The best thing since sliced bread

Last updated 09:36 02/08/2012

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.

Fewer carbs. Sort of.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?

Less actual bread. So that's how they do it. The clever buggers.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.

Actually more carby than normal bread

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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39 comments
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Karlos   #1   09:44 am Aug 02 2012

Haha I'm surprised it's taken this long for the marketing teams to promote products like this. "We've halved the product so you get half the fat!" It's never half the price though...

AT   #2   09:49 am Aug 02 2012

Yep I was laughing out loud at this marketing genius the other day. I do like the product, I bought the wholemeal ones and they sort of tasted like wholemeal english muffins. Mmm tasty. But the 40% less bread = 40% fewer carbs point of difference was most definitely not lost on me. I didn't go as far as figuring out that it's actually higher in carbs by percentage weight, but I am not surprised....

Busymum   #3   09:52 am Aug 02 2012

And the FGC says that the health marketing claims made on food packaging doesn't need more regulation. Yeah Right!

Angela   #4   10:00 am Aug 02 2012

Well-spotted, well-analysed, and well-explained. And I agree - douchetastic ad there, Freya's!

craig   #5   10:11 am Aug 02 2012

Reminds me of an item in Notes from a Big Country by Bill Bryson (the funniest book ever BTW) where some cake maker was saying "only 20 calories per serve!!!". Hidden elsewhere was a recommended serving size so small you would have problems trying to cut it.

colleen hare   #6   10:16 am Aug 02 2012

Wouldn't buy again, not impressed.

Noodle   #7   10:17 am Aug 02 2012

Yeaahhhhh...but can you toast them?

Geoff   #8   10:28 am Aug 02 2012

Misleading for sure.

J Smith   #9   10:39 am Aug 02 2012

Its a bit like Coke. (Not sure if they do it here, but they do in the States and Canada).

On the outside of the 593ml Coke bottle it says 5.6% of your daily calorie intake. Then if you read the back you will see that it contains 2.5 servings. I always wondered if Coke actually thought people bought a small Coke from a vending machine then drank it over three days...

Ms+S   #10   11:42 am Aug 02 2012

I found the Thins to be quite doughy, like they weren't quite cooked thru. Wouldn't bother buying them again. Just stick to my toast bread


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