The other day, while I was in one of my local supermarkets, I looked for the cheapest stick margarine product that I could find. I did that because I came to the conclusion that Papa John's was also using a cheap margarine product for its PJ Garlic sauce, along with garlic and a buttery component, either natural or artificial (or maybe both). The cheapest stick margarine that I found sold for $0.69 for one pound. It was for a 52% oil product with the following ingredients:
Fiesta Brand Spread: Liquid and partially hydrogenated soybean oil, water, salt, vegetable mono & diglycerides, soy lecithin, potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate (as preservatives), citric acid, natural and artificial flavor, beta carotene (color), Vitamin A palmitate added, whey.
For comparison purposes, this is the composition of the current PJ Garlic sauce:
Current Version of PJ Garlic Sauce (2013): Soybean oil, water, salt, contains less than 2% of garlic*, vegetable mono & diglycerides, natural & artificial flavor, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, soy lecithin, lactic acid, sodium benzoate (a preservative), calcium disodium EDTA added to protect flavor, citric acid, carotene(color), Vitamin A palmitate added. *Dehydrated
And, for the Parkay Squeeze product:
Parkay Squeeze: LIQUID SOYBEAN OIL, WATER, SALT, HYDROGENATED COTTONSEED OIL, VEGETABLE MONOGLYCERIDES AND SOY LECITHIN (EMULSIFIERS), POTASSIUM SORBATE AND SODIUM BENZOATE (TO PRESERVE FRESHNESS), ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, PHOSPHORIC ACID (ACIDULANT), COLORED WITH BETA CAROTENE (SOURCE OF VITAMIN A), VITAMIN A PALMITATE
I estimate that I have looked at well over a hundred different margarine products. And at each store I visited, I made a point of looking for the cheapest margarine stick product sold. It appears that no one wants to sell a cheap, barebones margarine product anymore, either a national brand or a house brand. Fiesta was the only store I visited willing to offer such a product.
For further comparisons, here are the ingredients for a basic Blue Bonnet (65%) and Parkay (65%) stick product:
Blue Bonnet: Soybean(s) Oil Liquid, Soybean(s) Oil Partially Hydrogenated, Water, Whey, Salt, Vegetable(s) Mono and Diglycerides An Emulsifier, Soy Lecithin An Emulsifier, Potassium Sorbate To Preserve Freshness, Sodium Benzoate To Preserve Freshness, Flavor(s) Artificial, Phosphoric Acid, Vitamin A Palmitate Colored With, Beta Carotene.
Parkay: Liquid Soybean Oil, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Water, Whey, Salt, Vegetable Mono- And Diglycerides And Soy Lecithin (Emulsifiers), Potassium Sorbate And Sodium Benzoate (To Preserve Freshness), Artificial Flavor, Phosphoric Acid (Acidulant), Vitamin A Palmitate, Colored With Beta Carotene (Source Of Vitamin A).