Candy Repackaged - Sweets and Snacks 2011

Sweets and Snacks EXPO 2011

World's Finest Chocolate has repackaged Queen Anne Milk Chocolate Cordial Cherries into a new Spring box. I love the look of it, it's Easter-ish, it's Spring-ish. It makes complete sense that they changed up the outside, but left their fantastic product alone on the inside. I know they tried an egg-shaped version last year and it did not work very well, so changing the box was a much better idea.

Sweets and Snacks EXPO 2011

NECCO is offering a new milk carton 12oz. box with one of the best slogan's I've heard....."Pour your heart out!" So clever, I love it!

Sweets and Snacks EXPO 2011

American Licorice spent a lot of time and money redesigning their Sour Punch product. The focus now is the PUNCH instead of the sour. I talked with their media person and he explained how much time and effort they've put into this product. I think the redesign is fantastic and I have a sample, so I'll take a better photo later.  I had a great conversation with them about other products, more on that later.

Sweets and Snacks EXPO 2011

I can't forget the new Panda Licorice bag. The redesign on it is amazing.  I love the pieces of Panda Licorice they used for the eyes and ears. It's simple, it's classy, this was also one of our favorites.

Sweets and Snacks EXPO 2011

I saved the best for last. I love the softened look of the new GooGoo Clusters. The Retro box is fantastic and I have a sample to review at a later time. I love the redesign. The boxes look fantastic in person, I'm not sure my camera was able to capture the amazing job they did on this redesign.


Candy We Waited the Longest For - Sweets & Snacks 2011

Sweets and Snacks EXPO 2011

We rarely had to wait in line for samples, but for some reason the Pucker Powder "candy art machine" always had lines standing at it. This is a 12 flavor bulk dispenser of sour and sweet powder. It was funny to watch people move around the dispenser, filling their plastic tubes with powder and making stripes of different candy configurations.  You then tilt the tubes into your mouth, like Pixie Stix.  The powder is loaded in plastic bottles that reminded me of toner for a printer. I really like the idea of an activity and a candy you can make yourself. Every flavor I tried was very good.  I think you'll see this popping up in a store near you soon!  It was very popular!


Candy that Surprised Me - Sweets and Snacks 2011

Sweets and Snacks EXPO 2011

1.  The Chocolate Peanut Butter Log from the Albanese Confectionary Group. I love their gummies, they have a few new ones that I'll review later, but WOW!, the milk chocolate on this candy was smooth and tasted fantastic. The peanut butter inside was flaky and dry like the inside of a Butterfinger bar, it was nice and sweet and had a fantastic taste. I could eat a million of these.

Sweets and Snacks EXPO 2011

2.  With a name like Farts, I thought this candy was going to taste terrible, and that is could only be loved by kids under thirteen years old. But surprise, this candy was fantastic. I only tried the fruity flavors but they were really very good. There are only four fruity flavors right now, but they have one hundred twenty six flavors in total. They are going to release the next five flavors after social input from Facebook fans, I believe. This candy is said to be thirty to fourty-five days away from hitting the market. This is one candy you don't want to miss.

Sweets and Snacks EXPO 2011

3.  If you would have told me that Toxic Waste would make a candy I enjoyed that didn't make my mouth hurt, I would have said you were crazy. However, their new Sour Smog Balls are really good. They have a hard outer candy shell with a chewy interior that is nice and sour. Some of them are more sour than the others, but for the most part, this candy has the right amount of sour for me.

Sweets and Snacks EXPO 2011


Most Wanted Novelty Items - Sweets and Snacks 2011

Sweets and Snacks EXPO 2011

I'm not a huge fan of novelty candy items, but look at these plush Nerds. I couldn't resist taking a photo of them and I really think I'll have to buy one of these. This product is made by Great Number One, LLC. This 7" plush should cost about $10.00

Sweets and Snacks EXPO 2011

The Astro Pop Giant!!! I'm not sure what you'd do with this, but I think I need one for the shelves in my office.

