Sunday, 23 April 2017
We don't seem to get many new Milka bars in the UK these days, since Mondelez just convert most Milka products into a Dairy Milk version, which is a shame really because MIlka has a distinctive flavour that's very different from Dairy Milk. Perhaps it's the alpine milk in Milka bars, or the higher cocoa content, but they definitely have that unique "something" that Dairy Milk can't replicate.
So I was excited when these new "dark" Milka bars appeared in B&M and Home Bargains recently. They cost 79p, and consist of 45% cocoa dark chocolate with the addition of hazelnut paste and milk powder (so aren't suitable for vegans unfortunately).
The chocolate tasted pretty good! It has that distinctive creamy Milka flavour of alpine milk, with the hazelnut paste adding a vague nuttiness in the background. It's very tasty and was easy to eat a lot of, but more of a richer milk chocolate than a true dark chocolate.
Overall, this is quite a tasty bar and if you prefer milk chocolate with a higher amount of cocoa, this is for you!
8.5 out of 10.
Thursday, 20 April 2017
I'm always a sucker for a limited edition, and when I spotted this Co Op Rhubarb and Custard Limited Edition milk over Easter, straight into my basket it went! I've always enjoyed rhubarb and custard so putting it in milk form seems quite the logical next step, although it's not something I've ever seen done before.
This cost £1.29, is suitable for vegetarians and gluten free. There's some "Amoosing jokes" on the carton, such as "Where did the rhubarb get its hair cut? The rhu-barbers". Eye rolls ahoy! There's also rhubarb facts such as "In the wild rhubarb can reach 6 to 10 feet in height". Educational too, thanks Co Op!
Onto the most important thing then...how does it taste? Well, I was expecting it to be artificial but it actually tasted lovely and fresh! The flavour was very realistic in tasting of both rhubarb and custard in equal measure, with the thick texture of the milk making it even more reminiscent of custard. This was a lovely drink, and if you're a fan of milkshakes or milky drinks in general I would highly recommend it! It's actually quite unique - as far as I'm aware no other supermarkets have ever made anything similar.
Overall, well done Co Op, this is an interesting limited edition indeed! It will go down perfectly over the Summer months.
8.5 out of 10.
Wednesday, 19 April 2017
I don't know how Aldi manage to get away with making obvious clones of so many famous brands, but they are still at it so I won't judge. It makes the confectionery world a lot more interesting (and affordable) for those of us on tight budgets. The latest addition to their ever-expanding range are these new Dairyfine "Switch Ups" and "Mythicals" crunchy coated chocolate candies.
The Switch Ups are clearly the same thing as Nestle's Vice Versas, with the brown ones containing white chocolate centres and the white ones containing milk chocolate centres.
Sadly they didn't taste as good as Vice Versas. Vice Versas aren't great nowadays, but the white chocolate ones are at least decent. The white chocolate in Aldi's version is very flavourless, tasting mostly of sugar; no creaminess at all. They were just far far too sweet for me. 6 out of 10.
The Mythicals are similar to a product Nestle used to make called Milkybar White Moments - if anyone remembers them, please let me know in the comments! Unfortunately these aren't as good as Milkybar Moments were.
They taste of pretty much just sugar and a hint of milk, no creaminess at all. They were far too sweet and gave me that throat burning sensation after just a mouthfuls. 6 out of 10.
Overall, these new sweets from Aldi may be cheap but they're not the greatest of quality - as they say, you get what you pay for! They'll probably make for some fun cinema snacks, or baking decorations but that's about all. If you've tried them please do let me know your thoughts in the comments!
Dietary advice: Mythicals are suitable for vegetarians but Switch Ups are not suitable.
Aldi are also making some Peanut and Caramel Domes, which are similar to Rolos and Reese's Cups. I hope to try the Salted Caramel Domes next...
