Review #4: Moon Pies vs. Choco Pies

You may be wondering why I want to compare Moon Pies and Choco Pies. It’s a fair question, but it’s got a simple answer: Moon Pie’s official twitter account. Twitter is generally a nonsense cesspool, but one beacon of light is the full commitment to post-irony that you’ll find in such gems as:

Describe how a brand uses questions as bait to get quote tweets and attention in 5 words

When I say this account is family friendly I mean I will be friends with your mom and dad

Anyone who’s good at Twitter always follows the 4 p’s: Proactiveness / Placement / Please Linda / Please come back

And those are all since the beginning of August. If you dig back further, it’s all amazing.

A lot of brands do this kind of thing (Old Spice comes to mind as one that has been in the game longer than anyone), but I don’t think even they compare to Moon Pie for sheer commitment. I mean, look at this one:

“A lot of people ask me “Hey, are Moon Pies any good” and I would say I’d probably eat them even if I didn’t work here that’s a pretty big endorsement”

Can you imagine another official brand account saying “probably” like that? Of course not. That’s ridiculous.

And it worked. Ever since I learned about the account late last year thanks to an AV Club article, I’ve been craving a Moon Pie. And only in the past few days have I finally gotten to have one.

That’s not for lack of trying – though I’ll admit I didn’t try very hard – but there just aren’t Moon Pies in New York City. I checked out at least a half dozen stores that the Moon Pie website says would typically stock them in a different place where I don’t live, including one that says it should stock them in the place where I do live but to no avail.

I would have to enjoy tweets like this one about Frisbee chat rooms being all up on those disc-shaped delights without supporting the company that makes it possible.

But the desire went at least somewhat deeper than just wanting a Moon Pie because their socials were tops; I actually just wanted the snack. I like smores. I wanted to try what are effectively bagged smores. Is that an enticing way to phrase it? Doesn’t matter.

One day, though, I was in an M2M, which is a Korean-plus grocery store that has sadly lost most of its locations over the past couple of years. I was buying pocky or something and noticed they had an individually wrapped thing called a Choco Pie. It looked kind of like what I thought a Moon Pie was supposed to look like. It was 50 cents.

I went to the internet and looked up the difference been a Moon Pie and a Choco Pie. Unfortunately, no one had made a clear, straight-to-the-point YouTube video that I could quickly watch and get the necessary facts from while I awkwardly stood in the aisle – an issue that I have just fixed by releasing this video (you’re welcome, internet).

I bought it. It was delicious. This was at least six months ago. It satiated the specific snack sensation I was so inspired to find, but Choco Pie doesn’t have hilarious marketing, so I still wanted the actual thing.

Well, having spent the weekend in a small city upstate. I finally got myself an actual Moon Pie.

Moon Pies are pretty big, though. I was actually a little surprised at their size, since I have been used to the smaller Choco variant. Let’s unwrap these bad boys and see this a little bit better.

I should have suspected, since Moon Pies have a full hundred calories on Choco Pies (220 vs 120), but this is a lot smore snack. Almost too much, I think. And the Choco Pie? Bite-sized by comparison. I don’t feel compelled to eat another Moon Pie, but I’d be digging the concept of another Choco Pie if I hadn’t just eaten both.

When I was researching the difference all that time ago, I learned that the real measure of this sorta snack is to briefly microwave it and have it warm. Only then will I really know what’s what.

For science.

Law of diminishing returns, am I right?

The Moon Pie is an institution, having been around for literally more than 100 years. The Choco Pie and every other thing like it – there are many – inevitably is naught but an imitation of the thing that the Moon Pie website says was conceived of in a coal mine back in the terrible teens. This Choco Pie comes from Lotte, a Korean mega corporation that has also an film production/distribution subsidiary that released great films like Eungyo, Very Ordinary Couple, and The Terror, Live. They have their hands in a lot of, uh, insert pun here, but for real though.

A box of 12 Choco Pies costs $4. A dozen Moon Pies costs $6. But, that comparison isn’t really fair. A Moon Pie, as we have established, is a little bit too big, but you’re getting more unhealthy snack food for the money. A more direct comparison would be the Moon Pie Mini, which I do not have but is closer in size to the Choco Pie (which lacks a “Maxi” equivalent), and that cost $4 a dozen as well. At that point, it’s not a matter of cost but of taste and convenience.

The latter we addressed – it’s difficult to get my hands on a Moon Pie by any means other than an online shipment, and these types of snacks are exclusively impulse buys for me. Placing an order with the knowledge that I’ll be having a dozen of these things hanging around in my kitchen is a surefire path to intense regret similar to the one I’m feeling right now. So I can’t get the things in the first place, but even if I could, would I? Is the original actually better than its imitation?

Yes, it is. I don’t know if all those extra toxic-sounding chemicals that make up the Choco Pie are resulting in a taste that isn’t quite-but-almost-the-same but still just isn’t quite as good. I mean, it’s less good for you probably, but neither of these things could by any measure be considered healthy, so do the degrees even matter? You shouldn’t eat either, really, so if you’re going to go against what I assume is a doctor’s advice, go with the tastier option.

That’s the Moon Pie

Moon Pies: Seven Point Five Out of Ten

Choco Pies: Seven Point Zero Out of Ten