Sweets and Snacks EXPO 2011

If I'm going to get the Astro Pop Giant, I might as well buy the 1lb. Sugar Daddy to go with it, right?

Sweets and Snacks EXPO 2011

I've always wanted a giant PEZ dispenser and now that they've added a Wolverine one, I think I'll break down and buy one.


New Ritter Sport Bars - Sweets and Snacks 2011

Sweets and Snacks EXPO 2011

I have a bias towards Ritter Sport bars. I absolutely love them. I've probably mentioned that a few times in my other reviews of them (see Ritter Sport bar reviews here). The photo above shows the new flavors we'll see in the U.S. They've added two new flavors, Almonds and White Almonds, along with three repackaged German bars, hazelnuts, Noisette (milk chocolate with the delicious taste of roasted hazelnuts) and Extra Fine Milk Chocolate. These are available in a new 65g (2.3 oz) size. These bars are apparently made on a line that used to make all natural and organic bars that didn't do very well in Europe. The impression I received is that Ritter Sport U.S. is making these to sell in places that do not have shelf space for the larger bar. I have a sample of each new flavor and I'll be reviewing them soon.


Fruit-Tella Strawberry

Fruit-tella Strawberry

When I think of the candy company Perfetti van Melle, I think of Mentos. Besides Air Heads, which Perfetti also makes, there is no other candy I associate with them more. However, they also make another great candy that we do not see very often in the U.S. That candy is Fruit-Tella. When a good friend of ours traveled to the Netherlands recently, I asked if she would bring us back some candy. She brought back a big four pack of Fruit-Tella Strawberry (among many other items) and we enjoyed every single piece in the giant package.



For Americans, the description of this candy is pretty simple. If you look at the photo below (from the Dutch import shop I visited recently) summed it up very well.  It says, "This is the "Dutch Starburst". That is as simplistic of a description you'll ever find of a foreign candy, but it does help describe what this candy is like. There are a few differences between Fruit-Tella and Starburst though. First of all, Fruit-Tella is smaller in size than Starburst. I'd say the pieces are about 60-70% of the size of Starbursts. I also think that Fruit-Tella is more flavorful and lasts longer than Starbursts. The only downside to Fruit-Tella is that I think it is more waxy than Starbursts. I often get to the end of one and have to spit out the waxy leftover part of the candy, I do not have to do that with Starbursts.

Fruit-tella the Dutch Starburst!

The strawberry flavor in this candy was very good. I'm not a big fan of strawberry candy in general because the flavor usually seems fake and it's a very tough flavor to replicate. I did like this version of a strawberry candy though. I thought it was one of the closest flavors to real strawberry that I've had. It had a nice tart strawberry flavor that reminded me of summers picking strawberries in a large field by where I grew up. We used to go to a "you pick, you-pay" field where the farmer allowed you to eat as much as you wanted while you picked. That is probably why strawberry candy doesn't appeal to me. I've eaten so many strawberries in my life, the experience and taste is very familiar to me.

 

Having friends bring back souvenir candy is one of the best parts about writing a candy blog.  This particular friend is also headed to Sweden this year and another friend just came back from Denmark.  There aren't enough days to review all the candies they brought back, but we sure are enjoying learning about and tasting candy from around the world.


Taste: 4/5 Really Liked It
Calorie Counter: Not listed
Price: These were listed at $1.25 at our Dutch Import shop, I'm not sure what they cost in the Netherlands, I did not ask our friend to keep track of prices.
Fruit-Tella Web Site

Fruit-tella Strawberry


Trader Joe's Bunny Gummy Tummies & Friends

 

 

Trader Joe's Bunny Gummy Tummies & Friends

I was hoping the title of this candy might be even longer. Then, every time I type it, my review gets longer, Trader Joe's Bunny Gummy Tummies & Friends. See, that's writing magic right there. This is one of the candies I missed reviewing for Easter so I thought I'd review it anyway because I've been waiting to eat it.



