Confirmed sighting: Cadbury Choc Full Of Pretzels
Posted: 21:11 Tue 28-Aug-2012. Price: £1.50 for what looks like their usual 100g-ish bag. Location: Co-op, Shepherds Bush. Nutritional unusualness: "Contains vegetable fats in addition to cocoa butter".
Only last week we heard claims of Penn State chocolate pretzels, but "Alex" harks back even further, reporting: Anyone who remembers Pretzel Flipz' short-lived UK appearance in the late '90s will no doubt be pleased to see Cadbury's latest offering - it's basically the same thing, mini pretzels covered in chocolate. Delicious.
...I'm expecting the usual debate about whether it's actual Dairy Milk on these (though, to be honest, the Popcorn sister product was so good I didn't even bother checking). Anyway, in other belated updates: you may have heard that Nestle are apparently replacing KitKat Caramel with a GPS-enabled Cookies and Cream flavour, targeted at "young families looking for exciting new news from their favourite biscuit brands".
Plus - more from Zeddy in an upcoming sighting, but for now he weighs in on Rocky's Limited Edition Fizzy Cola biscuits, inferring that they aim to: "Take a standard Rocky, add a layer of 'cream' to the top of the biscuit and cover in milk chocolate. The cream however is nice and cola flavoured with some fizzy tartiness to add some authenticity to proceedings."
"If your first reaction to reading this is 'Eew!', then consider if you have ever eaten a chocolate bar whilst drinking a coke. If you thought that OK then this should hold some appeal. It actually works and is a nice alternative to the usual toffee and praline varieties so favoured by chocolate manufacturers."
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: Nestle Vice Versas (yes, again)
Posted: 20:31 Sun 22-Jul-2012. Price: £1.59/126g bag (or currently 2 for £3) on Old Kent Road, for example. Location: Asda. Nutritional unusualness: "Part of the Smarties family".
"Wes" reports: Working in a large supermarket chain has its advantages. As well as the obvious ones, such as discounts and room for promotion, we also get to see what stock is to be sold before it goes on the shelves. Today, I witnessed something special.
Nestle have decided to bring back their Vice Versas sweets, which have previously been discontinued twice. For those of us who don't know (or are too young to remember), Vice Versas were similar to Galaxy Minstrels in size and content, but had an interesting twist. Inside the pack there were milk AND white chocolates in crispy brown and white shells. However, inside the white shells was the milk chocolate, and inside the brown shells was the white chocolate.
No word on prices yet, however I've recently heard they are on sale in Golborne Asda for 89p per bag.
...And if you're wondering, "Wes" is presumably referring to these being discontinued before and after their 2004 relaunch, as there's no firm evidence they ever reappeared in July 2007.
Anyway, in other melty centres: "Allan" didn't submit a picture of the Tango Demolition Balls ("Milk chocolate balls with orange truffle centre and popping candy pieces") he says he saw in Tesco, Hayes; "Yo Snack dude!" began "Jim Chocolate Mission" with the news that he's "reviewing all three of the new Cadbury Dairy Milk Limited Editions made especially for the Olympics"; and I officially apologise for not paying more attention to Dark Chocolate Peanut M and Ms in the past, as I found these (Polish?) Intense 65% Cacao ones in the Peckham Poundland yesterday and they are the best M and Ms I have ever tasted.
Confirmed sighting: Tesco Chicken Bites
Posted: 18:08 Sat 14-Jul-2012. Price: 99p per bag; 3 "snacksize" bags currently on offer for £2! (60g each = 180g total). Location: Tesco - Ready to Eat. Sub-flavours: BBQ (tested); Roast Chicken (pictured); Hot and Spicy; Southern Fried. Nutritional unusualness: 100% chicken breast, bit of oil, flour and starchy stuff - 3.4g fat, 105 calories, 2.9g sugar.
Sorry for the delay on these, they were oddly tricky to photograph - though thanks to "Marc Carran" for providing a glimpse into his internal monologue, as he reports: "Points of Interest... Bag size: Perhaps it could replace a bag of Crisps? And it's far healthier?"
