Confirmed sighting: Turbo Tango
Posted: 09:33 Mon 22-Aug-2011. Price: £2.99/ 375ml. Location: Odeon, Dudley. Nutritional unusualness: "Nitro fuelled (tm) [...] Hold upright and squirt into your gob (and nowhere else!)".
"pj" reports: Weird but good! It's basically like a squirty cream nozzle that you fire into your mouth, it comes out as a foam then turns to liquid in your mouth and tastes like Tango. It's quite a big bottle, we got it on Tuesday and me and my girlfriend are still taking shots from it (I guess you could do it all in one but it seems more of a quick hit thing!)
...Thanks for splashing out on this "pj" - it's increasingly available in newsagents for less than 2 quid but here's how it looks on the inside if you're curious how the Propellant Gas (Nitrogen) fits into the equation. In other novelty beverages: "Lee Maguire" spotted a whole new range of Frijjs in Covent Garden Tesco, but has yet to confirm if they taste similar to their previously Simpsons-branded equivalents, while older drinkers now face a baffling choice between Foster's Gold (apparently "Young men strive to create the right impression at social occasions and Foster's standard can format isn't meeting these needs"), female-oriented Amina or Carling Prime ("the first credible range of beers for women"), or 6% ABV Crabbie's Black,
"targeted at a slightly older more demanding male audience – the newly identified 'Ginger Connoisseur'".
Confirmed sighting: Pepsi Max Cherry
Posted: 16:33 Sun 19-Jun-2011. Price: £1.49. Location: Asda, Benton, North Tyneside.
It's something of a free refill to last week's beverage bonanza, as first-time spotter "Kris Stobbs" has discovered possibly the UK (or world-wide) debut of Pepsi Max Cherry, restricting his comments to: "Found this last night, delicious stuff" - which means there's also space for "Chester's" photographic evidence of the previously debated
Fruitizz from McDonald's, lamenting: "Somehow it's not a mainline product. It's the only drink I have in McDonald's as I don't drink diet due to the [allegedly] deadly sweeteners. Also listed on McDonald's site under Drinks, Fanta."
...Thanks guys - my own McDonald's-monitoring saw me suitably impressed by their new Double Taste Shakes, even though it's something like £1.59 for a normal-flavour shake in a seethrough cup with either mango-Solero or fudge-sundae sauce squirted onto the inside (and the Tropical and Vanilla one was reminiscent of Ben Elton's 1980s routine about needing an industrial suction pump to get it up the straw).
Elsewhere: Foodstuff Finds has been supping on Kenco Millicano Whole Bean Instant Coffee and Dreamy Coconut Drinking Fudge; I've hardly seen any sign yet of Volvic Touch of (Summer) Fruit; but maybe that's because the shelves will soon be full of Levi Roots'
ambient juices (in Orange, Papaya 'n' Lime; Blood Orange 'n' Pomegranate; or Spicy Reggae Reggae Tomato Juice, £1.59), the perfect complement to his Reggae Reggae crisps, Rasta Pasta sauce, and all your other reggae-related needs.
Confirmed sighting: Kerrygold Honey Spread
Posted: 15:19 Sun 12-Jun-2011. Price: £1/250g. Location: Asda, Wembley Park. Sub-flavours: Just saying, but they should do a jam one as well. Nutritional unusualness: "Sweetened low fat Irish butter blended with honey", 12% sugar.
reports: In all the years that Snackspot's been going, there have only been a couple of products that haven't fitted easily into the main 5 categories (depending if you include the last time we went on about honey). Should you care, I've filed this under "Drinks" because there's more on those later - the product itself says it can be "melted into carrots, sandwiched in a sponge cake, or simply spread on toast, crumpets or bagels. The possibilities are endless!" (Although, in practice, I mostly use it to make the world's easiest honey sandwiches, though you have to use quite a lot of it as the flavouring's fairly mild.)