I've only reviewed one other Trader Joe's candy and that was because one of our readers requested it. That review of the Trader Joe's Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups left me thinking that Trader Joe's made some excellent candy to go with their excellent selection of tasty food. I liked the packaging on this candy, it's funny, it's very Easter-ish. This candy is made in France, so I assume the product it outsourced by Trader Joe's, but I don't really know for sure. The packaging lists four flavors, lemon, strawberry, orange and blackberry. It says these are all natural and have a "fluid fruity center that pleasantly melts in your mouth". I was really interested in the flavors, I really like gummy candy, but fluid insides? That's not really something I enjoy in my gummy candy.

Trader Joe's Bunny Gummy Tummies & Friends

You can see in the photo above that this candy has a different shape to match the different flavors. The shapes might be hard to see but there is an orange egg, lemon bird, white/purple sheep blob, and the very cute pink bunny. The colors made it very easy to tell which flavor you were getting but our package had WAY more of the cute pink bunny strawberry flavor than I would have liked. The gummy was nice and soft with just the right amount of chew. It had a nice blend of being soft and chewy with just the right resistance that a gummy candy should have. The gummy did not stick to my teeth, big thumbs up there. The flavors were fantastic. Very natural, very light, I liked every flavor but thought the lemon was about perfect.

Trader Joe's Bunny Gummy Tummies & Friends

The "fluid fruity center" was better than I thought it would be. I was thinking of something like Fruit Gushers, those horrible fruit snacks with a giant glob of sugar fluid inside them. This candy was not like that at all. It was a very small, sugary liquid that did add to the candy. They didn't overdo the amount or make it sour or super fake flavored. It was nice and sugary with a flavor we found enjoyable.


So far I'm two for two on liking what Trader Joe's has to offer for candy. I might pick a few more items up the next time I'm there.


Taste: 4/5 Really Liked It
Calorie Counter: 7 pieces = 1 serving = 140 calories, 0g fat, 28g sugars
Price: I forgot to write down the price but these were purchased at Trader Joe's and in the $2 range


Limited Edition - Twix Coconut

Limited Editon - Twix Coconut

This is the first time I've received some serious swag from a candy company. I received a package in the mail that contained a Twix Coconut Bag, USB flash drive shaped like a Twix package and a small plastic coconut-shaped cup that had this Limited Edition Twix Coconut bar inside (similar to the one Rodzilla Reviews received).  I think Mars must have read my Coconut M&M's post and decided it was time to pull out all the stops! In my review of Mars' Coconut M&M's I described how horrible I thought they tasted and gave them my lowest rating, a 1 out 5, "Hated It". I rarely give out that rating, but I did not like the Coconut M&M's. With that in mind, I can't say I was eager to review this version of the Twix bar.



This is one of those lessons in why you should try everything. I've always liked Twix bars, mostly for the taste, but also for the ability to share a package.  It's always difficult trying to split a regular candy bar. It's messy, you often break the bar into unequal halves etc... A Twix is great for sharing because it's already divided for you. It's also relatively mess/crumb free so it's great to eat in the car. Having said all of that, I still was not looking forward to this review.



How bad was it? Well, it wasn't bad at all. It's strange, but all the things I hated about the Coconut M&M's, I liked in the Twix Coconut. The coconut smell was light and buttery. The taste seemed less fake to me, although still fake. The taste lingered for less time than the M&M's, which was an improvement.  But like all the other reviews I've read, I want to know, where is the real coconut? I like Almond Joys and Mounds bars. I miss the real coconut in this Twix. I wish they would have made another layer that was somewhat cool on the tongue, light and whipped with coconut in it. Something like that would be perfect sandwiched between caramel and cookie topped in chocolate, rather than just coconut flavored caramel. I'm not sure I'd pick this version over the normal, peanut butter, caramel or java Twix, but I did like it much better than I thought I would. It flavor seemed to fit in well with the rest of the bar. I'm not sure if it was because of the cookie crunch, the different texture, or the addition of the cookie or caramel, but this is one new coconut version I liked from Mars. I think it reminded me of those Samoa Girl Scout cookies and I LOVE those. From watching the stock on store shelves, this bar is now available and seems to be popular. I watched the display in our student union over the last few weeks and it has disappeared pretty quickly.  Since it is a limited edition, you should try it soon, or it may be too late.

