As anyone that has kids knows that kids snack. There is no way around it. They are growing and burn a lot of energy and sitting down and getting all your calories at three meals a day is just not going to happen. One snack that many parents feel OK about giving their kids are Pepperidge Farm Goldfish. They are essentially made out of flour, cheddar cheese, salt and oil and baked (not fried). Kids love them and while probably not the healthiest thing in the world for them, it’s not the worst either. I was happy to see Trader Joe’s recently release a new product called Trader Joe’s Cheddar Rocket Crackers which seemed to be aimed squarely at Goldfish. But, I’m fine with that! I have been known to make special trips to a regular grocery store to get the Goldfish fix my kids were craving…
So, what is the difference between regular Goldfish and these rockets? I had a look at the ingredient list on the side of both packages. Both are about 140 calories per 1 oz serving. Both have 5g of fat. The rockets have 2g of saturated fat and the Goldfish 1g. The Goldfish have 250mg of sodium and the Rockets 240mg. Goldfish have 20g of Carbs and the Rockets have 19g. Goldfish have 3g of protein and Rockets 4g.
So, you can see that they are very similar in the nutrition information. The actual ingredients on the side of the package are almost identical. So, it appears that who ever is making these Rockets for Trader Joe’s did a very good job of copying Goldfish. But what about the taste? They are very similar in taste and texture. The Goldfish seem to be a little less dense and lighter than the Rockets. I would have to give the edge to the Rockets in the taste department. They are just a bit more cheddarier (is that a word?) than the Goldfish. Not enough to make me drive to Trader Joe’s just to pick up a box or anything.
At the end of the day it’s all about whether my kids will eat them or not. At first they were a little skeptical about them because of the shape wasn’t the same as Goldfish (for those of you that have kids, know what I’m talking about!). But once they started to eat them, they gave them a stamp of approval but almost finishing off a whole box of them. Two hungry pre-teen boys can eat a lot of snacks after soccer practice!
So, how do you rate something as mundane as Goldfish/Rockets? I guess you have to take the industry standard which is Goldfish and compare them. I give the Rockets a slight edge in the flavor department but my kids didn’t care either way. The big thing for me was not having to make a special trip to a grocery store to get Goldfish, which I seem to be doing a couple of times a month. I am going to rate the Trader Joe’s Cheddar Rocket Crackers a solid 8 Bells!