Monday, March 03, 2008

Cookie Controversy

Ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you I have a huge penis. They will also tell you that I love cookies. My older brother's weakness is candy, and my younger brother's weakness is porn (both also weakness of mine, just not my GREATEST weakness) but for me nothing does me in like cookies. That's why this time of year is big for me, because this is when the Central PA Girl Scouts are selling those hot little boxes of crack most of us call Girl Scout Cookies. While we all have our favorites, I can't see how anyone can choose any GSC over the Tagalong. I greedily snatch up two or three boxes each year knowing that it will be 11 months before I can again enjoy their goodness. But now I no longer have to wait, because those crafty little elves at Keebler (I prefer Keibler) have basically ripped the Tagalong off.

So here are the contenders: The reigning champ, The Tagalong and the challenger the Keebler Peanut Butter Fudge Shoppe Cookie. The Tagalong has been with us for years, and is an original but the KPBFSC is trying to win your heart with it's availability. Let's take a look at the match up:

The Girl Scouts call them Peanut Butter Patties, but we know them as Tagalongs. Described as "crispy vanilla cookies layered with peanut butter and covered with a chocolate coating" they come 15 to a box which will set you back $3.50. Looking at the cross section on the left, you see the vanilla cookie on the bottom takes up a large amount of the total cookie height, which is then topped with peanut butter.

Keebler needs to come up with a better name for these things because Peanut Butter filled Fudge Shoppe Cookies is just a mouthful. Fortunately, so to are the cookies themselves. One look at the Keebler cross section and you will notice that these cookies are made with a chocolate cookie base, rather than the vanilla the the Girl Scouts use. They also stand taller then the Tagalong (see the line up below) thanks to a more generous slab of peanut butter. The MSRP of the Keebler cookies is $3.99 for a box of 18 but the only times I have ever bought them I got a supermarket sale at two for $6.

(Tagalong on left, Keebler on right) In a double-blind taste test, Inky and I both were able to tell the difference between the two cookies straight away. We both found the difference in the chocolate to be negligible and therefore a push. Inky said that she liked the Tagalong peanut butter better, calling Keebler's "to sweet" and noting that the Tagalong possessed "more peanut buttery peanut butter." I found that I rather liked the Keebler's chocolate cookie base, and gave it the nod in that category as well as in the "availability" "height" and Cookie per box categories.

Verdict: In the end I think the Girl Scouts have a lawsuit for Taste Infringement if they would choose to pursue it. They can use the valuable precedent set in the landmark case of Coke vs Coke Zero to take it to the court. The basis of their suit would be that the Keebler cookie is not only just as good at the Tagalong, but that you don't have to wait a full year to get your fat little fingers on them. The only defence Keebler could use would be the "They've got the big Mac, we've got the Big Mc" line from the McDowell's v McDonald's case in "Coming to America."

Given the choice between the cookies I suppose I would take the Tagalong due in no small part to my long time slavish devotion to them. Oh yeah, and it helps the kids, blah blah blah. However, due to the coquettish nature of the Tagalong's availability I am forced to proclaim that the Keebler Peanut Butter filled Fudge Shoppe Cookie as the champion. Likewise, on the under card, I have to crown the Keebler Grashopper over the Girl Scout Thin Mint for all the same reasons.



XL said...

Having never tried the Keebler brand I have no basis to make a judgement. However, I too am a life long tag a long lover and find it hard to believe that an "elf made" cookie could be better. I will have to conduct my own taste test to find out. Also having a member of the Girl Scout Council living in my house I think I should have a pretty good judge and possible plantiff.

XL said...

See the further investigation on this dilemma over on the Crapper: