Simple Truth Berry Blend Trail Mix (Kroger)

A package of Simple Truth Berry Blend Trail Mix
A lot of berries with some nuts thrown to qualify as a "trail mix".

There were some Halloween clearance items the last time we went to Kroger, and there - amongst the name brand candies with orange packaging - was another cart of clearance with some random non-holiday junk. I’m a sucker for junk. 

I don’t even remember what else was in there, but among all the things that I completely ignored (or forgot about), there was one thing that caught my eye. A white packaging in a sea of darks and neutrals: one single bag of Simple Truth Berry Blend Trail Mix. The original price was a shockingly high $3.29 for a 6.5 oz bag; it was marked down to a shockingly low $1.25! At first, I thought it was nearing its expiration date, but a quick check revealed it was good through May, 2022. I wanted a snack for work the following week, and since trail mix is one of my favorite options, I didn’t hesitate to grab it. I would be lying, though, if I didn’t admit that a mix of five different berries and two different nuts seemed a little bit like one-sided overkill. 

Inside the little bag is a combination of dried cranberries, blueberries, cherries, goji berries and yogurt covered blueberries, all of which combine to give it the “berry blend” moniker; almonds and cashews round it out to technically make it a “trail mix”, instead of just a bag of dried fruit.

My original impression was correct: It is one-side overkill, as the flavor doesn’t really change much from bite to bite. It’s also desperately missing a sweet ingredient. I know what you’re thinking: “WHAT?! It has five different berries, how can it not be sweet?” Well, it is. But even though all of them are different (aside from the curious decision to include both regular and yogurt-covered blueberries), they are all in the same class of fruit. This means they hit the tastebuds in more or less the same way. Having something else in there - like semi-sweet chocolate candies, or something similar - would have helped to give it a more well-rounded flavor profile that could have brought everything together. 

Now, let’s look at value: At its original price, there’s certainly none to be had. I know, I know, Simple Truth is Kroger’s “healthy” line, featuring “organic” and “all-natural” ingredients so they can upcharge a dollar or two more. However, take a look at this ingredient list: Titanium Dioxide? How in the hell is that natural? Soy Lecithin? I know it’s in a lot of things, but that doesn’t seem like an “all-natural” ingredient. And none of this is organic, so why the huge markup?

At any rate, there definitely is some value to be had at its $1.25 price tag, and since that was my purchase price, that’s the one upon which it will be graded. Most large bags of trail mix are about 26 oz. which is four times the size of this one. Multiply the price by the same integer (is that the right term…I hated math) and you get $5, which is actually quite good for such a large amount of trail mix. 

It’s something not great, but for a great price. And that has to count for something, right?

Overall: 6/10. The “Berry Blend” part of the title doesn’t lie, as there are an overwhelming number of berries with a few nuts thrown in just so it can be called a trail mix. At its regular price ($3.29) this is wildly overpriced, considering it’s not organic, and might only be “all natural” in the loosest sense of the term. But for its clearance price of $1.25 per 6.5 oz. bag? Now that’s a solid deal, coming out to an even $5 per 26 ounces (roughly the size of “large” trail mix bags). The flavor does get a little old thanks to the berry overload - it could use some chocolate pieces, or something else to break up the monotony - but it’s edible and presumably quite healthy. If you see them in a cart full of random junk at Kroger, it’s worth picking up a bag or two.