Thursday, 13 April 2017
When this new Blueberries & Cream flavour Haagen Dazs came out I was super eager to try it, although at £4 a tub I thought I would wait until a special offer was on. That offer never came, but by chance Haagen Dazs recently launched some new boxed mini tubs, in both a Caramel Collection and Fruit Collection, as well as a Sorbet Collection. The Fruit Collection contains the likes of Mango & Raspberry, Strawberries and Cream, Summer Berries & Cream and this...a mini tub of the Blueberries & Cream. They cost £2.50 for a box containing two tubs of each flavour, although are no longer on offer in Tesco.
The pots come with a handy plastic spoon beneath the lid, perfect if you buy a box to take to the beach!
The ice cream was of course purple, almost lavendar in colour, with little bits of blueberry mixed in.
It tastes, well, like blueberry ice cream! Something I've never tried before but pretty much as I would expect - there's the subtle blueberry flavour with the creaminess of the ice cream, complimented with yet more fruitier bursts of blueberry bits. It was very nice indeed, refreshing and creamy and would go perfect alongside a dessert...dare I say some blueberry pie?
Overall, as always with Haagen Dazs it's difficult to fault this ice cream. They always use top notch ingredients like fresh cream and whole eggs so they never disappoint, and the blueberry here is just as good as any other fruit flavours they make. If you see the regular large tubs of this on special offer over Summer - buy a tub, you won't regret it!
Stay tuned for reviews of the Strawberries and Cream and Mango & Raspberry varieties...
Nutrition (per 87g pot): 212 Calories, 14g Fat, 17.7g Carbohydrates, 16.8g Sugars, 3.6g Protein.
Ingredients: Fresh cream, condensed skimmed milk, sugar, blueberries, blueberry puree, egg yolk, concentrated lemon juice, rice starch, gelling agent: pectins, natural blueberry flavouring. Gluten free. Suitable for vegetarians.
8.5 out of 10.
Wednesday, 12 April 2017
Today's post is a departure for Kev's Snack Reviews...I was recently asked my thoughts on what companies should do when faced with negative online reviews of their products. Reviews can really affect a brands reputation, as word spreads faster than ever nowadays thanks to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook - a bad review has a big impact especially if a company is new to the market.
In my opinion, honesty is always the best policy and if a product has issues then the business and the consumer needs to understand why. We all have biased opinions to some degree and some only "see what they want to see", whether it be consumer or producer. So it's good to be aware of this if you're a company faced with bad reviews. You might be blinkered about how good you perceive your product, just as a reviewer might be about how bad it is.
How should companies deal with us bloggers' opinions, varied as they are? Well for a start it's always nice to be given an opportunity to re-evaluate our opinions; if a company has altered their product after consumer feedback, give us a chance to try it again. Work with bloggers to find out consumer opinions, perhaps even sponsor giveaways in exchange for further feedback. If your product ends up different based on this feedback then say so - it will make consumers feel listened to.
Offer a wide array of bloggers the chance to review your product...you're likely to get varying views and insight into it. This is invaluable, after all how can you know what real people think of it? Observe comments left on blog posts, this is yet more invaluable feedback.
If you get several bad reviews - chances are your product needs to be changed or it's not as good as predicted to begin with. If you're confident in your product then select several reviewers that fit its niche the best.
Incentives help. Work with bloggers to provide incentives in exchange for a fair review. Free products and samples of future products are good ones. Give shout outs to the reviews on your social media channels and mutually help each other out.
Whatever you do - don't go arguing with the reviewers after they've posted their review! I've seen this happen and it leaves a sour taste. My snacks pal Reaching for Refreshment and her dealings with Spanish Mint Company Mentas Boggle are a case in point. I do think it's okay to disagree with a review, but have a think about what you disagree with objectively, whilst bearing in mind everyone's right to an opinion, whether it be right or wrong. Make a list of the objective aspects of your product and point out things they didn't consider in their review. But don't behave angry or sarcastic, it just doesn't look very professional and anyone reading it will be turned off your company.
