The best thing since sliced bread

21:36, Aug 01 2012

Never let it be said that I'm not a sucker for bread products. If it's new and it's doughy there is a better than average chance that it will end up in my supermarket trolley.

A while ago, I noticed a new product from Freyas, "sandwich thins". At that point the Silver Fox and I were working steadily through our soup stockpile and I was looking for something to have with my soupy lunch that wasn't just ordinary bread. I'd had a bit of that already and fancied something a little different. Given that I have a preference toward round foods (cakes and pies are generally of this shape, it should be noted), it's no great surprise that we picked up a pack (in doing so overlooking the grammatically questionable claim of 40 per cent less carbs). If this bready stuff was less carby than normal bread, then that was nice too but it wasn't our main reason for purchasing it.

I was noshing over some soup for lunch earlier this week, and had the Freyas with me as I'd brought the last of the sandwich thins with me that day. I had been aware of a small asterisk on the packet where the reduced carby-ness was mentioned. So what was the catch, I wondered?

As it turns out, the catch is to compare the thing you're marketing with something that has nearly twice the mass of that thing. Basically Freya's sandwich thins (one rounded bread thing slice in two) weighs 45g. The 40 per cent difference is largely explained by it being not as big as two normal slices of Freya's bread which weigh in at 84g.

To illustrate what's going on here, I made a graph. Because I like graphs even though the maths required to make them can sometimes make me a bit grouchy.

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Basically by weight a bread product with 40 per cent fewer carbs than our standard two slices, if it has the same composition, would weigh in the vicinity of 52g. If the 40 per cent claim is true then a 45g serving of sandwich thins actually has the carb equivalent of a heavier product. What that means is that the composition of sandwich thins is MORE carby than that of normal bread.

And if all that doesn't twist your noodle a bit then you've got a much stronger grip on things than I do. I've puzzled over this so hard I may have actually burnt carbs in the process (yay, me!).

Which actually explains why sandwich thins, to my tastebuds, had a slightly sweet flavour to them. It's probably because they have more sugar.

So, I guess what I'm saying is, if you want a lower-carb bready thing to have with your soup, you should just have one slice of bread instead of two. You will immediately be consuming 50 per cent fewer carbs with your lunch. A. MAZ. ING.

Look, I know marketers will always accentuate the perceived positive in any product but I find it a bit rich that a product that gives the impression it's low carb is actually the opposite. The main feature of this product isn't that it has fewer carbs, it's that it's smaller. End of story.

Is it just me or has Freyas been a bit douchey with its marketing here?

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