Factory Cookie Face Off- Duane Reade vs. Chips Ahoy

Is it just me or are the Duane Reade’s taking over this city even more than Starbuck’s did in the late 90’s? I mean there have always been a lot of Duane Reade’s out there but it seems every time I look around there is a newer one that’s even bigger and better than the last. Back in early fall I started noticing a lot of changes at my local DR. One of the biggest changes was the decrease in brand name items and the increase in DR goods with the name deLish. Brownies, chips, trail mix, even sushi started rolling out at some pharmacies with this new label. Each time I’m in a store I think about trying one of these deLish items but up until last week I never had.

Now I’m not bold enough (or maybe my stomach is just too scared) to try the DR sushi. However store made cookies I figured would be a good starting point. So I picked up a box of deLish Chocolate Chip cookies for a test run. I also got a box of the factory cookie favorite Chips Ahoy for a flavor comparison.

Here’s a look at the deLish box. Pretty good looking cookie on the front wouldn’t you say?

Here’s a look at the actual cookies inside.

Not exactly as good looking as the one on the box but a pretty close match. The golden brown color and big chunks of chocolate all point to signs for a promising little treat. I decided to try one deLish and one Chips Ahoy and compare. Here they are matched up. The deLish is on the top and the Chips Ahoy is on the bottom.

Size- the deLish cookie is much bigger than the Chips Ahoy cookie and has larger chunks of chocolate spread throughout.

Texture- I wish I had gotten Chips Ahoy chewy but alas they didn’t have them at this Duane Reade. The original Chips Ahoy has a very crisp crumbly texture while the deLish is exactly as advertised- soft with a little bit of chew on the edges.

Taste- Okay up until this point I would give it to the deLish cookie but taste is most important wouldn’t you say? Unfortunately the deLish cookie was overpowered by a strong taste of brown sugar and had that slightly chemical aftertaste I find in some packaged baked goods. While the deLish had more chocolate chips than the Chips Ahoy- this actually ended up hurting the flavor. The chocolate wasn’t very good quality and I ended up enjoying the ratio of cookie to chip much better in the Chips Ahoy. Overall the Chips Ahoy just tasted better to me than the Duane Reade brand.

I have since come to find out that all of the Duane Reade’s in the city recently got bought out by Walgreens! What does that say about their new line of food products- who knows? But it’s sad thing to me about losing more of the city’s identity. The first Duane Reade pharmacy took its name from its downtown location between Duane and Reade Street. I lost my favorite bodega about 4 years ago when the 7-11 opened on my block…I still dream about their Bacon, Egg and Cheese sandwiches every morning.

So will all of the Duane Reade’s change their name? Who knows…Who even knew a stupid post about commercial cookies could turn me into a nostalgic mess on the changing environment of the city. All I know is next time I want a cookie, I’m going to do what I usually do and head to my local bakery. I’m going to enjoy something ten times as delicious and support my fellow New Yorkers as well. No more commercial cookies for me- I’m done.