...In other daring dairy: Lakeland's Modern Milk has at least some slightly original flavours compared to Starbucks' borderline-unpleasant Bottled Frappuccinos; former Fairtrade critics Illy have joined the ""cold hot" drinks craze with their own Issimo range (in Caffe, Cappuccino or Latte Macchiato for £1.65/can); while Jim's Chocolate Mission deems Thorntons' 17% ABV Chocolate Liqueur "highly smooth and very, very drinkable" (for over-18s, obviously), though doesn't say how much you need to dilute it to re-create 2003's much-missed Vodka Mudshakes - I reckon 1 measure of liqueur to 2.4 of milk, but would also like to hear your recipes.
Confirmed sighting: Fanta Beach Strawberry and Kiwi flavour
Posted: 19:05 Sun 29-May-2011. Price: £1-£1.79 for 2 litres. Location: Asda, Benton; Morrisons, Cleveleys. Nutritional unusualness: 104kcals, 25.4g sugar, 0g fat, 0g saturates, 0g salt per 250ml serving.
This is a bit complicated, and starts with "Greg Lowe" reporting: "Don't often go to Asda, but was in at the weekend and noticed 3 new 2L pop bottles. Cherry 7Up [pictured here with three new Reggae Reggae Caribbean drinks] tastes exactly like the cans. Blackcurrant Tango is the same as it was when it was out a few years back and Fanta Beach is strawberry and kiwi flavour, very nice it is too over some ice."
But the pic comes from "Barry Mills", who elaborates: "As we usually go over the top for the Fanta Strawberry when we're in the Canary Islands, I was excited to find this UK variant in my local Morrisons.
It's easy to miss this variant of Fanta, the bottle colour as well as the contents look identical to Fanta Fruit Twist, with the only immediate differences being the 'new' and 'beach' labels adorning the front.
Taste-wise it's a bit of a letdown. I prefer it to Fruit Twist, however the strawberry smell is very slight, as is the taste. Dont even mention the kiwi part, because either my taste buds are shot, or I just can't taste it.
However for a quid, like most Coca-Cola branded drinks these days... you can't really go wrong."
...And if you're keeping up with this so far, it's a different product to both the new Fanta Red Fruits also available in Asda, and the semi-legendary Fruitizz apple and raspberry juice with spring water seen in a Cardiff McDonald's (whose Great Tastes of America 2011 menu makes minimal changes to last year's, though New York has been promoted to 'Classic' status).
Anyway, for those above legal drinking age: the Brothers Special Edition Ginger is my favourite of the current crop of novelty ciders, though I haven't yet tried
St Helier's new pink variant and Bulmers' mysteriously named No 17. Or you could allegedly adjust your brain chemistry via two new drinks endorsed by countercultural icons Bob Marley and Che Guevara - the 50p Che "Revolution of Energy"
is a lot like Red Bull, and substantially improved with a shot of supermarket own-brand Malibu (though then again, isn't everything?)
Confirmed sighting: Lucozade Blackcurrant/ HP Sauce with Guinness
Posted: 10:37 Sun 13-Mar-2011. Price: 99p/ £1.99. Location: Londis, Eastcote/ Morrisons, Skipton North Yorks.
A pioneering beverage-based cocktail this week, kicking off with "conor martin", who reports: "Blackcurrant Lucozade! This is new and tastes great. It tastes a bit like Vimto but is very nice, worth a buy though. Also I saw Lucozade Sport Cherry, and the latest addition to the Lucozade Lite range - orange." Well, I'm glad someone's keeping track of all these "conor" - and, as I'm not a fan of either HP Sauce or Guinness, the same applies to Heinz's HP Sauce with Guinness St Patrick's Day tie-in, cryptically described by photographer "pat smith" as "potentially a marriage made in heaven", and reviewed in a bit more detail over at Foodstuff Finds.
