Confirmed sighting: Mentos Up2U Gum
Posted: 18:59 Sun 22-Jan-2012. Price: Possibly £1/14 "sugarfree gums". Location: Asda, Old Kent Road. Sub-flavours: Sweet Mint and Bubble Fresh, other minty combos.
reports: In the US, it looks like the flavours include Mandarin/Strawberry-plus-Spearmint, but this was the most adventurous option I could spot in Asda (complete with perturbing Caesar quotation on the inside). Also, I didn't read the packet and assumed the pink flavour was strawberry, so imagine my surprise to discover it's much more like, well, whatever the hell Hubba Bubba is supposed to taste of. Overall, it's a zany idea with some snappy packaging, tragically overshadowed by the fact that I finally found their 3 Layer Gum with green tea in it in Tesco's, which is just a bit nicer all round.
...Anyway, in other fruity chews: Wrigley are doing a bigger launch of Strawberry Extras, plus a new kind of 5 which "which starts off as a sour pear flavour and turns sweeter as it is chewed". Plus: White Choc, Double Choc, Orange, or Peanut Butter are the competing Kit Kat Chunkies spotted by "hannah" in Nottingham Tesco, and
dismissed by "Allan" as "Four 'Facebook' flavours, three of which have been out before!" -
at least Gobble Monkey refuses to be taken in, perhaps deciding to "have a break" from the site's extensive Percy Pig coverage towards the end of last year.
Confirmed sighting: Nestle Lion White/ Tesco White Chocolate and Strawberry Filled Muffins
Posted: 16:40 Sun 11-Dec-2011. Location: See below.
"Already one of my favourites," summarises "James Moyle" regarding the (possibly imported?) White Lion bar he saw for 50p-80p in The Corner Shop, Hythe, Kent - but
"Marc" has more detail on the muffin front, reporting: "While on my trip to Tesco (who had a delightful Buy 1 Get 2 Free offer on Frijj milkshakes), I spotted these muffins from their bakery aisle. Like many, I like muffins, and thought White Chocolate may balance out the usual overpowering Chocolate Muffin."
"The white chocolate bits are small and sweet, not much white chocolate taste but otherwise a great combination with the strawberry filling in the middle. Pick 'em up and let me know what you think..."
...Thanks guys - in other Christmas-ish cakes: Foodstuff Finds seemed unconvinced by Heston Blumenthal's Waitrose-exclusive Puff Pastry Mince Pies With Pine Sugar Dusting, compared to Tesco's "totally different to anything else on the market" Mince Pie Flavour Crisps; and I thought that Burger King's Hot Chocolate Brownie, while resembling KFC's 2008 Molten Chocolate Pud, is maybe even as good as Ambrosia's Chocolate Brownie Custard Pudding (I couldn't identify the vaguely biscuity pieces in BK's Jaffa Cake Fusions Ice Cream but it's an effective variation on the likes of the Jaffa Dreamcake Krispy Kreme.)
Confirmed sighting: Nestle Kit Kat White
Posted: 22:12 Sun 30-Oct-2011. Price: 55p. Location: Londis, Eastcote .
"Conor Martin" reports: White KitKat is back! I enjoyed this when I was in Spain last year by the pool. I also remember it from around 2004 (as well as the lemon cheesecake variant they had) while going down to Loftus Road to see the mighty Queens Park Rangers. Thankfully I can do this again seeing the Rangers battle it out against the big guns of the Premier League!
...Cheers "Conor", I haven't been following QPR's fortunes myself so thanks for putting them in context of previous Kit Kat highlights of the decade. Slightly more topically, Gobble Monkey and Foodstuff Finds have been "trick or treating" the hordes of Halloween products that will probably all be reduced tomorrow, including these Vampire Mallows that supports my theory that some confectioners still can't bring themselves to say "blood-coloured" on their packaging.
Semi-international sightings: Hershey's Reese's NutRageous/ Taste of Nature Muddy Bears, Cookie Dough Bites/ Marich Mint Chip Maltballs
Posted: 21:10 Sat 08-Oct-2011. Price: (NutRageous) £0.62. Location: (ditto) Sainsbury's, Orpington.
reports: Yes, there have been
occasional UK NutRageous sightings over the past few years, although I'm still not organised enough to have a photo of one. So first off, a quick rundown of some Cybercandy imports that were generously bought for me by colleagues. The Muddy Bears are Gummi Bears coated with not-very-nice milk chocolate - not bad if you get a fruit flavour like orange, though not as good as these Marich Mint Chip Maltballs and other Malteser-alikes. Taste of Nature's Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites however, resemble a saltier, soapier version of
After Eights, and cannot be recommended even if you think that sounds like a good idea.