If the unthinkable happens and you end up with bad reviews...think about how to reach out and make things better. Take it as an opportunity to learn what went wrong - is it simply one persons opinion or is your product genuinely at fault? Can you offer another, better quality or different product to them for re-evaluation? This can help soften the blow of a bad review. Maybe you can even create your own blog post, offering an alternative opinion on your product. If the situation ever becomes more than you're able to handle, remember that professional crisis management services can help you get back on the right track.
I recently reviewed the new White Skittles and remarked what a strange idea they are. I've seen a variety of opinions about them on social media, some similar to mine and some different. This was reflected in comments left under my review, and I think this is a very good thing - open discussions get a better idea of a general consensus of how something has been received.
Well, I feel I have said all I can about this subject for now. Over the years I've been offered various products to review and I always do my best to be fair and consider where the company is coming from with their product - are they aimed at a particular dietary need, such as vegan, paleo etc? If they are new, niche or specialist I always factor this into my review where possible, but if I still don't like the product I will say so. Even then I will try to evaluate how the product might be received by someone else with different tastes to my own. Which is difficult to do but seems only fair.
I do hope this post has been helpful for anyone looking for insight on this subject! If you have any thoughts please do leave them in the comments below.
Tuesday, 11 April 2017
Today I'm reviewing an Easter Egg I was gifted that sadly will not make it to the Easter Weekend, being the chocoholic that I am. I know, I know, I'm a pig!
I was really excited when I heard about this 100% Dark Egg from Hotel Chocolat, because back in my sugar-free diet days it was so hard to find anything to have at Easter without sugar. There's always a need for such products on the market and the fact Hotel Chocolat have made this is surely a first - I've certainly never seen anything like it in shops before anyway.
The egg weighs 170 grams and has Turkish raisins and Californian roasted almonds embedded within the shell. It's suitable for vegans, although made in a factory that handles dairy products. I was excited when I split it apart to see an abundance of raisins and almonds hidden beneath:
The egg also comes with two small trays of 100% St Lucia chocolate panned Piedmont hazelnuts, which reminded me of a richer and more refined Ferrero Rocher in taste. They're super moreish!
The quality of the chocolate is excellent, and if I were currently on a sugar free diet (I'm not!) I would probably have loved it. But as I'm not, it was a bit too bitter for my tastebuds. The inclusion of the raisins and almonds was a lovely touch though and I found myself enjoying them mixed in with the chocolate. If this were an 85% cocoa egg I would probably have loved it. The total lack of sugar is just a bit too much...like they say on the packaging, its only for "the persistent, the sticklers"!
Overall, I have to say that this egg is...eggcellent...if you're avoiding sugar. They've put a lot of effort in and done it justice, and I do hope they sell really well and return next year. There's a need for more products like this, and so it's nice to see Hotel Chocolat ahead of the curve.
8.5 out of 10.
Monday, 10 April 2017
Do you like Cadbury's Mini Eggs but not how they've changed the quality of them in recent years? Well these M&S Chicky Choccy Speckled Eggs might just be for you! Priced at £1 and available from most M&S stores, they're a bit chunkier than Cadbury Mini Eggs, but a whole lot tastier!
Making them even more special, they're also speckled!
I really enjoyed these, the chocolate is creamy and doesn't taste overly sweet or greasy like Cadbury's does nowadays and the shell is the perfect level of crunchiness. The chunkier size makes them quite a mouthful to eat, but they certainly satisfy.
Overall, you can't go wrong with a bag of these from M&S this Easter. Speaking of which it's not long now until the big weekend!
Suitable for vegetarians.
8.5 out of 10.
Sunday, 9 April 2017
I've been eyeing up the new Haagen Dazs Ice Cream Bar range for a while now; they're currently on offer in Tesco and Asda and already I've tried the Salted Caramel and White Chocolate Mango & Raspberry varieties. Next on my list to try was this - the White Chocolate & Almond Bar. As fate would have it I happened to find a single boxed stick for a mere 29p in my local Heron Foods just the other day. What a bargain!
