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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Candy Tease - Sweets & Snacks Part 2

Pissa Candy BlocksName: Candy Blocks
Brand: PISSA
Description: Build, Imagine, Taste!! Multicolored Building Blocks of pressed dextrose and the kids imagination is all you need to take full advantage of the new generation of didactic candies. Candy Blocks do not only taste great but make a new and fun experience every time. Each pouch contains up to 50g of pressed dextrose candy in 3 different shapes and 6 mixed flavors.
Introduction Date: 6/6/2013
Notes: The announcement says that they’re already available, though I haven’t seen them in stores anywhere. Concord already makes a Lego-style candy block, which I appreciate aesthetically but don’t find them very tasty. These pieces look rounded, and narrow, which may be better for eating instead of the pointy ends of the other variety.

Demet's Dark TurtleName: Dark Chocolate Almond Turtles
Brand: Demet’s Candy
Description: Made with 60% cocoa dark chocolate, salted almonds and homemade caramel, the item joins original, cashew, sea salt caramel and hazelnut varieties.
Introduction Date: October 2014
Notes: It’s about time turtles came in dark chocolate. Though it’s not a very dark chocolate, I’d love to be able to pick up a caramel nut patty with nuts that’s just a little less sweet.

Starburst FaveRed MiniName: Starburst FaveREDs Minis
Brand: Wrigley’s (Mars)
Starburst Minis are being extended to include Starburst FaveREDs Minis, which means all the best Starburst red juicy flavors will be available in smaller and unwrapped chews for a perfect sweet snack. Starburst FaveREDs Minis include: strawberry, fruit-punch, watermelon and cherry.

Introduction Date: December 2014
Notes: The unwrapped minis were introduced over a year ago. They’re interesting, like some sort of uncoated Skittles, but lack the flavor intensity of the classic Starburst.
Name: Starburst Superfruit
Brand: Wrigley’s (Mars)
Description: Superfruit flavors combines your favorite juicy Starburst® flavors with delicious Superfruit flavors. Each pack contains mouthwatering Raspberry Pomegranate, Strawberry Starfruit, Passionfruit Punch and Blueberry Acai
Introduction Date: December 2014
Notes: I think jumping on the superfruit flavors now is a little behind the trend line ... and I don’t see any really interesting flavors in this list that aren’t just slight shifts or tweaks of already available flavors that Starburst has put out over years.

Name: Skittles Orchards
Brand: Wrigley’s (Mars)
Description: New Skittles® Orchards contain a delicious mix of fruit flavors that you might find on an Orchard. Each pack of Skittles® Orchards pack contains Red Apple, Cherry, Lime, Peach, & Orange fruit flavors
Introduction Date: December 2014
Notes: So lime is back in another mix. I wonder if this means that Darkside is going away.

Name: Skittles Mash-Ups
Brand: Wrigley’s (Mars)
Description: Skittles® will launch new Mash-Ups, combining two favorites flavors, Tropical and Wildberry, in one pack.
Introduction Date: December 2014
Notes: This is kind of confusing ... instead of 5 flavors, it’s actually 10 flavors? Are they going to do away with Tropical and Wildberry and just sell this combo pack?

York MinisName: York Minis
Brand: York Minis
Description: The uniquely refreshing taste of cool peppermint and smooth dark chocolate is now bite-sized.
Introduction Date: May 2014
Notes: These are just teeny, tiny peppermint patties. It’s a great idea, kind of like Junior Mints. I’d buy them.

All images courtesy of the respective company

POSTED BY Cybele AT 5:29 am     All Candy ExpoCandyNew Product AnnouncementDemet's Candy CompanyHershey'sWrigley'sHighlightNewsComments (2)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Mars challenges Hershey’s over the use of the name Malteser in US

In the battle for marketshare in the confectionery sector, it seems that some candy companies are more interested in getting our business by eliminating competition than gaining brand loyalty with exemplary products.

Malted Milk Balls

The latest battle involves old rivals Hershey and Mars, this time over malted milk balls. Mars makes Maltesers and Hershey’s makes Whoppers. But Hershey’s is also trying to assert the exclusive right to also make something called Malteser in the United States.

I don’t have the figures, but I’m going to guess that Hershey’s holds more than 70% of the market in malted milk balls with their Whoppers brand, but not necessarily because they’re the best but because they’re ubiquitous. Though I don’t have current figures, I’d estimate the brand is worth about $40 to $50 million in sales a year.

Mars Maltesers

Here’s a little history. Mars Maltesers were first sold in the United Kingdom in 1937. They were created as a diet candy; a chocolate candy with less chocolate and therefore less fat and calories. They’re also sold in Canada, New Zealand and Australia and exported to many other European countries. They can be purchased in shops that specialize in UK imports. Based on the number of brand extensions I’ve seen for Maltesers on my recent trip to London, I’d say that the candy is a much more important brand to Mars than Whoppers are to Hershey’s. Which may make them appear a threat.

