Confirmed sighting: Nestle Milky Bar Raisin and Biscuit
Posted: 09:35 Sun 25-Jul-2010. Price: 55p. Location: Sainsbury, East Kilbride, Scotland. Nutritional unusualness: 11% raisins, 5% biscuit, 189kcal, 10.1g of fat per bar.
Zeddy reports: I kept a look out for this since I heard it was coming out. I USED TO LIKE Yorkie Raisin and Biscuit till they dicked around with the chocolate recipe and I have fond memories of Milkybars as a child. So can I just say how filthy this bar tastes!? The combination of ingredients with the "chocolate" gives a most unpleasant taste that reminds me of the butyric acid odour of Parmesan cheese/puke. Needless to say my children wholeheartedly endorse the product. You see children basically don't have any taste. I however will not be purchasing this abomination again.
...Nestle inadvertently give Zeddy permission to reacquaint himself with his breakfast here - I didn't think the bar was that bad, though wasn't overly reassured by the ingredients-for-dummies explanations ("Cocoa butter - made from cocoa beans, Vegetable fat - from tropical plants", and so on). Still, in other variously cocoa-containing compounds: Chocolate Weetabix promises to be
a chocolate cereal [...] healthy enough to be advertised to children, though no such claims have been made regarding Kellogg's new Coco Pops Choc 'N' Roll; while Jim's Chocolate Mission prefers Thornton's Lemon Smoothie over their Raspberry Burst summer bars (49p/35g), and also linked to the news that Cadbury's centrepiece this Christmas will be an
aerated chocolate and truffle centre Wishes milk chocolate star.
Confirmed sighting: McVitie's Medley bars
Posted: 20:34 Sat 05-Jun-2010. Price: £1/6 x 30g. Location: Asda, Colindale. Sub-flavours: Hobnobs with Raisins and a layer of Milk Chocolate; Digestives with Hazelnuts and a layer of Milk Chocolate; HobNobs with Peanuts and Milk Chocolate Chips.
reports: For some reason I expected these to be like a big Hobnob (or Digestive) biscuit, with extra fruit and/or nuts plus a chocolate coating - they're actually a bit less solid than that, like a broken-biscuit cereal bar stuck together with glucose syrup (which is the first or second item in the ingredients on the two varieties I've tried). The chocolate isn't particularly noticeable, and the Digestives with Hazelnuts one was a bit more interesting than the Hobnobs with Raisins, though neither were as revelatory as Kellogg's Dark Chocolate and Almond Fibre Plus bar.
...Just a quick update today as I'll probably be "saving" these Cadbury Shoots (also £1 from Asda) for some sort of World Cup round-up next week. In other chocolate combinations: currently at £2/480ml, Asda's Loaded Black Forest ice cream is a surprisingly credible Ben-and-Jerry-beater that makes me want to try the rest of the range; Foodstuff Finds has a lower-calorie alternative in the form of Le Whif breathable chocolate (via Amazon); and "Lynne" has snagged one of the current offers on Galaxy Counters (ie, £1.50 in Sainsburys, Braehead, Glasgow), calculating: "They are two bags for £3. Basically Minstrels minus their little crispy shells: like the naked Minstrels you get in Revels. I believe they used to be available in the old days so I guess many of you will be happy to see them back."
Confirmed sighting: Starburst Tongue Tangles
Posted: 09:01 Sun 30-May-2010. Price: 65p/135g (introductory offer). Location: Tesco, Covent Garden. Sub-flavours: Banana with Mango centre; Blueberry with Lemon; Apricot with Cherry. Nutritional unusualness: Contains "carotenes, vegetable carbon".
reports: I don't know who makes up the product names at Starburst (or should that be "Opal Fruits"?) HQ, but it's a bold move not to refer to either of the obvious predecessors of these "Sweet Chewz [with] Sour Ooze" - Starburst Smoothies and Starburst Choozers. Unless of course they're going to be replacing one or both of the earlier brands, in which case
Tongue Tangles isn't much more self-explanatory, and could lead to potential confusion when offering them around to people: "Anyone for a...
...Also on offer in Tesco were these surprisingly non sugar-free Wrigley's Extra Chewy Mints (in authentic Wrigley's Peppermint, Spearmint, Sweetmint and Coolmint, about 50p/38g bag), and I think I've glimpsed something like Mentos Pure Gum in Morrissons, in addition to the Mentos Sugarfree Gum available in Spearmint and probably the other traditional varieties that the all-natural Peppersmith team have come up with so far.
