Tuesday, March 02, 2010
When I started Candy Blog about five years ago I imagined it was going to be one of the many blogs I wrote and ran, all would fall under my unique domain called Typetive. Typetive is a word I coined that basically means talkative, only with a keyboard. I’d been keeping a blog since 2001 called Fast Fiction about my National Novel Writing Month exploits but I have so many other obessions. So I thought I’d have one for whalewatching, one for my novel writing & process, one for my playwriting and of course one for candy.
Well, the candy kind of took over.
I’ve held the http://www.CandyBlog.net domain for nearly as long as Typetive.com but just never got around to doing the migration. After hemming and hawing about how it might affect my search engine optimization, I realized that Candy Blog belongs on its own proper domain so that it can grown and flourish.
On March 1st, 2010 Candy Blog moved from Typetive.com to CandyBlog.net.
Nothing really changes for readers. The old links you may have for typetive.com will redirect without interruption to the same pages on candyblog.net. If you have me on your blogroll, you can update with the new web address. If you’re using a feed widget, you don’t have to do a thing, Feedburner took care of that.
Feed readers will notice a new improvement. At the end of each review you will actually get the summary stats of the product. So you’ll know everything everyone else knows when they visit the blog. The only thing missing would be the comments - so you’ll still have to visit to get those.
Monday, March 01, 2010
The Wonka brand of candies was launched shortly after the release of the 1971 movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. They were originally made by Sunline but Nestle bought up Sunline (also the maker of SweeTarts and Pixy Stix) in 1988. At that time the Wonka brand consisted of a combination of candies mentioned in the book, such as Everlasting Gobstoppers but mostly fanciful original creations such as Peanut Butter Oompas (picture here), Super Scrunch (picture here). They later focusing more on profitable and successful sugar candies such as Wacky Wafers (picture here), Dweebs, Runts, DinaSour Eggs (picture here) and of course Nerds.
The early Wonka Scrumdidilyumptious bar was a “chocolately caramel crisp” - the format was rather long, thick and narrow. (See this counter display.)
Nestle is reinvigorating the brand, both the sugar candy side (new gummis like Sluggles & Puckerooms, sour filled licorice like Kazoozles and chocolate popping candy like Tinglerz). Their chocolate line called Wonka Exceptionals capitalizes both on the imaginative side of the Wonka character from the Roald Dahl books as well as the quality aspect which has been largely lacking in previous chocolate products. The launch is with three different bars and foil wrapped pieces: Scrumdiddlyumptious, Domed Dark Chocolate & Chocolate Waterfall.
This new version of the Wonka Scrumdiddlyumptious Bar is spelled slightly differently: diddly instead of didily. It’s listed on the back of the package as Bar No. 17 and described as Milk chocolate with scrumptious toffee, crispy cookie & crunchy peanuts. Sounds good! No one else is making a bar quite like this, so it’s exciting to see them creating something original instead of a different packaging format of an existing product.
The little foil wrapped pieces are cute. They’re 1.25” long, 1” wide and about .33” high. They smell lightly chocolatey, but not as peanutty as I expected. The texture of the milk chocolate is super smooth and silky - a far cry from the waxy stuff in other Nestle products. It’s exceptionally sweet though, so too much of it and it burned my throat. The inclusions were little bits of graham cracker like cookies (digestive biscuits is perhaps more appropriate for comparison), little buttery toffee nuggets and peanut bits.
The variations in the nuggets meant that some pieces and bites were more interesting than others. The toffee had a good crunch to it and a salty note. The peanuts were not deeply roasted and were more grassy but still gave a different chew. The cookie pieces were mild and gave a malty cereal note to it.
The chocolate quality is a huge upgrade from the Wonka Bar (which is now discontinued - these will replace it). I don’t think I’d spend the premium for this in a bar format mostly because the Green & Black’s Peanut bar is truly scrumptious, similarly price but also organic & soon to be Fair Trade). However, foil wrapped pieces are different enough to warrant consideration.
Each piece is less than 50 calories, so if you have trouble controlling portions with a large bar, these are a nice option.
The packaging is fanciful, though definitely cluttered and not that easy to read as most of the colors are the same value. The holographic plastic is a bit of overkill as far as I’m concerned (and probably resource intensive) but I’m guessing the bags without the “Golden Ticket” giveaway will be a bit clearer. I was most impressed with the fact that they were even creative with the bar code on the package.
The product line is expensive, we’re talking Dove or Hershey’s Bliss level, not the ordinary Nestle Crunch prices. The bags I picked up hold 9.5 ounces and were $4.99 each. (The press release from the company said retail is $4.49 and I’m guessing there will be sales where you can find them for about $3 a bag.) The bars are 3.5 ounces and retail for $2.49 each.
It’s a dream of some folks to have giant versions of their favorites. I found these Sour Super Gummi Bears. They’re about twice the height of a regular gummi bear, as you can see, pretty huge. (More flat though than three dimensional like other gummis.)
I bought these online last month but when they arrived I was a little disappointed and decided not to review them. They’re not bad, but there are three versions - cherry-orange, cherry-pineapple and lemon-lime. The fact that I don’t like cherry much makes 2/3 of them unappealing to me.
Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.