...Anyway, over to "Melanie Attwell", who says she: "Spotted [a] little NutRageous bar on the weekly shop. Reese's is a branch of US choco giant Hershey's. Now, Hershey chocolate is usually nothing to write home about in my opinion. But they do tend to get peanut butter right. So a bar with peanuts, peanut butter, caramel and Hershey chocolate should be a happy compromise. The taste... when you first bite in you get a great crunch because the peanuts are on the outside (but still covered in chocolate). Genius. The caramel was slightly hard and chewy but had a nice treacle flavour. Peanut butter was very sickly but delicious. Overall, I rate this as 7/10 as nut and chocolate bars go, but personally, I'd stick with the Snickers."
Confirmed sighting: Mentos Rainbow Fruits
Posted: 20:07 Sun 18-Sep-2011. Price: 35p. Location: Asda. Nutritional unusualness: None noted.
"yorkhouse" reports: Have any Mentos Rainbow Fruits come your way yet? Usual Mentos but in seven fruit flavours - blackberry, strawberry, orange, watermelon, pineapple, raspberry and apple. (Finally a set of mixed fruit flavours which isn't more than 50% citrus.) The really unusual thing - there are precisely two of each flavour, together, in the same order that the packaging suggests they come in (rather than getting half a pack of lime and a couple of red and purple ones like most tubes of fruit pastilles etc...). So efficient that presumably these will turn out to be a German sweet.
...Thanks "yorkhouse" - I keep seeing ads for Mentos' 3 Layer Gum around, but no sign of the actual product, so perhaps this impressive efficiency doesn't extend to ruthlessly co-ordinating their distribution and marketing. Anyway, if you'd prefer a similarly mild-ish but 100% citrus fruit effect, I think it's Poundland that's currently stocking Tango Orange Chewy Bonbons (pictured here with some boiled sweets based on Robinsons fruit squash somehow). "Delicious" is Gobble Monkey's ever-entertaining verdict on Marks and Spencer's Newfangled sweet range (including Chineapple Punks and Fluke Pastilles), and I'm stretching today's fruit theme a little to include Foodstuff Finds' Sep 13 sighting of Nestle's Aero Christmas Tree, although I also spotted these Mince Pies in Sainsbury's on what was probably the last day of Aug. Happy Holidays, everybody!
Confirmed sighting: Cadbury Twirl Bites
Posted: 18:39 Sun 04-Sep-2011. Price: Currently around £2/bag. Location: Tesco, Southampton.
"choccieman" reports: So yet again Cadbury and Nestle attempt to usurp the dominant position of Maltesers and Minstrels. Here we have Twirl Bites (Nestle have brought out Milkybar Giant Buttons and Kit Kat Pop Chocs). They are about 1cm cubed in size, they're effectively miniaturised versions of regular Twirl sticks. As for taste they're much like the regular bar, which for me is where they fall down. Whilst I quite like the bar it is at the limits of being 'sickly'. These mini cubes exaggerate that effect so anything more than a small handful is too much in my opinion. An interesting attempt but these won't replace Minstrels as my cinema snack of choice.
...Not too many surprises there from "choccieman", though in other shareable solutions: I enjoyed Nestle's Quality Street My Purple Bar much more than Jim's Chocolate Mission did;
Cadbury Boost are Foodstuff Finds' "current favourite variety of cake bar"; and Zeddy largely agreed with Gobble Monkey regarding Mars Triple Chocolate (59p, RS McColl, Carluke, Scotland), declaring: The thin end of the wedge. That's how I see this bar. It does not add anything to the Mars Bar portfolio. It has a sweet chocolatey taste. Nothing more. In saying this, the original Mars Bar is terrible too. Buy a Milky Way from the USA and do a taste comparison. Mars have lost their "Way" in the UK as far as I am concerned.
Confirmed sighting: Nestle Rolo Biscuits
Posted: 20:04 Sun 07-Aug-2011. Price: £1.50ish/ pack of 6. Location: Sainsbury's. Nutritional unusualness: 95 calories per biscuit.
As I recall, Little Britain's
Matt Lucas was a fan of these when they were previously wheeled out in July 2000, but "gobble monkey"
proved tougher to convince, reporting: Hang on, Rolo "BISCUITS"? Are you sure? [...] They are small, and they are round, but to call these 'biscuits' is a downright lie. Yes, they do contain six tiny biscuit balls, lost in amongst a sea of caramel [...] You could make a more accurate Rolo Biscuit by getting a Rolo and putting it on top of a biscuit and then eating it. In reality, 'Rolo Biscuits' are merely large, individually wrapped, flat Munchies. Which is fine. BUT WHY ARE NESTLE TRYING TO CLAIM THEY ARE BISCUITS?
