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Confirmed sighting: Coldpress fruit juices/ Review of 2012
Posted: 19:25 Mon 31-Dec-2012. Price: £2.79/750ml. Location: Tesco, Surrey Quays. Sub-flavours: Pink Lady apple; Granny Smith apple; Valencia Orange etc.
reports: These Coldpress juices have been kicking around in Waitrose since at least spring, but I was unable to resist them when they also started appearing in Tesco and that giant discount store near Lewisham station. The idea is that they're pasteurised using high pressure rather than heat, and the effect is perhaps as revolutionary as the arrival of not-for-concentrate brands like Tropicana - they actually taste of fresh apples etc, which they flaunt to the extent of having different apple flavours in the range. My prediction: one of the warring giants like PepsiCo/Tropicana/Copella or Coke/Innocent Smoothies will either buy the company, or copy the technique (possibly even including the graduated tint on the bottle which makes you think there's authentic sediment inside).
...Joining Coldpress in my round-up of the best products of the last 12 months, I'd also raise a glass to (and of) Stella Artois Cidre Pear. Other highlights have included
Greggs The Baker's pre-baked baguettes, Kettle Tortilla Chips, Cadbury Choc Full Of Popcorn, Dark Chocolate Peanut M and Ms and, for pudding, a tie between
Ben and Jerry's Cores and McDonald's Orange Flavour Chocolate Pie. And in the "worst-named" category, Haagen-Dazs Secret Sensations narrowly lost out to Marks and Spencer's "Percy Pig flavour" Hollow white chocolate pig with dried raspberry and strawberry concentrates and decorated with sprinkles.
Just to continue stealing the best ideas from Gobble Monkey (and nicecupofteaandasitdown), Snackspot will be on indefinite holiday during 2013 and beyond. I'll update the right-hand margin with some more blog links for keeping track of the snacking universe, plus you can still comment on stories from the last 6 months here - but, for now, thanks for all the comments and sightings over the last 10 years, and hopefully I'll see you again sometime, on this site or another. - Dave
Confirmed sighting: GlaxoSmithKline Lucozade Pink Lemonade
Posted: 18:05 Sun 28-Oct-2012. Price: £1.19/1-litre bottle. Location: Sainsbury. Nutritional unusualness: 57 kcal, 13.6g sugars per 100ml.
"Grocery Gems" reports: A lot nicer than the recent Lucozade Cola!
Once poured I was glad to see that the Lucozade Pink Lemonade has the same lovely blush pink colour as the bottle. The drink is fizzy and very sweet as you would expect from a high glucose drink. For a "lemonade" drink it doesn't taste very strongly of lemons, which may be disappointing to lemon fans. It just has a soft fruity taste that is not immediately identifiable. The ingredients list the fruit juices (2%) as lemon, cranberry and raspberry. If you don't like your lemonade too "lemony" then this is the drink for you, but lovers of real lemonade should probably steer clear.
...Thanks "GG" - I found the flavour similarly tricky to pin down, until I remembered Maynards Sour Patch Kids from a couple of weeks ago. (And, with the launch earlier this year of Lilt-alike Lucozade Energy Caribbean Crush, maybe GSK will roll out extra-sugary versions of every soft drink on the market?) For a more "traditional" energy rush, there's also the option of: raspberry flavoured Mountain Dew Game Fuel (which I've seen in Asda, but only in 1-litre bottles); Emmi's Caffe Latte Cappuccino (pictured here with their similar Flat White product, which it may be replacing); or - for those above legal drinking age - Carling's Zest Refreshing Winter Lager with a hint of Spiced Orange, which I enjoyed for both its citrusy taste, and because including "Refreshing" in its name reminds me of Mitchell and Webb's sketches about two alcoholics.