Like the other bars in this range it has a somewhat curved shape, which is a nice touch and makes it feel more special. It's described as "Vanilla ice cream with Belgian white chocolate and caramelised almond pieces".
Taking a bite, the white chocolate is perfectly creamy and delicious, with a lovely hint of vanilla. The ice cream is soft and refreshing, not overly milky like some ice creams can be. The caramelised almond pieces are what really sets this bar apart though - they're delicious! They bring a perfect sweet, savoury and nutty flavour and also add some much needed crunchy texture.
This ice cream is an absolute delight, and dare I say it is my favourite from the range that I've tried so far, with the Salted Caramel being a close second. I just need to try the Vanilla Caramel Almond bars now - I have a feeling they may be the best ones yet!
9 out of 10.
Friday, 7 April 2017
It's been years since I last had Reese's Pieces, however when I saw this box of Reese's Pieces Eggs in Bargain Buys recently I thought I'd give them another try. These are much larger than Reese's Pieces so have a greater ratio of peanut butter filling to shell. They cost £1 per box, are gluten free and suitable for vegetarians.
They're a bit like Cadbury Mini Eggs in appearance but with more brightly-coloured shells.
They taste very yummy and are highly addictive! The peanut filling gets a better chance to shine here compared to regular Reese's Pieces - it's quite creamy, and almost like a peanut white chocolate rather than peanut butter. It's mild but it works with the crunchy shells perfectly.
Overall, I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed these even though I wasn't expecting to. They're absolutely full of sugar and good old-fashioned artificial colourings, but so addictive. If you have a Bargain Buys nearby you certainly can't go wrong with a box! I believe they may also be available in Poundworld.
Nutrition (per 100g): 503 Calories, 23.1g Fat, 62.8g Carbohydrates, 52.8g Sugars, 11.1g Protein.
8 out of 10.
A big thankyou to Marks & Spencer who kindly sent me one of their Nutty Surprise Easter Eggs to review recently. I know - I'm a jammy so-and-so! I was super excited, moreso than anything I've ever been sent to review before.
This is part of the new M&S Easter range for 2017, which includes some very cool products such as Chocolate Ganache Salted Caramel Eggs, White Chocolate Laid Back Lamb, and even an Egg made of Fudge! You can't fault M&S for their efforts considering no other supermarket has such an interesting range (and really, nothing says Easter quite like this Shimmered Teardrop Egg, right?)
This beauty is described as a "hollow milk chocolate egg with honey caramelised salted peanut pieces". It comes with its own stand, should you wish to show it off and admire it:
Opening the foil, the two halves split apart to reveal the glorious peanut studded centre. It looked amazing!
And now for the close-up...
I snapped a piece of the shell off, which was very chunky and had plenty of peanuts studded in it.
The first thing to hit me were the crunchy peanuts, which were very plentiful. Yum! They were sweet, savoury and perfectly roasted. The caramelised honey makes them super moreish. I liked that they were fairly whole rather than chopped into tiny pieces. The milk chocolate was thick and of good quality; it had a creamy melt and a nice cocoa flavour - I can't fault it. Combined with the honey caramelised peanuts this is the ultimate peanut chocolate combination, it's divine!
If you like peanuts or peanut butter then this is the egg for you this Easter - it looks sensational and tastes it too. At £12 it's not the cheapest egg around, but you definitely get your moneys worth, as it's very filling and lasts for quite a while (well it will, unless your friends pop over!)
Overall, I think M&S probably have one of the best chocolate eggs on the market this Easter. I haven't seen many that are particularly interesting this year, and most supermarkets haven't done anything different, so M&S are certainly leading the way with this.
Nutrition (per 100g): 530 Calories, 30.6g Fat, 53.5g Carbohydrates, 51.9g Sugars, 8.9g Protein, 2.4g Fibre.
Ingredients: Sugar, honey, caramelised peanuts (peanuts, sugar, honey, salt), dried whole milk, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, emulsifier: soya lecithin, vanilla flavouring.