Elsewhere, Foodstuff Finds has been foraging for
XXX Mints with a Kick of Chilli - and, back with fruitier infusions, the likes of: England-themed cherry and orange
Tic Tac Fruity Limited Edition; Burton's Jammie Dodgers Lively Lemon (a belated followup to 2006's Cheeky Mango?); plus Mr Kipling's Raspberry Ripple Slices and Tuttie Frutti Pies, part of a range that includes Neapolitan Bakewells and replaces the Carrot Cake Slice and Toffee Apple Bakewell, apparently.
Confirmed sighting: Cadbury Crunchie Rocks
Posted: 19:44 Sat 15-May-2010. Price: £1.95/145g. Location: Somerfield, Kentish Town. Nutritional unusualness: Clusters of milk chocolate with honeycombed pieces (16%) and cornflakes (16%).
reports: "Share the Friday feeling," suggests the packet, and these are ideal for that purpose - if your working week typically concludes with you handing out unappetising-looking chunks of confectionery. We went over the non-Dairy Milk chocolate issue last time Cadbury produced something like this, but these don't even seem like particularly high-grade cornflakes - and, inexplicably, they've dodged making them part of the Clusters family and gone for something that sounds more like an ultra-addictive freebase "crack" version of Crunchie.
...There's more of me talking about them
at 11:10 and 25:30 in this free podcast (along with Lee Maguire's possibly-imported Twix Topix and these Lindt Excellence Caramelised Hazelnuts and Roasted Almond bars, currently £1 in Sainsbury's - it's the Hazelnut one that tastes more like Toblerone, though only when it's cold for some reason). Anyway, in other refrigerated creativity: there's now a Cadbury Chocolate Cheesecake with Buttons (full price £3.49 in Tesco) in a range of other chilled desserts to confuse with last year's Flake-based frozen one; while Jim's Chocolate Mission continues to rage against the disappointments of Cadbury Dream/ Bournville Fingers plus a dark chocolate version of Burton's Cadbury-branded Jaffa Cakes (I think 45p/pack is almost certainly a half-price introductory offer, though it's not clear whether paying more would have made him even angrier?)
Confirmed sighting: Cadbury Cookies Chunky - Choc and Fruit
Posted: 10:17 Sun 18-Apr-2010. Price: £1.49. Location: Tesco, Rutherglen, Scotland. Sub-flavours: Milk, white or plain choc. Nutritional unusualness: Milk chocolate 18%, plain choc chunks 11%.
Zeddy reports: There was a time, an age of innocence when McVitie's once made Boasters with raisins (sultanas?) and chocolate. All was right with the world way back when.
Then, like all deluded manufacturers, they felt that they had to concentrate on chocolate and nut variety and introduce white choc and cranberry. What for!? The incontinent old geriatrics who hoover up this tat on the supermarket aisles? Have you seen them? Wouldn't touch junk food like chocolate bars but by God, do they fill their baskets with pack after pack of biscuits? Oh, and a little bit of fish for tea, as food's too pricey these days.
Getting back to these cookies. Yes, the title looks somewhat mislabelled but I am only printing what it says on the pack. Don't get me started on the demise of the English language. Where these differ from the Boaster variety is that they have a slathering (I really like that word) of chocolate on their top and chunks included within the biccie too. Not as nice a biscuit as a Boaster texture-wise but still very palatable just the same. I see they are another Burton's Foods product. The fruit incidentally is currants. PS: I miss Nice Cup Of Tea and a Sit Down. They never update their site. They would have reviewed these far better than I.
...Oh I doubt that Zeddy - NiceCupOfTea doesn't even seem to mention the possible 2005 predecessor, Cadbury Cookies. Elsewhere,
Foodstuff Finds and
Chocolate Mission have been getting stuck into Galaxy Counters, Jaffa Cakes Lemon Cake Bars and Cadbury's plans for a chocolate-themed cafe chain - but only Zeddy braved B and M Bargains, Hamilton, Scotland to try this Nestle Bros bar, resisting the temptation to tell the till-operator: "I owe you nothing, nothing at all! These are Aero-type bars that come from Holland. Similar in size to a small Aero but with 5 rounded top pieces joined together, it has the same bubble design inside as an Aero. They taste very bland, however. It is as if they forgot to include any cocoa in the ingredients. As a result they are sweet and sort of milky but that's it. Not a favourite but I was glad to find some foreign chocolate close to hand. I've broadened my horizons to now be able to say I don't like Dutch chocolate. How's that for a sweeping statement? Definitely not some of the 'good schtuff'."
