Sunday, July 31, 2016

Benton's Fudge Mint Cookies (Aldi)


Ever wanted Thin Mint cookies, without the hassle of actually supporting anything?
These little guys snuck up on me by surprise, showing up at Aldi out of nowhere one day. I peruse the ads constantly, so it's rare that there's a product I'm not expecting, but my eyes captured the word “mint”, and I had to move in for a closer look. No way...could these possibly be the world-famous Thin Mint cookies, as peddled by Girl Scouts everywhere at certain points throughout the year? It sounded way too good to be true, but the entire package was a ridiculously-affordable $1.25 so I could spare the expense of finding out.

In short, yes, these are Thin Mints, so run to your nearest Aldi immediately to stock up! My wife says they look slightly different (she thinks the sides of the “official” cookies are smooth, whereas these have a little more texture), but we both agreed that the taste was about as exact as physically possible: they feel light, with a rich chocolate coating that gives way to a perfect little blast of mint, and they even melt in your mouth just like the original cookies...I honestly feel like this is one of the best discoveries I've ever made at an Aldi store!

Curiously, these showed up under the “New at Aldi” section online (something I saw after the fact while checking to see if I had somehow missed them), but there was nothing in-store indicating this, so I'm lucky to have spotted them. I thought these were the first time they've ever been available—I've shopped here for over a decade and had never seen them before—but a little research revealed that they've been available as far back as 2011. They seem to be a seasonal thing, but again, there was no mention of that on the sign, so I would stay on the safe side and load up on these while they're still here.

I'm also a little baffled as to what the Girl Scouts are thinking by allowing other companies to sell private label versions of their products (Aldi also has Tagalongs, which I don't care for much, and Walmart also sells a version of Thin Mints, if not others). I mean, I'm assuming they own the rights to these and have some kind of say about who copies them...or maybe it's just some proprietary formula that the Girl Scouts “lease”...? Sorry, just thinking out loud here. Either way, it must not be hurting their bottom lines any, because these seem to have been available off and on (probably during off-times for the Girl Scouts fundraisers) for at least a few years now. I'm sure there are those loyal people that will still pay $4 a box (or maybe it'll go up even more this next season?) to get the real thing, but I won't. I mean, look, the Girl Scouts are no doubt a great cause, but at the end of the day, these are just cookies. Cookies that I get sick of pretty quickly. And if you're telling me I can grab three packages at Aldi for less than the cost one box of the “official” stuff...well, sorry to sound like a dick, but our money is tight, and I'm going to go with the cheapest option.

Then again, this will probably end up being the only package I get all year anyway.

Overall: 10/10. These don't just look or taste like Thin Mints...these are Thin Mints. My wife assures me that the appearance is slightly different, but we both agreed that everything else, from taste on down to texture, is completely the same. And best of all? They're only $1.25 a package. I'm assuming these are available during “down-time” from the Girl Scouts fundraisers (a quick glance on the Girl Scouts website revealed that my zip code is 188 days away from cookie season), so this is a great way to stock up on these while you're eagerly waiting to pony up $4 a box to raise money for your granddaughter, or to support the daughter of a friend's friend. Or, you could just buy a ton of these, freeze them, and not have to declare bankruptcy. The choice is yours!

NOTE: I have noticed the price fluctuates on these; maybe it has something to do with the time of year? Following the publishing of this review, they dipped to $.95, and now, as of June, 2019, sit at $1.45. They're stupendous at any rate, but keep an eye out for potential price drops in colder months.

DOUBLE NOTE: There are other varieties available as well, all that knock off the popular fundraising cookies, including peanut butter, and one with coconut, so if these aren't your thing, they should still have you covered. Personally, I don't really care for the other flavors much.

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