Confirmed sighting: Ben and Jerry's Winter Berry Brownie Ice Cream
Posted: 18:40 Sun 21-Oct-2012. Price: £4.25. Location: Asda, Southampton.
"Choccieman" reports: Time for another new flavour from B+J's. This is vanilla ice cream, brownie pieces and a raspberry and blackberry swirl.
I'm not normally fond of anything fruit related but have to say this is really rather good. The raspberry/blackberry taste is there but it's very subtle. The brownie pieces and vanilla ice cream are the usual B+J quality that you will have probably already tried in other varieties.
There's also another new flavour about called Cow Power, but I haven't seen it and it sounds very similar to Fossil Fuel.
Now if only they hadn't stopped doing Coconutterly Fair...
..."Choccieman" there, apparently prefering this to 2007's similar-sounding Bohemian Raspberry, itself begat by 2006's Glastonberry (aka Dave Matthews Band Magic Brownies). In other Unilever subsidiaries: my local Sainsbury has just started a £2 introductory offer on Ben + Jerry Core-style 450ml Walls Magnum Luxury tubs, but I actually preferred their sponge-layer-featuring My Carte D'Or Tiramisu (something like £1.50/200ml in Asda), which would be a strong contender for one of the products of the year if it wasn't up against Pizza Hut's pioneering Hot Cookie Dough Desserts (£3.75, now also available in Cheesecake form).
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!
International sighting: Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Nougat Crunch/ Chocolate Therapy
Posted: 10:10 Sun 15-Apr-2012. Location: Shoreline, WA, USA.
Fascinatingly, Chocolate Therapy was available in the UK (if not on the NHS) about 6 years ago, but as regular correspondent "Graham" reports: B+J have gone overboard on the chocolate with their newest US flavours. Nougat Crunch is their usual sweet cream ice cream, bits of wafer cookies and a tasty chocolate nougat swirl, but while it's not bad it's actually not all that different from their Americone Dream. Chocolate Therapy, meanwhile, is just chocolate cubed - chocolate ice cream with cookies and a chocolate pudding ice cream swirl. I like my chocolate, but even that is a bit too much for me.
...In other Unilever revelations: Solero Fruit Ice Pineapple is apparently "the only lolly product on the market made with real fruit pieces"; real fruit chunks are also a highlight of Strawberry flavour Carte D'Or (also now available in an Amaretto, Vanilla and Chocolate SKU); and light-brown coloured ice cream seems to be the distinguishing characteristic of this year's new Cornetto Enigma Yummy Cookie Flavour (about £1.50 or something in Tesco). Elsewhere, a promising contender for Worst Product Name Of 2012 arrives in the form of Haagen-Dazs Secret Sensations, echoing the unintentional hilarity of Surf's Twilight Sensations detergent and Primark's Secret Possessions underwear range.
Confirmed sighting: Ben and Jerry's Core Karamel Sutra
Posted: 10:05 Sun 04-Mar-2012. Location: Tesco, Southampton. Nutritional unusualness: 12% soft caramel core.
"choccieman" reports: Hurrah, it's always a good day when a new B+J's product hits the market. OK we're never going to get the kind of glorious variation they get in the states but it's a start. So this is the first flavour (of hopefully a whole range) to feature a caramel core (hence the name) running through the centre of, and partially separating, two flavours of ice cream.
In this instance those flavours are caramel and chocolate with chocolate chunks. Which is quite convenient as I like the chocolate and mrs choccieman likes the caramel. It's an excellent combination and whilst it isn't quite as good as the core sundae you'd get from a B+J's stand at the cinema and won't replace our current fave of Coconutterly Fair it's still great and hopefully there'll be more varieties to follow soon.
...Cheers "choccieman" - no sign of this so far in the Old Kent Road Tesco, but they did have the long-awaited UK version of The Vermonster, which was OK but in my opinion not as good as Cadbury's Gooing For Gold. For posher freezer cabinets, Foodstuff Finds detected "elements of fern and [...] a very fragrant but also slightly woody taste" in Heston from Waitrose's Chocolate and Rosemary Ice Cream, while we can also look forward to: Unilever's biggest chocolate hit yet - Magnum Infinity in Chocolate, or Chocolate and Caramel; Rowntree's Sour Pastilles ice lollies; plus, from Haagen-Dazs, both Mint Leaves and Chocolate flavour and these Secret Sensations, which contain "a liquid centre of sauce enveloped by ice cream", in Chocolat Fondant or Creme Brulee.
Confirmed sighting: Alpen Porridge
Posted: 18:29 Sun 18-Dec-2011. Price: Introductory offer of £2 for box of 8x 40g sachets. Location: Tescos all over London. Sub-flavours: Fruit and Nut; Cranberry, Blueberry and Nuts; Raspberry, Apple and Raisin.
reports: "We know you know how good it will be," mutters the packet, threateningly, but who'd have thought that the Weetabix Corporation would bring something revolutionary to the microwaveable just-add-milk market? That thing is of course raisins, which work remarkably well with the recognisably Alpen-ish mix of oats and muesli - the Raspberry And Apple one tasted a bit too fruity for my liking but that's not going to put me off trying the Cranberry And Blueberry next. Plus, it's also the ideal way to celebrate the discovery of yet another planet in the "Goldilocks" zone - so called because its surface temperature may allow the existence of porridge in its liquid form, believed to be one of the essential prerequisites for organic life.
...Anyway, in other cereal offenders: Jim's Chocolate Mission has been drawn into the campaign forcing consumers to choose between the Totally Chocolatey or Chocolate Caramel varieties of Kellogg's Krave - I actually preferred the Choc and Original versions of Kellogg's Mini Max, though Foodstuff Finds seems a bit less convinced. That said, one of my surprise contenders for Best Products Of 2011 has turned out to be Kellogg's All Bran Golden Crunch - pictured here with one of Quaker Oats' replacements for their Paw Ridge range, the latter axed after being hailed on Snackspot as one of the worst-named products of 2009.