Confirmed sighting: Barratt Lovely Mini Eggs/ Milka with Daim Pieces
Posted: 17:08 Sun 04-Apr-2010. Price: (Lovely Mini Eggs) 50p/40g bag. Location: Convenience store near New Kent Road, London. Nutritional unusualness: Fruit and vegetable concentrates (carrot, radish, blackcurrant).
reports: Lovely Mini Eggs? Letdown Mini Eggs more like (though that might be partly because I'd been hunting them since the end of last year - you can hear my full disappointment at around 7:45 into this podcast, along with comments on Duc d'O Speckled Praline Mini Eggs and these ones from Toy Story). Anyway, for an alternative Easter crunch, over to "Nick T", who paid 50p in Globe News, Leicester for a UK Milka with Daim Pieces, echoing Jane Austen's observation that: "It is international law that every airport shop has a huge display of Milka chocolate. Now imagine if every airport also had a branch of Ikea. What does everybody buy at Ikea? Wrong. They buy bags of mini Daim bars, made by Marabou. Sorry, Jacobs Suchard. Oops, I mean Kraft. Now consider if a baggage handler (does not apply to BA) went berserk with a chainsaw and attacked both of these redoubtable stores. What would the result be?"
"Well imagine no more, for those wonderful Americans, who aren't asset strippers at all and certainly not at Bournville, gosh no, now bring us Milka with Daim Pieces. Now I've been a big fan of the chocolate in the violet packaging ever since I took an ill-judged holiday in Germany and the only choice of food was local kalb gehirn with cabbage and dumplings as heavy as lead, or the big bar of Milka I bought at Munich airport. Frankly, it saved my life. 'Made with Alpine milk', the wrapper still trumpets. But check that back and... since when has Belgium been in the Alps? Anyway, the irony is that it tastes exactly the same as the normal chocolate on Daims, so really this is just another way of delivering Daim pieces. And I've no problem with that: if it were LESS creamy it wouldn't be a new experience, it'd just be... wrong somehow. Like Antony Worrall-Thompson, or Sylvester Stallone's mother. Know what I mean?"
"All in all, this is a bit of a winner and I'll be back for more. The crunchy bits are nice, but much too small, and remind me of Green and Black's Butterscotch bar. That's Green and Black's which is of course owned by the former MD of Whole Earth Foods. Oh, hang on a minute, I mean owned by Cadbury. No! Now, what's their name...?"
Confirmed sighting: Quacky Surprise Egg
Posted: 11:37 Sun 07-Mar-2010. Price: 79p per 28g egg. Location: Sainsburys, Bristol. Nutritional unusualness: Contains beef gelatine.
I'll put together another post this month on eggs (and possibly the increasing number of less traditional Easter icons), but just for now, "Yatton" reports on this pioneering synthesis of two rarely combined worlds: The "surprise" part of this Quacky Surprise Egg is not exactly on a par with Kinder Surprise, seeing as there is a cut-away photograph and a description ("mallow chick inside") on the packaging. Anyway with a thin chocolate shell harbouring a chewy marshmallow chick this is a certainly unusual and quite possibly educational Easter egg.
...Citrus flavours also seem to be big again this spring, as with these
Cadbury Orange Creme Cake Bars (Sainsbury's, £1 for 5) - while, in less overtly Easter-related treats: Burton Foods have just launched a range of three Cadbury-themed biscuits (£1/130g, in Crunchie, Caramel or Turkish Delight); Galaxy appear to be going after Gu with their new Chocolate Pots (in chocolate or caramel, £1 for 2 introductory offer); and "penguin42" paid £1.32 for 100g of
Tesco Finest Organic Dominican Republic 70% Plain Chocolate in Tesco Metro, Manchester, noting: "A very nice bar of dark own-brand chocolate - as it says on the pack quite fruity tasting. IMHO this is nicer than the more expensive Green and Black's. It's kind of disappointing that it says in the allergy advice 'Plain chocolate may contain milk' when there is nothing in any of the ingredients to suggest it."
Confirmed sighting: Cadbury Dairy Milk Bar of Plenty
Posted: 12:10 Sun 21-Feb-2010. Price: £1/140g introductory offer. Location: Morrisons, Camden; Budgens, Belsize Park. Sub-flavours: Roast Hazelnut and Honey Roast Cashews; Toffee Apple; Berry Fruit and Vanilla Shortcake. Nutritional unusualness: 95 calories "per 3 chunks".
Today's review and pic excerpted (with permission) from "Jim's" site, who reports: This new range from Cadbury encompassed everything that most other chocolate ranges do - the good, the average and the ugly. Whereas the description of 'good' for the Hazelnut and Cashew is perhaps a little understated and the 'ugly' a little harsh on the Toffee Apple this was a range that I thought varied in quality quite considerably. What was consistent across all three of course was the Dairy Milk chocolate and its usual delightful creaminess. Of course what sorted the wheat from the chaff here was the quality of the stuff in the chocolate and I thought the savoury nuts, and sharp red fruits worked with the chocolate far better than the poor quality toffee and apple combination.