"It doesn't taste like Chicken: 'Ready to Eat' - It's gonna be chopped up a bit and have a few add-on ingredients to make it a bit more convenient, but that doesn't mean they are bad!"
"But... they are quite more-ish! There's not enough in the bag, and 3 bags will go quick!"
"That's... 10.2 grams of fat! That's £2!
Couldn't you get better for the price?"
"Sure you can, but the milkshake aisle is round the corner, they do go well with anything, after all, it's just a snack... :)"
...Anyway, in other vaguely avian conversations: "Definitely one of the best Pot Noodles I've tried" is Foodstuff Finds' verdict on Jamaican Jerk Pot Noodle; Deli 24 have diversified into these slippery square rectangular chicken sausages that actually taste pretty good; and Burger King are still celebrating their fellow monarch's recent Diamond Jubilee with the bravely authentic Coronation Chicken Royale, there crediting the original recipe to Miss Rosemary Hume [MOU1][MOU1], which is either some text markup gone wrong or a royal honour that I wasn't previously aware of.
Confirmed sighting: Kellogg's Froot Loops
Posted: 20:48 Sun 24-Jun-2012. Price: £1.99 (ish). Location: Premier Stores across the UK; Wallsend, North Tyneside. Nutritional unusualness: 117kcal per 30g serving inclusive of semi-skimmed milk.
This pic is of some of the different US varieties available in Cybercandy Covent Garden but, as "Kris Stobbs" reports: Remember these? Sold on various websites for up to 8 quid a box? Well, rejoice as Froot Loops are back in the UK - Premier Stores in the North East have them (prices from £1.34 to £2.49).
Kellogg's say that Waitrose, ASDA and Tesco will also stock them from now until the end of August. It'll be tomorrow before I tickle my tastebuds with the fruity flavours - it's a limited-time deal to test the market as they have had a lot of requests to bring these back.
..."Kris" does seem slightly well-informed about the marketing plans for this (maybe via a news story?), but "Sam" also claims to have seen them in Waitrose, Newmarket, adding: "Whilst browsing the aisles today I found one lone box of Froot Loops with UK box, nutritional information etc. Could it be test marketing? Watch this space."
Kellogg's haven't made the same "back by public demand" claims for their All-Bran Yoghurty Flakes (which seem similar to 2004's Bran Flakes Yoghurty, and are pictured here with Nestle Coco Orange Shreddies). While, in other North American imports, thanks to Mr Simon for this double-helping of Hershey's Cookies'n'Creme Drops, and Wonka Chewy Spree; "No Candy Shell - No Mess", announce the Hershey's, presumably because "Tastes like biscuit pieces in candlewax" would sound even less appealing.
Confirmed sighting: Trebor Peppermint Extra Strong Mint ice lollies
Posted: 11:32 Sun 10-Jun-2012. Price: £1.00/ box of 6. Location: Tesco, Silverburn, Glasgow. Nutritional unusualness: 70kcal per lolly.
Zeddy reports: Mintylicious!
Think of a Mini Milk with strong peppermint added to the mix and there you have these. Made by Frederick's Dairies (do Cadbury own them?). An unusual and tasty product, really refreshing and pretty close to the flavour of an Extra Strong mint without the dry chalkiness - if they added dark chocolate to the outer it would be fabulous.
...Good work Zeddy - I don't think Cadbury/Kraft own Frederick's but they also do a wider range of oddly accurate ice-cream clones, including Cadbury's Double Decker and Tangerine/Barrett's Sherbert Dip Dab, both preferable to the prospect of fishing Gold-Bears out of the plastic-tube handle of Wall's Haribo Push Up lolly. You could also cool down with AG Barr's Rubicon Mango push ups - "launched in standard and 89p price-marked packs, with Passion and Lychee push ups in 89p price-marked packs only", though personally I'm just popping out to try the apparently long-awaited Twix McFlurry.
Confirmed sighting: Honey Monster Party Puffs
Posted: 09:13 Sun 03-Jun-2012. Price: £1.99. Location: Tesco.
