Beware the “Just Baked” Cookie

by Anne Bennett on November 21, 2009

As I was paying for a Diet Coke at Walgreens yesterday, I noticed a  display with giant chocolate chunk cookies at the check out stand. (You couldn’t miss it: it was front-and-center just asking for your attention.) I asked the salesman if the cookies sold well and he replied, “They fly out of here. People love them.” And then he picked one up and squeezed it and said, “Look how fresh they are. They’re still soft!”

Now I’m no genius but neither was I born yesterday. Cookies sold at a chain pharmacy are not fresh. If they’re soft, it’s not because they were baked by some sweet old lady wearing an “I  <Heart>  My Grandchildren” sweatshirt, it’s because they’re probably loaded with fat. No, these puppies were baked hundreds of miles away and shipped frozen.

The gory details were in black-and-white on the back:  Serving size, 1 cookie. Calories, 430. Fat grams, 21. If you’re a Weight Watcher, that racks up to 10 points, or roughly half a day’s allowance.

I wondered how easy it would be for a harried shopper to grab one of those cookies as she paid for her purchases, gobble it in the car and later in the day think to herself, “Why, I didn’t even eat lunch. All I had was one cookie.”

Beware checkout stands everywhere, from Walgreens to Nordstrom (they up the ante by selling Godiva chocolate bars!). It’s been said that chocolate is recession-proof. Retailers know that we’re all running around like chickens with our heads cut off. They know that most of us don’t take the time to pack a healthy snack, and those impulse candy/cookie purchases add up to a nice hefty profit in these challenging economic times.

Think before you leave the house. If you’re going to be gone for more than four hours, pack a snack: a protein bar, one-half of a peanut butter sandwich, anything that will tide you over until you can get to real food. If you don’t plan ahead, you’ll be kicking yourself later when you have to say, “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.”

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

kufrog November 21, 2009 at 12:31 pm

Anne, Those cookies are disgusting and Walgreens makes its employees ask customers if they would like to try one. The sales results are posted everyday. I don’t do very well because there are too many people coming in there who shouldn’t be eating those or any other cookies that are made with so many bad for you ingredients. I’ve tried to convince management to try to sell something healthier or non food related but corporate makes those decisions. Boo hoo! So, weight Watchers and other health conscious eaters out there: let your voices be heard! Call teh Walgreen’s 800 number and demand they offer healthier suggesstive sales.

Margaret November 21, 2009 at 1:53 pm

A couple of months ago I bought a cute little lunch bag over the internet for just ten dollars (9.99 actually- do they really don’t think you will notice it is really 10 bucks). Anyway, each morning before I go to work I pack it with my lunch, a couple of snacks, and sometimes a diet coke. I feel like I am packing for a long trip or something but if I don’t pack my snacks as well as my lunch I find myself at mid-morning and then again at mid-afternoon searching for something to eat. That bag has been a lifesaver. I swear by your four hour rule! Thanks Anne for the work you do for us at WW and on your blog.

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