I reached my hand into the bag of Wegmans Mountain Mix and pulled out a handful of the gorp goodness. This trail mix is my go-to snack. I made sure I had more than my fair share of colored bits, those chocolate M&Ms that so nicely pair with the flavor of the cashews, almonds and peanuts. But ... what were these odd colors?
Forest green? A hard-to-place blue? Mustard?
These were not the colors I was accustomed to. A quick glance at the bag, which used to proudly proclaim the candies as authentic M&Ms, showed that this relationship was no more. These were impostors! The label used to say "M&M's Chocolate Candies", and now dully advertised "Milk Chocolate Candies". My wife and I were appropriately saddened by this turn of events.
A subtle yet important distinction
Maybe they tasted okay? A few bites convinced us that these were NOT the candies we were looking for. They lacked the classic M&M crunch and solidity of quality chocolate once you compromised their outer shiny shell. These impostors had a matte finish, a chalky taste and collapsed lethargically as I chewed.
This would not do.
We are not alone in our despair, either. The product's star rating plummeted to ONE and has four (as of this writing) unflattering comments.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, so we hatched a plan. We'd make our own! We turned first to nuts.com, since that's where we buy some of our bulk ingredients. Turns out the raw ingredient costs at Wegmans are far more affordable than our favorite nut e-tailer. Armed with a spreadsheet (and kids wonder why spreadsheet awareness is important in life) and Wegmans app (which is awesome for figuring out pricing from the comfort of my comparison-shopping lair) I did some quick calculations.
Cost spreadsheet for trail mix
Guess what? Turns out for an extra $1.70 and the satisfaction of mixing your own ingredients, we can have our beloved M&M-laden trail mix back. The key question is, will we add proportionally more M&Ms than what Wegmans has in their pre-mixed bag?