Honey Monster corp's appetite for experimentation continues with what sounds like a topically colourful variation on winter's Snowy Puffs - though we may never know what the full effect is like, as "Katherine @grocerygems" reports: Supposedly made up of 10% (so at least 35 grams) meringue pieces in patriotic red, white and blue colours. My pack contained a total of 9 meringue pieces in the entire box. Swiftly returned to Tesco for a full refund, they couldn't believe it either!
... in my opinion, Sainsbury's have had more luck adding the same ingredient to their Lemon Meringue Pie ice cream, and Eton Mess dessert
(also an option in Muller Corner's new British Classics).
Anyway, in other crunchy lumps:
Gobble Monkey eventually manages to get past the name of Nestle's Curiously Strawberry (non-?) Cinnamon Grahams; so far I've also not seen Cadbury Popcorn anywhere other than WH Smith; and Kellogg's Rice Krispies Squares Honeycomb Crunch realistically replicates the experience of eating the normal product while occasionally breaking a tooth. Enjoy the bank holiday!
Confirmed sighting: Golden Wonder Special Edition HP Sauce flavour crisps
Posted: 09:45 Sun 20-May-2012. Price: £1.48 (6-pack). Location: Asda, Longwell Green. Nutritional unusualness: Contains "caramelised sugar powder".
I liked the sound of Marks And Spencer's Parmesan, Asparagus and Truffle flavour, and have also spotted McCoy's Sausage Striker and Chicken Winger in Spar - but now it's time to welcome back another old favourite, as "Rev. Stuart Campbell" reports: It's nice to see Tayto resurrect the GW brand, particularly as it means you can still find the legendary Sausage and Tomato flavour if you look hard enough, but this is the pinnacle of anything achieved under the Golden Wonder name since they sadly abandoned their Worcester Sauce flavour many a year ago.
HP Sauce is the finest new crisp flavour since Caramelised Onion And Balsamic Vinegar, but with the added benefit of appearing on nice normal crisps rather than horrible greasy brittle "posh" ones that are actually about as sophisticated and classy as eating shards of broken glass, splintered plywood and bone off the floor of a rough Glasgow pub at the end of a Saturday night.
They're not a million miles away from a good Worcester Sauce, only sweeter, tangier and fruitier, and you really do get an identifiable aftertaste of HP Sauce off them. In a country undergoing all manner of political trauma, this is the only thing that might happen this year connected to the Houses of Parliament that doesn't make you want to kill everyone in the country, and for that alone it's some sort of triumph. But mostly it's just an incredibly tasty crisp. I bought three six-packs, and I'll be going back for more.
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).
Semi-international sighting: Herr's Potato Chips
Posted: 19:36 Sun 29-Apr-2012. Price: 20p/bag. Location: Home Bargains, the shopping arcade, Ripon High Street. Sub-flavours: Ready Salted; Salt n' Vinegar; "Texas Pete" Hot Sauce.
"James Quin" reports: Found these on a shopping trip on 21/04/2012. No "imported by" label, making it difficult to pinpoint a UK distributor. Though it does say on Herr's official website (the apparently Pennsylvania-based http://www.herrs.com) that they will ship out cases of 24 bags at a time.
...A no-nonsense sighting there from possible first-time spotter "James Quin", though UK crisp enthusiasts are also catered for in the form of: (current Waitrose-exclusive?) PopChips; the battle between Kettle Baked Crisps and Walkers' Baked Stars; plus the similarly oven-origined Jacob's Oddities (NB: that last link goes to Stuart Campbell's website, containing continuous strong language directed at the Commodore 64, and deservedly so in my opinion).
Or, in more substantial savouries, "Marc" seems very excited about the Chixxs A Taste Of The World Italian Pesto Chicken Bites he paid £2 for in Tesco (also available in Indian Masala Chicken Goujons, or American Hot Chilli Chicken Wings). I couldn't quite make out what was going in on his photo, but as "Marc" explains: "Posh Chicken Nuggets - what's posh about them? Well, inbetween batter and breadcrumb... not sure what it it's called, smells mildly spicy, 20 odd minutes in the oven! Verdict: A good honest product, I can see these doing well."