...Elsewhere, anyone lamenting the perhaps-inevitable extinction of Panda Pops can always take a swig of: Tropicana Still Lemonade (in Pink or Traditional varieties); Fresh, Delicate or Strong variants of PG Tips; Douwe Egberts' Aromettes compressed coffee tablets for people who find ground coffee "too difficult to make", or John Crabbie's
(non-alcoholic) Ginger Beer Diet, or Twist of Orange - the latter not to be confused with the 4% alcohol-by-volume Brothers Ginger Cider or Stone's Ginger Joe. Stella Artois have come up with
Cidre, "a premium crafted Belgian cider", though I can't currently work out if limited edition WKD Purple is the one that was supposed to somehow simplify the making of Cheeky Vimtos, which takes us right back to where this sighting started. Cheers!
Confirmed sighting: Coca-Cola Vanilla Lip Smackers
Posted: 11:29 Sun 06-Feb-2011. Price: £1.50. Location: Primark, Watford. Sub-flavours: Sprite, Cherry Coke, Normal Coke, Fanta Orange, Fanta Pineapple, Fanta Strawberry, Fanta Grape.
"conor martin" reports: This lip balm tastes like
Coke Vanilla so much you want to eat it. I was in Primark today and saw a box full of Lip Smackers including Fanta variants that we do not get in this country - they may be imported from the States, I do not know. But they are handy to have and quite tasty - worth a buy for the taste and the novelty.
...First-time spotter "conor" continued by confirming previous glimpses of 500ml Coke Zero cans (£1 in WH Smiths, Watford Harlequin Shopping Centre) - ie, "A new promotional can from the great taste range. It has 50% more coke than a 330 ml can so basically the same as a normal bottle. I didn't see if there were any more cans like this (Coke, Diet Coke) but it would be good if they did, keep me posted if you see them! PS soz about the [photo] quality, had to take it from bedroom floor."
In other semi-medicinal moisturising: I've yet to see any high-street chemists prescribing natural lemon-lime and honey flavour ManFlu Soothing Hot Or Shot Drink (perhaps it's all being stockpiled by the NHS) though, back with lip-balms, a lot of Spars seem to sell Shrek Forever Apple ChapStick - a somewhat unexpected endorsement compared to say Katy Perry, whose preferred flavour is of course Terry Pratchett.
Confirmed sighting: Coca-Cola Relentless Libertus
Posted: 21:31 Sun 23-Jan-2011. Price: £1.89/500ml. Location: Boots.
Lee Maguire reports: I've just noticed that Boots are selling the sugar-free variant "Relentless Libertus" (£1.89) - Libertus meaning a liberated or free man. Not sure what the name's all about, possibly there's someone at the Coca-Cola corporation who's been confused by the double meaning of the English word "free". Or, more likely, given the quote from Paradise Lost, and the William Blake-looking masonic pyramid on the can, it's some multinational meta-humour of the kind vigilantcitizen.com enjoys rooting out.
...Cheers Lee - and, if anyone's wondering, it's supposed to have the same flavour as the fairly-recently-renamed Relentless Origin. Latin nomenclature has also spread to the nougat-free Snickers Maximus (49p), hopefully to be endorsed by Russell Crowe as General Maximus Chocolatus Peanutus - "On my word, unleash caramel!" - while, in other super-sized servings: I thought I saw a London WH Smiths selling 500ml cans of Coke Zero the other week, though Eat's new noodle soups offer something like 800-900ml (ie around 1.5 pints) of liquid and other bits at prices in the region of £5.
Confirmed sighting: Frank's Alcoholic Root Beer/ Oddest Products of 2010
Posted: 19:50 Sun 09-Jan-2011. Price: £2-ish for 500ml. Location: Milton Keynes. Sub-flavours: Followup to the Frank's Alcoholic Ginger Beer. Nutritional unusualness: 4.0% alc, contains malted barley.
Tesco Lewisham was selling this at £1.50/bottle immediately after Christmas, but possible first-time spotter "Marc" adds an additional element of slight mystery as he reports: If you love root beer you might not like this! Tastes like a mix between lager and root beer. Does taste better after a few sips, just need to get used to it!