Confirmed sighting: Coca-Cola Relentless Apple and Kiwi
Posted: 16:34 Sun 29-Jul-2012. Price: £1/500ml current offer in Tesco. Location: Old Kent Road. Sub-flavours: See below. Nutritional unusualness: 10.7g sugars, 32mg caffeine per 100ml, plus "fruit and vegetable extracts (blackcurrant, carrot), guarana, colour (brilliant blue)".
reports: There are many reasons I've kept this site running - the sense of community, for example, or the continued vendetta against Innocent smoothies. But ultimately I feel we're all striving to somehow "make a difference" to the UK snackscape and, this week, in some small way, we may have helped achieve that. Relentless Apple and Kiwi is bright blue, and has a good fruity flavour that could, indeed, be apple and/or kiwi fruit. But most excitingly of all, it's part of the whole range's "bold makeover, with the new packs offering a brighter, eye-catching design for stand-out on shelf". Translation: they've ditched the stupid Latin-sounding names which swept the board as Snackspot's Worst-Named Products of 2011, so Inferno (Infernus?) is now just "Orange", and Devotion "Juicy Berry" etc. Victory has never tasted sweeter, my friends - cheers!
...That said, I'd be interested to hear what you'd have called this new one under the old nomenclature: Relentless Romulus for the Star Trek fans? Anyway, in other sci-fi imbibes: Galaxy Cafe Skinny Mocha Latte is a bit less viscous than some of their previous milk drinks, though please make sure you shake it thoroughly, as the first one I tried was harbouring a black slime at the bottom like something out of Prometheus. I have the latest Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! podcast to thank for the news that Singapore branches of 7-Eleven can dispense mashed potato via Slurpee machines - although over-18s may prefer a glass of Stella Artois Cidre Pear, part of the ongoing craze for pear ciders that will presumably see it advertised by some French dude telling us to pronounce it "Poire".
Confirmed sighting: Fanta Limited Edition Mango and Passionfruit
Posted: 09:13 Sun 13-May-2012. Price: 55p. Location: Somewhere in the UK.
It's taken a while to get our first YouTube submission (in this case tantalisingly preceded by similarly hand-held footage of Fanta websites), though the videos are credited to "jwwwrestling2008", which seems to stand for Jerseys Wrestling World Wrestling 2008. Anyway, "Ollie" reports: This is a limited edition flavour in UK. It came out in March. Here is a link to my review on it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pDMN1IE13E
...In other high-tech beverage delivery: as well as these giant Costa Express vending machines popping up in London stations and supermarkets, Costa has rolled out a baffling range of handcrafted Iced Coffees, which seem to consist of the usual coffee, blended with ice, on top of a layer of cold milk. Tasting mostly of Trebor Refreshers, the Starburst Mixed Berry Milkshake is the highlight so far of this year's McDonald's Taste Of America initiative, which axes New Orleans and Miami, and mixes up Arizona and Texas. Or, more patriotically, Foodstuff Finds has been sipping on Victory Tea, which sounds like the sort of thing they drink in George Orwell's 1984 (and looks like it has a bit of retro-styling about it too).
Confirmed sighting: X-Presso Monster Coffee Energy
Posted: 16:41 Sun 01-Apr-2012. Price: £1.39. Location: Best Buy, Winchburgh. Sub-flavours: Hammer; Midnite.
Sorry, I was going to write a hilarious April Fools post in the style of Jim's Chocolate Mission or something, but fortunately received this recent sighting of something that's been around a while - anyway, as "Phill"
reports: Found these in my local shop. They're basically an energy drink latte. The tin says 'Do not shake' and I will say DON'T shake it. I think it's got a widget in it to mix it and foam it up. I told my girlfriend to shake it, as I'm used to shaking the Starbucks ones. Upon opening it, it sprayed everywhere. I then noticed the warning about not shaking it... Ooops.
...In other effervescent developments: "Phill"
avoided similiar problems with these Limited Edition Fizzy Cola Rocky biscuits, which he saw for 79p in Sainsbury, Cameron Toll, Edinburgh, "and couldn't resist. They smell and taste just like a cheap cola. Worth a try if you see them." GlaxoSmithKline have at last started to address their ludicrous sugar content with Lucozade Revive (in 11g-carbohyrdrate-per-bottle Lemongrass with Ginger, Orange with Acai, or Cranberry with Acai), plus a Caribbean Crush version of "the hard stuff"; or, for something even less sparkling, there's Flat White Emmi Caffe Latte, "mineral water and juice blend" Volvic Juiced, or tea/still lemonade non-carbonate Monster Rehab, which I thought I'd seen two flavours of in Wetherspoons but the other one might have been Monster Absolutely Zero.