Confirmed sighting: Muller Rice Limited Edition Banana and Toffee
Posted: 11:28 Sun 03-Jul-2011. Price: £0.61. Location: Waitrose, Fulham. Nutritional unusualness: 25.7g sugar, 36.7g carbohydrate, 4.2g fat, per 190g pot.
First-time spotter "Simon Rugg" threatens to re-open
Muller's previous Banoffee controversy, as he reports: Not an uncommon mix, banana and toffee is often meant to be kept to banana splits and suchlike. Here the rice is banana flavoured with the toffee at the bottom, like most of the Muller rice compounds series. The results are mildly pleasant.
...Nice one Simon, though if you're looking for even more highly-refrigerated refreshment, Tesco had some £2/500ml discounts recently on their
new ChokABlok tubs (in Billionaire's Shortcake, Cookie Dough Mon-Star, Gold Digger Dynamite, Chocolate Extremist and Cherry Bomb Brownie - pictured here), made by the increasingly ubiquitous R and R Ice Cream. Elsewhere, Gobble Monkey takes a characteristically irreverent look at Marks and Spencer's Percy Pig fruit flavoured lolly (and the rest of their pork gelatine-based range), while I shared some of Foodstuff Finds' disappointment that the nuts pictured on the box don't make a bigger appearance in Walls Carte D'Or Macadamia Night (often available in BOGOF deals or discounted to £1.99).
Confirmed sighting: Honey Monster Honeycomb Puffs/ Golden Wonder Chip Shop Curry crisps
Posted: 11:31 Sun 27-Mar-2011. Price: £2.59. Location: Scotmid, Strathaven, Scotland. Nutritional unusualness: "with honey goodness", honeycomb pieces 8%.
Zeddy reports: Tell 'em about the Crunchie, mummy!
Yes, Sugar Puffs' new products continue, this one being a Ltd Edition - standard Sugar Puffs and hidden (and I DO mean hidden) throughout fairly sparsely (unless they are sitting at the bottom of the box) are little pieces of cinder toffee aka Crunchie. They are OK but nothing to rush out and buy unless you are a big puff... fan.
...Thanks Zeddy - in other crunchy curiosities: it sounds like "Gourmet" has found a Cadbury Spots V Stripes Big Race bar for 60p in the Church Road Co Op, Northolt, alleging it's: "A light crispy wafer with bubbles of cocoa cream. An unremarkable but not unpleasant experience. Not very Cadbury, more like foreign confection, probably a Kraft influence," while "Father Crispmas" spotted molasses powder, liquorice powder and turmeric powder in the 6-packs of Golden Wonder Chip Shop Curry crisps sold by "Everything's 99p", Southend, adding: "Apparently, this was judged Scotland's favourite flavour by by Scottish TV viewers back in August 2010 (Golden Wonder are sponsoring STV programmes in an attempt to
reconnect the brand with its Scottish heritage, and the pack accordingly sports a natty STV logo). Some packs have evidently found their way down south, as I can cheerfully testify with my spicy breath!"
"The promotion clearly wasn't as high-profile as the current Walkers one, and I can't find any details of any other promotional flavours which might have been available, but I'm pleased to say these crisps make a very passable attempt at chip shop curry flavour. The crisps aren't exactly overpowering - I'd have liked a stronger flavour but you also get a good taste of potato, so all in all it's a fairly good representation of dipping your chips into a pot of curry sauce. The nutritional info on the GW site is far more detailed than it is on the packet, and, like most pet food labelling, makes mention of
the moisture and ash content, which is slightly disconcerting...
Confirmed sighting: Ben and Jerry's Coconutterly Fair
Posted: 19:26 Sun 20-Mar-2011. Price: £3.99. Location: Tesco, Southampton.
"choccieman" reports: It's always a good day when a new B+J's flavour hits the UK (although we must still envy our friends across the pond who are constantly spoiled for choice). This new flavour is described as "Chocolate ice cream with a coconut caramel swirl (9%) and chocolatey covered coconut caramel crunch pieces (8%)". It's Fairtrade too - 50% of the coconut is Fairtrade in 2011, B+J's hope to raise this to 100% by 2012 with the help of their Peruvian friends - which could be taken as a bit sinister.
Taste-wise, well, I'm a well-known B+J's fan and anything with a chocolate ice cream base is likely to get my vote. The coconut caramel swirl isn't very noticeable but the caramel crunch pieces are (felt like more than 8% in the tub I had), they have a pleasant texture to them, and make a change from the usual, more solid, additions in other B+J's tubs. If you don't like coconut much you could still probably enjoy a scoop or 2 as the flavour builds the more you eat in one sitting. The best summary of the taste and experience came from Mrs Choccieman as it is like an ice cream version of one of her favourite chocolate bars - the
Toffee Crisp Coconut. If you liked that you'll love this.
...Hey, it's clearly springtime for "choccieman" - and Asda come to mention it, as I just spotted this extensive selection in Wembley Park's freezers, including: Wall's Magnum Ghana; Blueberry Muffin or Cookie Dough versions of those Asda own-brands I'm always going on about; Orange or Pineapple Soleros that I hadn't seen before; plus Apple and Blackcurrant Fabs and Walls Fizz Effect X-Pop. Though you can still be first to spot Wispa Ice Cream bars and tubs, or Rolo sticks, Rolo cones, and Nestle Crunch ice cream bars - the latter from the makers of the OK-but-not-amazing Spoony's Funky Chunky range that also launched into the increasingly crowded semi-premium market sometime last year.