Thursday, August 27, 2020

A Samoas knock-off taste test comparison

There's two Girl Scouts cookies that I have to have every year. Thin Mints and Samoas, but my favorite of the two are Samoas. That combination of Coconut, Chocolate, and Caramel is so good! Theresa and her mom agree, Samoas are the best cookie around!
There's only one problem. Girl Scout cookies are only sold for 6-8 weeks a year, starting around late January. What are we to do for the rest of the year?
Back in 2010, Keebler had the answer. They started making their Coconut Dreams cookies! Keebler was the first, but the others weren't too far behind.
Today we're going to be trying the three different versions we could find and see which one is the winner!

Going from Left to Right.
1. Great Value Caramel Coconut & Fudge Cookies - Walmart, 8.5oz, $1.38
2. Keebler Coconut Dreams - 8.5oz, $2.56
3. Benton's Caramel Coconut Fudge Cookies - Aldi, 8.5oz, $1.29
And just for comparison, Girl Scouts Samoas - 7.5oz, $5.00

We're doing this taste test in August and despite checking around, I couldn't find anyone who had any Samoas still in their freezer. I'll just pull some pictures from the Girl Scouts website to see what the original cookies look like.

Taking a look at all the challengers, I think they all took a page out of the same book. All the plastic trays are identical, 3 columns with 6 cookies each.

The Great Value cookies are manufactured in Bentonville, AR.

These Keebler cookies were made by Ernie and the other Keebler Elves in a tree in Battle Creek, MI.

The Benton's cookies are made for Aldi in Batavia, IL.

Putting them all together, they look like they could have come off the same manufacturing line.

We've seen that they all look alike, but the real question is, do they all taste alike?
To answer that question, we're doing a blind taste test. Plates are labeled 1, 2, 3, and no one knows which brand is which.

We all sampled cookies 1 through 3, giving feedback on each one. Sometimes going back and taking extra nibbles off one we'd already sampled.

Deep in thought. Which cookie will reign supreme!?!

Here's my cookies. It's time to vote. Well there's one of these cookies that I really don't like. The other two are very very close. Between the two of them it's hard to pick a favorite.

Alright, on the count of three, everyone hold up which number you like the most.
The votes are in.
Richard, Chi, Ian - Cookie #1
Theresa, Alli, Joe - Cookie #3
There's no votes for Cookie #2. It had a really off flavor. All these cookies came from the store recently and they're non-expired, so there shouldn't have been any of those issues.

Time for the reveal.
Ouch! Cookie #2 was the Keebler Coconut Dreams.
The two winners for this taste test were the cheaper store brands. Both the Benton's and Great Value brand cookies tasted great to us. I was checking the manufacturing location on the packages just because they tasted so much alike.

Theresa was happy that her favorite is the cheapest cookie!


  1. Whoa...the most expensive was the worst...goes to show how price isn't always a sign of quality! All three cookies definitely looked the same. Nice, orderly presentation of the exposed cookie trays with its associated the symmetry of the look :-) Noticed how Alli & you displayed "3" in the same way (last 3 fingers) but Theresa did it differently (middle 3 fingers, which is the way I would have displayed "3" fingers, too)...wonder if Alli subconsciously picked that up from you from some previous time. Anyways, that was a fun taste test since it involved coconut/caramel/fudge on a cookie...yum, yum! EOM

    1. I was very surprised. In my head I was sure the worst one would be one of the generic brands. Because of this, I think we're going to try a few other blind comparison taste tests.
      I always thought holding up 3 fingers that way was more distinguishable from 2 fingers held the regular way. Idk, perhaps she picked it up from me. Kids see everything.

  2. Thank you! Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks. I just wonder if the cookies are exactly same and just packaged differently or they are different ingredients and just manufactured by same company so they look same. You can try two cookies from same package and see if your audience give different results ;).

  3. yeah the high fructose corn syrup they add to the great value brand was probably why it tasted better

  4. I wish you had blind tasted the actual Girl Scout version to see if it remained your favorite!