Confirmed sighting: Frugo Ultra Fruity/ Review of 2011
Posted: 18:35 Sat 24-Dec-2011. Price: 33p/250ml. Location: Tesco, Old Kent Road. Sub-flavours: Ultra Green and Ultra Black (tested), also in Ultra Orange, Ultra Pink, Ultra White etc. Nutritional unusualness: 10.4g sugar per 100ml in Ultra Green.
reports: This was in the World Foods section so I naturally snapped up a bottle thinking it was Faygo - the "ghetto pop" constantly namechecked by the Insane Clown Posse. Also, it was only 33p. As it turns out, it's probably a Polish import but the Ultra Green variety in particular has a rare Kiwi-ish tang attributable to ingredients that include apple juice, lemon juice, passionfruit juice, kiwi juice and lulo fruit puree. Also, it was only 33p.
...It hasn't been a vintage year for beverages, which makes 2011's review of the last 12 months a bit simpler, Fanta Beach being one of the few I'd go back to. The (elusive) Scared Shrekless Chocolate Coated Apple, Mamma Mia! Pringles and Burger King Melt 'n Middles were my favourites from most of the other Snackspot sections, with BK getting an additional mention for their Hot Chocolate Brownie, and Kerrygold also sneaking in with their category-defying Honey Spread.
As for the hotly-contested Worst - and Worst-Named - winners: in a year that saw the release of Stella Artois Cidre, Marks and
Spencer's Chineapple Punks and Fluke
Pastilles, plus a Snickers "Maximus" bar that was smaller than a normal Snickers, the latter award still goes to Coca-Cola Relentless for rebranding their entire range with Transformers-ish names like Libertus, Origin and Immortus. But the very worst thing I tried was Jamie Oliver's Hello Sailor Rich Creamy Chocolate sprinkled with Sea Salt - it's "<1% sea salt", reassures the packaging, but the sea is only 3.5% sea salt, and you can really taste it here. Happy holidays!
Confirmed sighting: Rockstar XDurance Performance Energy
Posted: 11:31 Sun 04-Dec-2011. Price: £1.30/500ml or 2 for £2 offer. Location: Asda, Folkestone. Nutritional unusualness: 68.5g sugar per can; "100% Vegetarian and Vegan. The Taurine contained in Rockstar is synthetic and not derived from animals".
I tried the sugar-free, but otherwise unremarkable, Rockstar Pink a couple of months ago, but top serving-suggestion photography here from first-time spotter
"James Moyle", who reports: Best Rockstar yet, I love how they've added extra caffeine. It has three different flavors; blueberry, pomegranate and acai. The liquid is actually maroon.
...In other fizzy business: Global Brands' Kick energy drink is being rolled out to 250 Asda stores
after trials at various UK gaming events; Sicilian Lemon and Elderflower, Italian Red Grape and Pomegranate, or Chilean Plum and Raspberry are among a new range of Vimto-manufactured soft drinks "containing zero WeightWatcher ProPoints per 250ml"; or, if you need something stronger to see you through the winter, this Chocolate Shop Chocolate Lover's Wine (£5.99/Sainsbury's) works surprisingly well, compared to the slightly bitter Biscotti Baileys also shown in the picture and the unexpectedly Fanta-flavoured Crabbies Spiced Orange Alcoholic Ginger Beer.
Confirmed sighting: GlaxoSmithKline Lucozade Black Edition Cola Energy Drink
Posted: 19:09 Sun 20-Nov-2011. Price: £1/500ml. Location: ASDA, Hounslow. Sub-flavours: 14.6g carbohydrate per 100ml, of which 11.3g sugars.
