," not "real food." Consequently, no such product is likely to get a "five-star" rating from this reviewer. But since man (or woman) doesn't live by vegetable (or fruit) alone, at least it's nice to have a relatively less worrisome way to "sin" when your wayward sweet tooth demands another "fix." ;-)
INGREDIENTS: ICE CREAM: NONFAT MILK, NONFAT DRY MILK, SUGAR, CORN SYRUP, MALTODEXTRIN, GUAR GUM, MONO & DIGLYCERIDES, XANTHAN GUM, POLYSORBATE 80, CARRAGEENAN, DEXTROSE, NATURAL VANILLA. WAFER: WHEAT FLOUR, SUGAR, SHORTENING (PALM OIL, SOYBEAN OIL, CANOLA OIL, TOCOPHEROLS--AN ANTIOXIDANT), HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, WHEAT BRAN FLOUR, CARAMEL COLOR, SOY FLOUR, BAKING SODA, SOY LECITHIN, CORN STARCH, COCOA, SALT, NATURAL VANILLA.
UPC CODE: 041498183622
PRICE: $2.99 (metro-Kansas City area)
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