I've been buying Kodiak brand products for a few years now. It's not something I always keep in stock, but when we're on a pancake kick, it's been our go-to. They're easy to make, they're 100% whole grains, and we all like them.
This past week when I was making my online grocery order, I noticed that Krusteaz brand now has a similar product. Thus The Great Tuesday Morning Pancake Cook Off of 2020 was born!
So for starters, both boxes are 20 oz. The Krusteaz cost $3.77, while the Kodiak was $4.77. INNNNNERESTING.
Let's decipher this a bit. While at first glance it looks like the Krusteaz pancakes have more calories (220 vs 190), notice that while they're saying a serving is 1/2 cup, the grams amount differs (62g vs 53g). Also, Krusteaz is saying you'll get about 9 servings per box, whereas Kodiak says 11. This leads me to think that in theory if you were to stick with this, the Krusteaz pancakes would be slightly bigger than the Kodiak cakes. Of course you can make whatever dang size pancake you'd like, so in way, this is irrelevant.
Moving on down the label, we have identical fat profiles. There's a good amount more sodium (salt) in the Krusteaz than the Kodiak. Moving down a few lines, we also see that the Krusteaz has 7 grams added sugar, compared to the 2 grams in Kodiak. Hmmm...why do they add so much sugar/salt? They balance each other out I suppose.
The protein amount is pretty comparable- 14 grams vs 15 grams. Weirdly enough the Krusteaz lists some vitamin D- reading the ingredient list I'm really not sure where that's coming from. Hmmm.
The preparation is about the same, however the Kodiak cakes calls for more liquid than the Krusteaz. Again, people are going to do what they want- I tend to prefer a thicker pancake so I tend to add a little less liquid than what Kodiak tells me I should use. Both have similar alterations- for more protein, use milk and/or an egg.
I made four of each brand of pancake and plated it up. Yesterday I made a batch of cranberry-blueberry applesauce, and all the kids opted for that instead of syrup.
As for the taste, my kids all ate both up. I mean, really they'd eat cardboard if they could dip it in that sauce. Personally I thought the Krusteaz had a slightly better texture than the Kodiak cakes, but also my griddle is not the best at even cooking, so maybe that was a factor (I cooked the Kodiak after the Krusteaz). The Krusteaz was also more budget-friendly.
From a nutrition standpoint, even though they're not wildly different, the Kodiak cakes are the definite winner. I just don't think that Krusteaz needs that much sugar and sodium! No one really eats pancakes plain, right? Considering that they're a vehicle for fruit or syrup or almond butter or whatever- I think that Kodiak gets it right with keeping it low sugar.
Krusteaz is on the left, Kodiak on the right.
All things considered, I'd recommend the Kodiak Cakes over the Krusteaz purely because they have less added sugar and salt. To me it's worth the "extra" dollar per box. However as my kids proved- a pancake is a pancake!