Yes, there was an earlier comment calling this "[an] odd one indeed... It's got that Rola Cola taste with a twang of the Original Luco at the end,", but it sounds like "Allan" was more inspired by their "Drink. Think. Do" on-bottle blurb about "Glucose. Your body takes it in. Fast. And turns it into energy to fuel your body and brain", as he reports: "Limited Edition. And tastes exactly like Coke."
...In other caffeinated cupfuls: Foodstuff Finds found
Espresso Rich Coffee Beer kind of "bitter" compared to, say, Britvic's Glitter Berry J20 - the latter containing "cherry and red grape, with a hint of seasonal spice" flavours, plus "edible gold glitter" which must add a decorative touch to any subsequent vomiting or diarrhoea. Oh and Burger King UK have at last responded to McDonald's perfectly-drinkable coffee offering with their own Freshly Ground range, which seemed a bit frothy but definitely better thought-out than their Cranberry Sauce Chicken Sandwich current Christmas tie-in.
Confirmed sighting: Pepsi Max Citrus Freeze
Posted: 22:30 Sun 06-Nov-2011. Price: £0.99. Location: WH Smith.
It's possible this stuff might have more flavour (or point) if you consume it with the other half of its current Doritos Jalapeno Fire double act , but for now I'm inclined to agree with first-time spotter "Ernest Worthing" - who seems to be consigning it to the same fate as 2007's Pepsi Max 3.0 "Chi", 2006's Pepsi Max Cino, or 2005's Pepsi Max Lemon and Lime Twist
and Pepsi Max Punch with Cinnamon and Ginger, with the words: "A lime version of Pepsi Max, didn't taste great to me."
...At the other end of the temperature scale, "Christmas in a mug" was Foodstuff Finds' assessment of PepsiCo/ Copella's "Enjoy Hot" Winter Warmer spiced apple juice, though apparently you'll be able to do something similar with Bottle Green's Ginger and Lemongrass, Apple and Plum or Spiced Berry cordials. Or, if you're above legal drinking age, you may be able to track down Crabbie's Spiced Orange Alcoholic Ginger Beer, which should hopefully taste more interesting than their 6% ABV Crabbie's Black, pictured here with a new kind of Malibu that has coconut flakes floating in it like a beautiful seasonal snowglobe that you can get drunk on when you tire of its decorative function.
Confirmed sighting: Barr Fiery Irn Bru
Posted: 21:03 Wed 28-Sep-2011. Price: 49p. Location: Local bakers, East Kilbride, Scotland. Nutritional unusualness: All the Sunset Yellow and Ponceau 4R you and your kids will ever need.
Zeddy reports: I had heard this was coming out but was still surprised to find it so soon. It is Irn Bru with "a secret fiery ingredient".
Now, if you are like me and a bit averse to a "fiery surprise" you may perhaps approach this with some trepidation.
It is indeed fiery! I would probably describe it as Irn Bru laced with hot ginger to follow.
As they do not say what the ingredient is (that's the secret bit if you haven't been following), I can only assume it is ginger or perhaps some chilli.
Worth a taste if you like some after-heat but perhaps not to quench the fire of your weekly "Ruby Murray".
...Zeddy reassures me here that people are still interested in drinks-related sightings (oh and apologies for the belated nature of this post, which is only partly due to my discovery of Molson Coors' Animee women's beer, the Fruli-flavoured "perfect drink for whenever and wherever you like" - along similar lines to Mommy Juice).
Anyway, Zeddy was first with the pic for this, though "sharon amos" found a can for 49p in Winchburgh, West Lothian, acknowledging "It still tastes of normal Irn Bru but then has a slight after-kick, very nice and would definitely drink it again,", while the impressively-named "Robert Funland" paid £2.50 for 6 in Morrisons, reckoning it's: "Not as sweet as regular Irn Bru.
They're not wrong about it being fiery, the taste certainly gets you in the back of the throat.
I've seen one website recommending it would be a good mixer for Jack Daniels, I would suggest trying it with Benylin - especially for anyone who catches a cold this winter."
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