Although the old conferences of the four basic food groups (fruit & veg; dairy; meat; breads & cereals) are now only a legacy of a bygone era, Munch Mania is a regular staple of college life. The contenders these days are all comfort foods, some venerable choices from the Ivy League of college student snack foods to the grab-n-go junk foods which are more than just poor seeds.
In the Fruit and Veggie Conference we see some upstarts. Red Velvet Oreos will probably get buried by the fightin’ Irish Potatoes, but Chocolate-Covered Potato Chips I think may be a Cinderella story against good ol’ Oreo Cream. Two others worth watching are Baby Carrots vs. Cool Ranch Doritos and Kale vs. Mashed Potatoes. Will healthy choices overtake those that have been taking a beating lately in the media? I think Cool Ranch will buy the farm against Carrots, but Kale is going to get whipped by Potatoes. All the others in this Conference are fairly evenly matched, although I think Krimpets will appeal to the local fans only and Ben and Jerry’s is going to go pretty far given the depth of their bench. I also predict a knock-down, drag-out struggle between the two biggest powerhouses, but in the end Ramen will come up a day late and a dollar short against #1, Mac & Cheese, which will dominate.
Favorites of the Dairy Conference such as Grilled Cheese and the newer Go-Gurt will steadily ooze their way forward. The only other one to at least give a nod to processed cheese foods is Chili Cheese Dogs with its own special blend of liquid and solid performance, that’s good on the go. I think, Everlasting Gobstoppers will not last long, and will get stopped in their tracks by the spicy unpredictability of Chili Cheese Dogs. The jet-set will have their battle between Pocky and Nutella. I think Nutella will advance, but will get stuck going up against Donuts. Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans and Lucky Charms Marshmallows will not be magical. And although I think Cold Pizza will upset #5 Chex Mix, Brownies will dominate Peeps, because Chex Mix and Peeps are seasonal at best, and the winners will be Cold Pizza and Brownies, which are well-known, well-loved and good year-round.
Which choices in the Meat Conference are a cut above? While Vegetable Fried Rice has more sizzle, Cup of Meatballs has more substance. Pierogies will take too long to catch French Fries. Totino’s Pizza Rolls and Mihn Egg Rolls will get frozen by Philly Soft Pretzels, and Buffalo Chicken Dip. The touch of home coming from Cap’n Crunch, PB&J, Chips & Salsa, and Chips & Dip will get crushed by the fast action of Skittles, Popcorn, Cheez-Its, and Cheese Puffs. They however will all get dominated by either French Fries or Philly Soft Pretzels, but it’s too close to call in the battle between those two.
Finally, the Breads and Cereals Conference has its stalwarts: Granola Bars, Trail Mix, and the oldest hold-out: Animal Crackers. Sushi will swim past Happy Meals. Gummy Bears will try to claw their way, but Reese’s Cups will be sweeter. Slim Jims will stomp Spinach. While the beverages will all run together because of fluid performance, Coffee and its sister Iced Coffee will flow past aggressive Monster and laid-back Herbal Tea, and spurt into the lead.
In fact, who do I predict will win it all? I may be swayed by the size of the fan base for these two, but I think the final match-up will be Coffee vs. M&M’s.
Every round of Nomnomnomatology, you have the opportunity to vote for your favorite foods and enter a drawing for your own personal study room for you and your friends from May 3 through 7, 6 p.m.-3 a.m. On Monday May 4, we will serve you the top four foods from our bracket! To enter in person, use the box by the printed bracket at the front desk. Or vote online here. Online voting counts as a entry to the drawing. The winner must be a current Villanova student and must present a valid Wildcard to receive room access.