Whilst my preferences are quite clear what I am still quite unsure about is where this range came from!?? Personally I am all for manufacturers releasing seasonal limited edition bars to keep consumers interested but what I don't quite get is why Cadbury has chosen to release three new flavours all at once!? Didn't last year show Cadbury that releasing two new flavours was pretty ambitious!? If the past is anything to go by new variants have a tough time sticking around so surely three new ones at once is just insane!? The questions are endless - where will they sit on the shelf!? What are they going to be pushing out?
...And, just to continue this line of inquiry: Could the Cadbury Purity range these are apparently replacing be the Apricot Crumble Crunch etc of about 18 months ago!? Has anyone else been wondering which top global FMCG company "Jim" works for!? And how ubiquitous is the rival Milka range going to be when new Cadbury-owners Kraft roll it out across the UK on Monday April 19?!??
Confirmed sighting: Galaxy Bubbles/ Snickers More Nuts
Posted: 20:35 Sun 07-Feb-2010. Price: 49p-55p. Location: Northampton University Park Campus Shop; Costcutter, Northolt.
"Like an aero, but not!" says "Heather", and "The texture does not seem bubbly so the experience is like having less dense Galaxy (condensed milkish) chocolate," adds "Gourmet". But the picture comes courtesy of Jim Chocolatemission who, when not breaking the news that Kshocolat has gone into administration and that Thorntons are producing I Love Mum chocolate truffle cups, slams this new Galaxy for having "effeminate pink touches on the wrapper" and its lack of a "long lasting, smooth thick melt" - I haven't seen him this angry since the Cadbury Twisted debacle of a couple of years or so ago.
...Regarding more manly mouthfuls, "Nick T" meanwhile paid 42p for a Snickers More Nuts, sighing: "So there's this film yeah? called Snakes On a Plane right, and it's about some well wicked snakes, and they're on this plane right... wot? no I dunno where it's going. Prob'ly somewhere kickin' like Ayia Napa or Eurodisney yeah? Anyway, right, these..."
Sorry, where was I? Ahem. Now that our dear, dear friends at Kraft are circling the twitching corpse of British mass-market confectionery, what better opportunity is there to revisit the competition. And with prescient timing we have Snickers More Nuts, which is a Snickers but with More Nuts. And if, like me, you stopped taking notice of the modern world in about 1978, a Snickers is like a Marathon but with more sugar and having been given the Wagon Wheel looking-through-a-telescope-the-wrong-way treatment.
Oh it's no good. Look folks, it's the usual lab-factory brown stuff: more fat per 100g than a pork pie, and tooth-bendingly sweet. More nuts means it has a stronger roasted flavour, but before we all get carried away it only has more peanuts because the price of cocoa and sugar has gone through the roof but the price of peanuts hasn't. So these 'specials' are launched at a marginally lower price point than their peers specifically for C2/D mugs like me. Sales get a short term lift and Mars' profit line doesn't suffer. Marketing works like that. And if that doesn't get your hand in your pocket, we'll make another advert with those unconvincing breakdancing bloody babies. If you like sugar and you like nuts, buy one of these and knock yourself out yeah?
Confirmed sighting: Werther's Original Chocolate
Posted: 10:41 Sun 24-Jan-2010. Price: £1.00. Location: Asda, Hamilton, Scotland. Sub-flavours: Dark or milk chocolate, or milk chocolate filled with caramel.
Zeddy reports: I heard about these a few months ago but it was the first time that I actually saw them. They were stuck on an aisle end with an introductory price of £1.
3 Varieties: milk or dark chocolate "marbled with the comforting taste of Werther's", or milk chocolate filled with soft caramel. I bought 2 varieties. The dark ones and the caramel. The caramel ones are nice and very like Galaxy caramel. Nothing new but nice.
The other ones were quite rich and I suppose I could taste the "taste of Werther's". As I am not a fan of the normal hard boiled sweets, I can't say I found the taste too "comforting". The original version reminds me of piss-soaked old geriatrics reminiscing about days of yore when everything was cheaper and society had structure and decent values. Still, the chocolate varieties were nice.
...Thanks for that evocative detail there, Z - though, as someone wrote in The Grocer magazine at the time of those Original Butter Candies ads: "Placing myself at the same age as the grandfather figure, this would make him a young child in the early 1940s. Anyone who lived then would surely know that... anyone caught selling or buying German confectionery would not have been very popular". Elsewhere, Mars presumably doesn't want to end up like Cadbury, and are introducing Wispa-style Galaxy Bubbles (RSP 52p or £1.69/4), reducing saturated fat across their range, and have already launched More Nuts Limited Edition Snickers which, as Foodstuff Finds and Jim's Chocolate Mission have diligently discovered, is Snickers with 10% more peanuts in.