Suitable for vegetarians.
9 out of 10.
Thursday, 6 April 2017
I may not be The Peanut Butter Queen - that title goes to Nibbles & Scribbles - but I certainly had to try these new Dessert Menu Belgian Milk Chocolate and Peanut Ice Creams when they appeared in Marks & Spencer recently, along with other varieties such as Milk Chocolate & Cappuccino and Stem Ginger. They're suitable for vegetarians and described as "Roasted peanut ice cream with a toffee ripple coated in Belgian milk chocolate and roasted peanut pieces". They cost £2.80 for a box of three. You can also buy them in single sticks if your M&S is lucky enough to have them in.
They look pretty similar to a Magnum in size and appearance, with the roasted peanut pieces visibly embedded in the chocolate.
Taking a bite, there's a nice savoury flavour from the peanut ice cream, with a thin layer of toffee ripple running through it. The chocolate is top quality, rich yet creamy and far better than anything most supermarkets make. The peanut pieces add a nice bit of crunch and are very tasty. I do wish there had been more of the toffee ripple - it tasted nice but there wasn't enough to get a proper indulgent feel from it.
Overall, these are good ice creams from M&S, with high quality ingredients. They're not quite the peanutty indulgent explosion I was hoping for, although I guess it's always going to be difficult to get that with an ice cream stick. I would still recommend them though, they're as good as the Magnum Peanut Butter Double for sure.
Nutrition (per 79g stick): 296 Calories, 19.1g Fat, 26g Carbohydrates, 25.7g Sugars, 4.5g Protein.
8 out of 10.
Wednesday, 5 April 2017
I don't really know where to start with my thoughts about these new Limited Edition White Skittles Fruits. You wouldn't think there'd be much to say about sweets that have simply removed the colourings, but apparently there is.
They've been launched to support Gay Pride this Summer, stating "only one rainbow matters this Pride. Give the rainbow, taste the rainbow". The implication is that they've removed their traditional rainbow colours so that the Pride rainbow can shine instead. Oh, thanks for your kindness, Skittles!
That aside, I will admit that it was interesting trying the Skittles not knowing which flavour was which. All the classic flavours are there, from lemon to orange and strawberry and they taste just as good as ever. I had to fight the urge to get out some marker pens and colour them in, though!
Here's my (terrible) attempt at creating a rainbow out of white Skittles. Doesn't look too exciting does it?:
What do you think of white Skittles? Good idea or not? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!
Tuesday, 4 April 2017
In the midst of some of their latest new indulgent product launches, Nestle have decided to reduce sugar and calories across some of their range. Last week they announced the launch of a Kitkat with More Milk & Cocoa (which has caused "outrage" according to the Daily Mail), and as well as that they've reduced sugar by 30% in Fruit Pastilles and Rowntree's Randoms. I found this bag of reduced sugar Fruit Pastilles for 60p in Tesco Express.
They contain no artificial sweeteners, and it seems that some of the sugar may have been replaced with dextrin, which is a fibre made from corn. So they're still high carb but contain less sugar.
They tasted pretty good, definitely less sugary than regular Fruit Pastilles and were somehow lighter to eat. The fruit flavours are still there and the chewy texture is still the same. For a reduced sugar sweet it's hard to tell the difference, and thankfully they don't have that weird flavour that some products with artificial sweeteners in do.
Overall, I really can't fault these. Yes they're not quite as sweet, but I think it's good to get used to foods being less sweet. Regular Fruit Pastilles were always far too sugary anyway.
Ingredients: Glucose syrup, sugar, dextrin (maize fibre), dextrose, gum arabic, gelatine, modified starch, concentrated fruit juices, acids, acidity regulator, flavourings, natural colours.
Not suitable for vegetarians.
Nutrition (per 12 sweets): 117 Calories, Trace Fat, 25.1g Carbohydrates, 14g Sugars, 3.5g Fibre, 2.4g Protein.
8 out of 10.
