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A WhoNu Review

by Nick

Over the past few weeks I’ve seen a huge amount of advertisements for a new brand of cookie called “WhoNu?”  They make a few different varieties of cookies that are supposedly much more nutritious than other brands of store cookies.

I thought it would be fun to see what the deal is with these guys.  Are all the nutritious claims true?  Do they taste good?  Is there a catch? (Hint: yes)

Before I get too far into the post, I think it’s important to remind everyone that I don’t get paid for these types of posts.  If I ever do get compensation for a post (or if a company sends me free stuff to review), I’ll disclose that first thing.

In this case, I paid my own hard-earned bucks for this bright orange box of cookies that I’ll never eat.

All for you.

Marketing Geniuses

Before I even get to the actual cookies, I think it’s worth noting that the marketing team behind these cookies is firing on all cylinders.  The box that the cookies are in is bright orange and stands out in the cookie aisle.

They also modeled each cookie off of already popular cookies.  So when you’re standing in the aisle, there are Oreos and these right next to each other.  That’s on purpose.

They want to go head-to-head with other cookie makers.

Nutritional Claims

All over the box and in the commercials for these cookies, they shout about how nutritious these things are.  Besides the above statements, here’s some other that are found all over the box:

- As much Vitamin A as an 8 ounce glass of tomato juice
- As much Vitamin B12 as a cup of cottage cheese and fruit
- As much Vitamin E as two cups of carrot juice
- As much Iron as a cup of spinach

The list really does go on.

I checked on all of their nutritional facts and here’s a few things I noticed.

1) They are all true.  I verified all of the nutritional claims that they have on the box and they are all true.  This didn’t really shock me.  They wouldn’t print a blatant lie on a new national product like this when people are obviously going to fact check them.

2) Oatmeal is a stretch. The one nutritional claim that I was super-skeptical about was the oatmeal claim.  Oatmeal has a lot of fiber in it.  A serving of these cookies has three grams of fiber, about 12%.  At first I thought I caught them in a lie because a serving of real rolled oats (the oatmeal I use) has 8 grams per serving, almost 40% of your daily needs.

After some thinking though, I realized that they are probably talking about instant oatmeal.  Sure enough, instant oatmeal has three grams of fiber.  So they aren’t lying, but it’s a big stretch.

I really think they shouldn’t be able to claim this has the same fiber as oatmeal.  They should have to say that it’s the instant variety because the health differences between real oats and instant oatmeal are huge.

3) Right foods.  Wrong reasons.  After looking up all of their facts, I realized what they are doing.  For the most part, they are taking a food that we associate with health, and matching up one of the lower amounts of vitamins in that food.

For example, they say as much Vitamin E as carrot juice.  Carrot juice is super-healthy, but it doesn’t have a lot of Vitamin E.  It has a HUGE amount of Vitamin A.  This goes for pretty much all of their comparisons.

Nutritional Facts

As always, when I’m evaluating a food product, I check out nutritional panel first.

Here’s what I noticed:

- These have 10 calories less than a serving of Oreo Cookies.

- These have .5g less saturated fat than Oreo Cookies.

- These have 1g less of sugar than Oreo Cookies.

So these are basically just slightly healthier Oreo cookies.

The Taste Test

I’m not a huge cookie guy although I’m occasionally a sucker for a chocolate chip pretzel cookie.

I have to be honest though, these tasted exactly like an Oreo cookie.  I can’t imagine that anyone would be able to tell the difference in a blind taste test unless you are an Oreo aficionado.

If you like Oreos, you’ll like these.  I’m assuming that their other cookies are probably equally good as other mass produced cookies.

They do not, however, make a double stuffed variety.  But you can make your own I guess.

More Nutritional Comparisons

I thought it would be fun to do some of my own nutritional comparisons on these cookies since they seem to be so big on comparisons.

A serving of WhoNu? Cookies has:

  • The same Sodium content as two slices of bacon.
  • More sugar than a Jolly Rancher candy.
  • More calories than a 12 ounce can of Coca-Cola.
  • More fat than a Twinkie.
See what I did there?

A Cookie is a Cookie

The super-important thing to remember about these is that you’re still eating a cookie.  Don’t get blown away by their marketing department and sub-par nutritional comparisons.  You can’t eat 6 servings of these cookies every day and think you are good to go on nutrition.

It’s still a cookie and should be treated as what it is… a dessert.

At the end of the day, just take a daily vitamin and then you can straight-up ignore all of their nutritional claims and see it for what it is:  A cookie.

Why I Don’t Like WhoNu?

I don’t like this brand because they are capitalizing on uneducated Americans.  I absolutely guarantee you that there are people feeding these cookies to their kids for breakfast thinking that it’s the same as a bowl of oatmeal.

We don’t need any more confusion in the grocery store aisles.  We need clarity.  Making healthy cookies isn’t going to cure our obesity problems.  In fact, I think it will make them worse.

I like a cookie every once in awhile (WhoDoesnt?), but I don’t need my cookies to have some weird amount of Vitamin K.

I want my cookies to have butter.  And Chocolate.  And be worth it.

Feel free to eat cookies, but don’t think that by eating these new “nutrition rich” cookies that you are somehow doing your body a favor.