Lunchables Uploaded

They got me. After reading this week's Hoard's Dairyman Intel about the best new food products of 2014, I decided to try the chart topper "Lunchables Uploaded."

Knowing it was a refrigerated item with dairy products, I first headed to the dairy case in the supermarket. I looked around the cheese and yogurts, but nothing. I traveled to the deli area, then the center of the store to see if they were in the coolers. No luck. Next stop . . . a supermarket employee. He took me to the refrigerated cases in the back corner of the store (opposite of the dairy corner).

There were several sandwich and pizza options. I chose pepperoni pizza and returned to the office for lunch. Upon opening the "Uploaded" box, I was surprised at its contents. A 10-ounce bottle of water rolled onto the table. I proceeded to pull additional items from the package including a fruit rollup, Kool-aid mix, and Cheez-its.

Then came the pizza crust, a package of sauce (twice the size of a ketchup packet), pepperoni and shredded cheese. I added the sauce, cheese and pepperoni to the crust (with no utensils needed) and took a bite. The pizza was a bit cold for my liking, so I headed to the microwave and heated the pizza. That is when I really liked what I was eating! Even cold, I would still purchase another Lunchables Uploaded. My only suggestion . . . more cheese!

Why are these "lunch in a box" so popular? I believe it's the one-stop experience. You get a beverage, main entree and snacks. It would be handy in a small cooler in the cab of a tractor or packed in an ice chest for the county fair. And, for about $3.50, it is more cost-effective than a fast-food meal and, for many, healthier. I am not a calorie counter, but the package lists Lunchables Uploaded at 410 calories, while a plain hamburger and small fry is 450 calories.

I think I have found a new corner of the grocery store to shop.
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The author is the online media manager and is responsible for the website, webinars and social media. A graduate of Modesto Junior College and Fresno State, she was raised on a California dairy and frequently blogs on youth programs and consumer issues.