...And if you're wondering,
gobble monkey's full review doesn't really answer that question, but does provide some extensive dunk-testing of the product and a couple of Cadbury's competitors. Speaking of which, Foodstuff Finds hasn't picked an obvious favourite from out of Cadbury's Caramel Nibbles Dessert or Nestle's Aero Caramel and Choc Bubbly Dessert - be careful not to shake the Aero ones around or they turn into a lumpy brown sludge, though they were only about 60p/4 in Camden Morrisons. That's also where I ran into these
Cadbury Chocolate Olympic Mascots (about 60p/2), which offer a few bites of their "bubbly" 20%-cocoa-solids non-Dairy-Milk recipe for anyone who thinks the Jelly Mascots are too much like those things that you throw against windows and which slowly "climb" down them.
Confirmed sighting: Skittles Crazy Cores
Posted: 20:43 Mon 01-Aug-2011. Price: 55p/55g. Location: Co-Op, Kentish Town. Nutritional unusualness: "Surprising flavour combos [then, in smaller print] Product may contain an uneven mix of flavours".
reports: Regular readers may remember that "Jamie Campbell" previously spotted these in Toronto a couple of years ago (though who knows how long we'll have to wait for other Canadian varieties like Fruit and Creme, Tangy Tropical, Berry Explosion, Double Sours, Skittles Bubblegum and the ever-appetising Chocolatey Eruption).
I automatically assumed these might have gone the route of the Jelly Belly BeanBoozled range and taste like things eaten by the mentally ill (including "vomit", "baby wipes" and "dog food" in Jelly Belly's case), but Foodstuff Finds reckons they're Mango Peach, Melon Berry, and Strawberry Watermelon, plus nature's own Blue Raspberry Lemon, and Cherry Lemonade. As it turns out, the flavours are more potent than Guzzle Puzzle's infinite customisation can offer, but still weird enough that, if you're eating them in a darkened cinema for instance, you can still convince yourself that there's also a banana combo in there somewhere.
...In other exotic cocktails: Foodstuff Finds won the race to review the "good strong flavours" of Cadbury-Trebor-Bassetts' Olympic Jelly Mascots (currently £1, exclusive to Sainsbury's?); and Gobble Monkey has braved the horrors of Morrisons No Added Sugar Marshmallow Squash, a possible binge-drinking alternative if you're not old enough to sample Bulmers' Crushed Red Berries and Lime No. 17 Cider or 3 new "curious" kinds of Magners (in Pear and Ginger, Spiced Apple and Honey, or Spiced Apple and Rhubarb, all around £2.25).
Confirmed sighting: McVitie's Quirks
Posted: 20:12 Sun 24-Jul-2011. Price: (£1/pack intro offer in Tesco!). Location: Sainsbury's, Southampton. Sub-flavours: Chocolate [pictured]; Choc and Hazelnut; Double Choc.
"choccieman" reports: I first tried the two chocolate varieties of these and they're pretty good and certainly something a bit different from your average biscuits. A crunchy outer shell with a gooey chocolate filling (well, chocolate-flavoured at least). There was however, something vaguely familiar about them.
This was confirmed when trying the Choc and Hazelnut variety, they are in fact giant versions of Krave (the rather good teenage-aimed cereal from Kellogg's). OK, so the biscuit-to-chocolate ratio is a bit too much in favour of the biscuit, but they are otherwise remarkably similar. Definitely worth giving a try especially if (like me) you're a fan of the aforementioned cereal.
...Nice one "choccieman" - Foodstuff Finds thought
"There wasn't enough moisture to counter the shell" on these (apparently preferring Kellogg's Rice Krispies Squares Totally Chocolatey Orange Limited Edition), though my colleagues reckoned that the hazelnut ones in particular were fun for dunking. While in other cereal crossovers, Nabisco are once again risking the ire of Richard Herring (some strong language) by adding Yogurt Crunch, Crunchy Oats, or Honey and Nuts variants to their biscuits-for-breakfast Belvita brand.
Confirmed sighting: The Natural Sweet Confectionery Co Guzzle Puzzle
Posted: 22:59 Sun 10-Jul-2011. Price: 50p. Location: Asda. Nutritional unusualness: None noted.
"gobble monkey" goes into considerably more detail on this "Chewy jellies that can be added together to produce new flavours" concept here, but the executive summary seems to be: Great idea, and nice to see a cinnamon flavoured jelly, but sadly the 'recipes' don't have the desired results - disappointingly bland.
...Great stuff "GM" - needless to say, fans should also check out your posts on Haribo Tangfastic Rhubarb and Custard Splats, and the Fruit-Tella Children's Farm review which points out that Marks and Spencer now enable customers to "eat [Percy Pig's] face, his nose, his tail, his girlfriend and his children."
In other colourful candies: Foodstuff Finds says
Strawberry Milkshake Paynes Poppets were "very sweet and shouted strawberries with a nice milky aftertaste", while Rowntree Very Berry Jellies are "the work of genius [...] a triumph." Plus: "No-one going to mention the world's largest candy store just opened on Leicester Square?" wondered "Cybercandy", helpfully providing this link which mentions it so many times I've almost lost any appetite to actually visit it in person.