...And, in the interest of covering the options: if you don't love root beer, you might think all those sips still taste like Germolene. While we're on the subject, beverages provided many of the more unusual launches of the last 12 months, from the sounds-like-a-futuristic-laxative Evoid Seven and Morrisons New Season Cider with natural Orange Flavour to the slightly-Pimm's-like, 35% ABV, vodka-and sweet-tea-based Jeremiah Weed, "aimed at students" and served "in branded jam jars with ice, lemonade and a wedge of lemon or lime".
In more traditional confectionery, "Mr Simon" was mildly disturbed by this promotional chocolate version of the Google Chrome logo, but the award for maddest diversifications of the year must go
to whoever's running the labs at Honey Monster Foods, creators of not just Sugar Puffs and Honey Waffles, but also Choco Puffs, Choco Waffles, Banana Puffs and Spooky Puffs - the latter still available in Brent Cross Tesco for anyone worried about the less-than-10 shopping months between now and Halloween.
Confirmed sighting: Yop Yogurt Limited Edition Coconut Flavour
Posted: 11:35 Sun 10-Oct-2010. Price: 99p. Location: Tesco Extra, Cardiff. Sub-flavours: Strawberry, chocolate, raspberry. Nutritional unusualness: An alarming 12.7g sugars per 100g, ingredients include Glucose-Fructose Syrup, "Milk Mineral Concentrate".
Ah yes, I meant to post this last week but my PC monitor has been acting up - plus, the only info I had from first-time spotter "Haylee" was: "Sorry no picture, got really excited by this when I spotted it whilst working. I'll grab one when I'm next in work and take a pic! Should be nice as the other varieties are yummy!"
...Thanks "Haylee", it's definitely the most lassi-like of Yop's range so far, though I'm not sure if you could make it into a chicken korma - now I want to go back and try mixing it with the (also recently launched?) chocolate variety. Anyway, in other dairy-ish deliveries: the good old days of Cafe Met's Chocolatte/ Hazelatte (you know, in the small glass bottles) and Kenco's frothing widget Cappio have been revisited by Mooch milk drinks and two flavours of Monster X-Presso, respectively - the X-Pressos are surprisingly good, though don't taste much of either the "Midnite" or "Hammer" promised on the packaging. The odd names continue with this bland Evoid Seven Cream Soda I finally found for 20p in a Finsbury Park pound store, while Foodstuff Finds has provided a topical heads-up on the Halo-enhancing powers of Mana Energy Potion, possibly filling the gap left by the barely-lamented Pepsi Raw.
Confirmed sighting: Budweiser Brew No '66'
Posted: 17:29 Sat 21-Aug-2010. Price: Special offer £2.49 for 4x 300ml bottles. Location: Tesco, Bursledon, Southampton. Nutritional unusualness: 4% ABV.
The manufacturers may have made it "sweeter and less carbonated than standard lagers, claiming the target audience of 'brand-savvy' 20 to 30-year-olds wanted an easy-to-drink lager that didn't leave them feeling bloated", and have implied that this makes it "the iPhone of lagers". But, according to (first-time?) spotter and apparent Budweiser connoisseur, "William": "It's got that Bud Ice flavour about it, but a bit flatter. [I'm] always on the lookout for Bud Ice, this Brew No. 66 looked to fill the spot that Bud Ice may have once filled."
...In less alcoholic alternatives: "gilest" paid £1.30 for these Maynard's Fruit Duos at a garage in Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire, reporting: "Weird unWine Gums these. Yes they're fruitier, yes they're duo hybrids of flavour merged into a single sweet and actually yes, you can (just) tell the difference between each end when you bite. The red+blacks are lovely, but everything else is a bit never-mind. Hmm." Oh, and Zeddy's recent Swiss sojourn
seems to have been partly hydrated by a cocktail of Fanta Mango and 7-Up Grapefruit, prompting the double inquiry: "Have we had Fanta Mango in the UK? I hadn't seen it before and my eldest wanted to try it. Nice and fruity with no artificial sweetners (take note, UK)," plus "Why don't we get Grapefruit 7-Up here!? Kinda like Tang. Sweet yet also tarty."