Trail Mix: A Consumer’s Guide

Our world has never had so many trail mix options at its fingertips. What began with a few oats & seeds in a baggie has expanded into a Billion Dollar Market of Morsels comprised of peanuts and their surprisingly huge family of peanut variants, bird seed, awkwardly dried fruit, and hardened banana slices that anyone with a conscience would throw away if unwrapped from a traditional banana.

This trail mix cornucopia has betrayed our respect for food. Take, for example, those ridiculous M&M imitators that hang out in the bags like extroverts at a cocktail party. Everyone wants to be around them, pushing past the almonds, unknown slivers, and (of course) raisins. Sure, we like all of you... unless M&M’s — or their Canadian variant — are available to us.

There is a moral imperative to choose the most fitting trail mix package to match your personality. If you don’t like yogurt, then don’t be caught dead with a yogurt infused bag. How do they get yogurt to turn into those little Kirbys (of the avalanche), anyway? Is there anything holy or righteous about yogurt that looks like larvae? All that to say: you really can’t afford to get this wrong.

Even your average gas station will offer at least 10 different types of trail mix, all comprised of different sweepings from different factories. To save the time and anxiety brought on by choosing the right bag, may I offer this helpful grid? If you keep reading, you have answered affirmatively and agree not to sue me if something goes wrong. Invariably something will go wrong. For example, there’s a good chance you'll discover a cashew allergy — the hard way.

Which Trail Mix variety do I get? Answer these questions and find out:

  1. Do I like trail mix? If yes: continue. If no: pick up some outstanding potato chips. They are likely nearby. I cannot help you beyond that.
  2. Do I like yogurt? If yes: Do I like yogurt that has been abnormally molded to “blend in” with morsels? If still yes: you're a yogurt guy (girl). That narrows it down quite a bit. Godspeed.
  3. Do I like the look of the ingredients? Your eyes will tell you quite a bit about what you’re looking at. After all, that is their job.
  4. Do I feel like going on a trail? Actually, this question doesn’t matter at all.

I truly hope this helps alleviate any paralysis that may take place when choosing the right trail mix. Remember: if you get it wrong, then maybe you shouldn't be eating the yogurt ones. From a friend.