Monday, 3 April 2017
There seems to be a new Haribo Limited Edition for every season nowadays; the last few Summers they had the Frenzy Editions, which I thought were returning again this year. But it seems not...instead we're getting these "Summer Frenzy" Tangfastics which contain Ice Cream & Sorbet Flavours, and Starmix Summer Frenzy with Berry Flavours.
The ice cream flavours are Passionfruit, Mango, Bubblegum, Peach, Watermelon and Rhubarb & Custard...
Whilst the Sorbet flavours are Peach and Guava, Mango & Passionfruit and Pink Grapefruit.
Being honest I think this is quite a random mix of flavours for ice cream and sorbets...I mean when was the last time anyone bought a tub of watermelon ice cream? No matter, Haribo flavours are usually better in practice than on paper.
There were lots of Rhubarb and custard "Cherries" in the bag, and as nice as they were they became a big boring after a while. They tasted quite similar to Haribo Rhubarb and Custard Splats.
The rings were a bit different from usual and very tasty, with two tropical flavours combined into one. The pink grapefruit bottles were nice enough, but definitely not a worthy replacement for cola bottles.
The various fruit flavoured dinosaurs were all good; tangy and tropical. The Bubblegum ice cream ones were great, with the perfect Bubblegum flavour, although I suspect they've they've just reused the Bubblegum Splats formula.
Overall, as always with Haribo this Limited Edition is a mixed bag, quite literally! There's some nice tropical fruit flavours going on which make a nice change, but it's a stretch to call them ice cream flavours. When I think of ice cream I think vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, caramel, mint...these would have been more accurately described as just Sorbet Flavours. Nevertheless, it's a tasty bag of sweets and I'm sure will be very popular this summer.
Now, I need to try the Starmix Summer Frenzy with Berry flavours...stay tuned for a review!
Available at Tesco.
Nutrition information (per 100g): 346 Calories, 0.5g Fat, 80g Carbohydrates, 50g Sugars, 6.6g Protein.
8 out of 10.
Sunday, 2 April 2017
I was quite excited when this Snickers Ice Cream tub popped up in Asda recently, along with Mars and Twix Ice Cream tubs. I can't eat the latter two as both contain gluten, but this one is gluten free - huzzah!
I am sure they used to make these many moons ago, back in the 90's. I distinctly remember eating the Mars variety as a child. So they are perhaps a recycled idea rather than something completely new. Regardless, it's always good to have more peanutty products on UK shelves!
This cost £3 in Asda and is described as "Peanut dairy ice cream with milk chocolate coated peanuts, caramel and milk chocolate flavour sauce".
When I opened the tub a lot of the ice cream had melted, which meant only one thing: eat as much as possible to stop it spilling out of the tub! (Any excuse).
The ice cream is lovely, you can definitely taste the peanut flavour as it has that salty savoury taste going on. The caramel is a nice addition and provides some sweet gooey texture, although I didn't even realize there was a milk chocolate sauce, I just assumed it was all caramel. The peanuts are interesting: they're well roasted and stay true to those found in Snickers bars, being whole and crunchy. Presumably their chocolate coating is what stopped them going soggy amongst the ice cream. They're what makes this ice cream stand out compared to all others really - usually, you just get pieces of chopped nuts in ice cream (like Jude's Peanut Butter Chocolate Ripple for example) or nut paste, but here they're giving you whole crunchy peanuts. They were a bit strange to crunch on whilst also eating soft ice cream, but I did enjoy them. They've stayed true to the Snickers formula for sure.
Overall, this is a very tasty ice cream indeed, if anything I would recommend buying it just for the crunchy peanuts. At £3 a tub it's quite good value too compared to the likes of Ben & Jerry's and Haagen Dazs when they're at full price.
Suitable for vegetarians.
Nutrition (per 100ml/2 scoops): 190 Calories, 10g Fat, 21g Carbohydrates, 16g Sugars, 3.7g Protein.
8.5 out of 10.