Monday, 27 January 2014

Ryvita - it's changed, and become naughty

Think of Ryvita - either the original plain rye crispbread, or its more recent variations - and you think automatically of dieting and sustainable weight loss. It's absolutely the thing to eat if you want a nibble. One 'slice' with something on it will do for breakfast; and perhaps one of the reasons I lose weight when caravanning is that grilling toast using my gas grill is a faff, so I make do with Ryvita.

But lately it's been repackaged, and the product inside is now slightly changed.

First, the packaging. There was nothing much wrong with the old 'waxed paper' wrapping. But now they've substituted a kind of plastic foil, which may keep the product fresher till opened, but I'm thinking has no extra effect thereafter. And it tears easily. Let's see some photos. I like the Sesame variety, by the way, which suits my tastebuds.

It resembles the old pack quite strongly, and the 'per slice' fat and calorie figures are still the same, still reassuring: 0.7g of fat, and 37 kcal. That's with nothing else loaded on top, of course! In one corner, attention is drawn to the 'new feature', the 'foil wrapped freshness'.

Ah, you've spotted that I close up the wrapping with a washing line peg. Not my own original idea, but it works for all kinds of things. Mind you, for the best style it must be the proper old-fashioned wooden pegs: Morrisons sell them. Now for the product itself.

It's the same length and width as the old Ryvita, with sesame seeds stuck on just as before. But whereas the old Ryvita was gently dimpled on its top side, this new version has yawning pits big enough to trap a lion. Imagine what will now happen when you spread on anything. It will mostly disappear into all those pits. And you will probably consume a lot more of whatever is spread, sabotaging your weight loss regime. I'm sure the Ryvita people did not intend to undermine their product's reputation for being the Dieter's Friend, but this will do it. The only workarounds are (a) consume the Ryvita slice unadorned, which isn't terribly palatable; or (b) spread your favourite goo on the underside, like I did:

This avoided using up half a tub of Lurpak in filling all those pits, but it felt exactly like eating something upside-down, and therefore rather silly and odd.

There's another thing. The new Ryvita slice has the same amount of fat and calories as the old, implying that exactly the same amount of raw foodstuff has been used in manufacture. And the new foil pack that contains the slices is the same size as the old pack, so far as I can judge. But turning those old shallow dimples into deep pits has made each new slice thicker. I'll grant that this improves structural strength. Ryvita is brittle, and it's now less likely to crack in two without warning, smearing marmalade and butter (or cottage cheese and tomato) onto your bosom. But if each slice is thicker, and the pack is overall still the same size, doesn't this mean that you get fewer slices in each pack?

That's naughty.


  1. ...and it tastes like cardboard! It may be low in calories but why not just eat less bread? Calorie watching is a mugs game that's why dieting doesn't work. There are diets that enable you to eat as much as you like and still lose weight. It all depends on what you are eating.

    Shirley Anne x

  2. By definition everyone is on a diet. I like Ryvita, lived on them as a student who only got one hot meal per week, some weeks I went mad and had a heated steak and kidney pie as a treat...

    I had started keeping some of these for when bread ran out and keep them in a plastic clip top box, looks like that will be compulsory now.

    Now let me get this right, same content per slice but fewer slices in each pack. Bet we are paying more for those fewer slices!

  3. I love the Fruit Crunch variety, but healthy it is not. Compared to your sesame ones, each slice has 46% more calories and 1350% more sugar. It's a bit naughty selling that one along side other that have long been considered sort-of healthy, but that's marketing for you! I'll still buy a packet with next month's big shop.


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