Limited Editon - Twix Coconut

Other reviews of this candy you should read: Candyblog, Rodzilla Reviews, Cocoa Heaven, ZOMG Candy!, Candy Gurus


Taste: 3/5 Liked It
Calorie Counter: 1 package = 1 serving = 250 calories, 13g fat, 25g sugars
Price: FREE sample provided by MARS
Twix Web Site


Happy National Jelly Bean Day!!!

National Jelly Bean Day - Jelly Belly

My good friends at Jelly Belly sent me this fantastic box of Jelly Belly jelly beans for National Jelly Bean Day. I love it! Such a great idea and I'll definitely continue buying and reviewing their fantastic products. Thanks Jelly Belly! I hope you all enjoy this day and go out and pick up some jelly beans, there are millions of options this time of the year.

Mighty Malts - Speckled Malted Milk Eggs

Might Malts Speckled Malted Milk Eggs

I glanced at this candy several times before I finally decided to pick it up. My curiosity finally got the best of me as I wanted to know which candy company made this candy. I'd never seen or heard of it before. I was a bit surprised to discover that the New England Confectionary Company (NECCO) makes this candy. I never would have guessed that. I couldn't see how this was similar to any other candy they made. I think everyone is familiar with their Sweethearts conversation hearts. Most people are familiar with their NECCO wafers I'm guessing, but their malted milk balls?



The packaging is a little sparse and they've used 5 different fonts on fewer than 10 words, but the little window where you can see the candy is pure genius. If this package didn't have that, I would never have purchased it. My opinion on speckled, shiny or sparkly candy is that all humans are drawn to it.  In the end, the speckles really won me over on this candy. I really liked how they looked, such great colors for Easter including blue, yellow, pink and white. All of the colors taste the same, so it's merely cosmetic...but it's beautiful.

Might Malts Speckled Malted Milk Eggs

I wasn't impressed with this candy at first. However, I had just purchased a small bag of Jelly Belly brand malted milk balls, which are fantastic (and also $10/pound), so the comparison wasn't really fair.  Jelly Belly has a great formula with a hard candy shell, then a layer of chocolate followed by the malted milk center. I'm in love with that combination. This candy on the other hand is some kind of vanilla-ish tasting almond bark, that is extremely sweet covering a malted milk center. I was not impressed. However, I did figure out that I was eating these wrong. I kept them around the house for a few days, which is odd, as I usually toss out candy right after we've reviewed it.  Since it was sitting there, I decided to give this candy another try. Instead of trying to melt it and enjoy the malted milk center slowly, which is what I had done with the Jelly Belly version, I took one of these and chomped it down like a Whoppers malted milk ball.  This led me to the conclusion that these were okay tasting, which was a huge upgrade from "hated them", but they are still not even comparable to the Jelly Belly ones (I reviewed them as part of the Jelly Belly Easter Mix here) and nowhere close to the amazing taste of the Madelaine Chocolate Company Malt Eggs. This candy was much cheaper than my other two favorites, so it's perfect for kids and Easter baskets. since it isn't chocolate so it's not going to melt on hands and clothing, if the Easter weather is warm enough to melt chocolate. As a parent, that's something I can appreciate, but I'd probably just give this candy to the kids and I'd save the good stuff for myself.

Might Malts Speckled Malted Milk Eggs


Taste: 3/5 Liked It
Calorie Counter: 6 pieces = 1 serving = 190 calories, 0g fat, 26g sugars
Price: $2.68 purchased at Wal Mart
NECCO Web Site