Big Bean Bar Versus Sausage Roll: Who Wins?

In a move clearly designed to leverage grand final excitement, SPC has launched two baked bean-filled snacks which it is promoting as a healthier alternative to sausage rolls and pasties. Just how do the Big Bean Bar and Big Bean Pocket stack up when it comes to nutrition?

The 125 gram Big Bean Bar and 200 gram Big Bean Pocket are both selling through 7-Eleven, BP Express, Coles Express and supermarket chains. The announcements release boasts that the bar has 62 per cent less saturated fat and 34 per cent less energy than a comparable sausage roll. That’s true enough, but it’s not the whole story. Let’s check the data for those two products and their obvious rivals, a 117 gram Four’N Twenty Jumbo Sausage Roll, and a 175 gram Four’N Twenty Pastie.

  Big Bean Bar Big Bean Pocket Sausage Roll Pastie
Energy (kJ) 831 1338 1264 1943
Protein (g) 4.8 7.5 9.1 9.1
Total fat (g) 5.5 9.0 15.3 23.1
– Saturated fat (g) 2.8 4.6 7.3 11.0
Carbohydrate (g) 29.3 46.8 30.7 55.1
– Sugars(g) 5.8 9.0 2.1 3.0
Fibre (g) 1.6 2.4
Sodium (mg) 689 1102 842 788

One obvious advantage is the fibre from the beans; neither a sausage roll or a pastie have any meaningful fibre content. Conversely, the protein content in the roll and pastie are higher, though that also leads to a much higher fat content. A single Bean Bar accounts for just under 10 per cent of the typical daily energy requirements for an adult, which is OK for a snack.

As with many convenience foods, what you really have to watch for is sodium. The Bar accounts for 30 per cent of recommended daily intake; the Pocket a whopping 48 per cent. Both are worse than their “traditional” counterparts. Getting half your daily sodium intake from a single snack isn’t ideal.

Our advice, as ever, is simple: indulge occasionally, but don’t overdo it. (At $3.50 and $4.50 respectively, you could get quite a few home-cooked snacks for the same money.)


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