Hershey's Whoppers

In 1939 an American candy company called Overland, introduced a malted milk ball candy sold under the name Giants, as they were larger than earlier versions called Malt-ettes. In 1949, two years after the company was sold to Leaf Inc, they were renamed Whoppers. There were many other companies that came and went that sold malted milk balls, but Whoppers have been made continuously ever since, even if their corporate overlords have changed.

Leaf Inc was once a formidable sugar candy company, the fourth largest in the US. They acquired many favorite American candy brands, including Jolly Rancher, Hollywood Brands (maker of Payday bars), Heath Bar, and Now and Later. Sometime in the 1960s Leaf started making something called Malteser and even registered a trademark for the name in 1962. I doubt they were widely distributed or advertised, as I can’t find any record of them . In 1983 Leaf was bought out by Huhtamäki Oyj, a Finnish company, which maintained the trademark registration. Mars sued Leaf over this trademark in 1993 and later settled out of court (so we don’t know the details) but Leaf retained the trademark.

For reasons I don’t quite understand, Leaf Inc divested and sold off many of its best brands, most to Hershey’s: Whoppers, Payday, Jolly Rancher and Heath Bar.
So, Hershey’s didn’t invent malted milk balls, and as far as I know, never had a national brand of their own until acquiring one.

Hershey Webstore - MalteserFast forward and lately Hershey’s has been releasing a product called Matleser: a malted milk ball that in all ways except packaging is identical to Whoppers. Though it’s a singular in the name, not Maltesers as the Mars product is, it’s also packaged in red.

The way trademarks work, not only do you need to register the trademark in all territories you plan to exercise it, you also need to use it. So if Hershey’s wanted to keep Mars from using Malteser in the US, by claiming it was an abandoned trademark, they had to demonstrate that Hershey’s wasn’t using it. I was able to find Hershey’s Malteser for sale on both the Hershey’s site and Amazon. I bought a box to confirm that they are just Whoppers in a different package. (They are.)

Hershey's Malteser

Mars contends that not only is Hershey’s squatting on the trademark in the United States, but that their packaging is intentionally confusing consumers to think that they’re purchasing the Mars version. I admit, they do look similar and even though I’m the candy blogger, I couldn’t remember of the top of my head if the Mars version was plural or singular until I started this research.

American trademark law is governed for the most part under the Lanham Act which covers trademark infringement and false advertising. The act was also revised in 1999 to encompass cybersquatting, the practice of registering domain names and then sitting on them or directing them to a competitor.

While Hershey’s practices up to the point where they created similar packaging were probably within the letter, though not the spirit of the law, my opinion after looking at the history, reading Mars’ brief on the case leads me to conclude that Hershey’s is just acting scummy. Whoppers are known by 300 million people in this country ... and if it’s not a favorable brand then Hershey’s should improve their quality, price point or packaging to the point where people are loyal to them.

Maltesers & Malteser
(Mars Maltesers on the left and Hershey’s Malteser on the right.)

I tried both again, just to check. Neither is great, but the do differ. Both have a mockolate coating, though the Mars version does have some cocoa butter in there. The centers, though both malty, have different textures. The Mars version is more honeycombed and has a easier crunch. The Hershey’s version is more milky tasting with a firm crunch that dissolves nicely. Both are excellent centers ... both have disappointing coatings. I prefer the Mars Maltesers.

(Mars Maltesers package circa 2005 which exhorts it’s “no ordinary chocolate”)

I’m a extremely curious if Mars were to introduced Maltesers in the United States if they would change the coating to real chocolate, as they do not make any mockolate products for the American market. However, Mars does not have a good track record for introducing the European candies to the US when there is another similar candy already on the market. They tried this with the Bounty bars, which are similar to Mounds and Almond Joy and they never took hold. Twix was a European launch that was then introduced in the US, but is a unique candy construction, which is how it established itself in its niche.

This is not an isolated issue in the candy business. Many candy companies go head to head in the courts instead of on the store shelves.

- The UK the courts have been deciding whether Cadbury should have exclusive rights to their shade of purple. Currently, the answer is no.
- The Seven Up Bar, which predates the 7-Up soda, ended up in a battle over the trademark of the name, which likely led to the demise of the bar when they sold the rights to the name, then licensed them back. (And a candy bar and a soda are two different categories.)
- Nestle owns the rights to the name Smarties everywhere in the world except the United States, where the name was already in use by the tangy tablets made by CeDe Candy. CeDe then had to rename their Smarties to Rockets when they introduced them in Canada.
- Nestle is trying to trademark the shape and construction of the KitKat bar in Europe, though it may be too late as there are already several knock off products.

For more reading on the issue, here are some other trade articles on the case:
Candy Industry: Mars Sues Hershey Over Trademark Infringement
Law360: Mars Not Sweet on Hershey’s Fake Maltesers Candy
Confectionery News: Hershey ‘tricking US consumers with fake Maltesers,’ claims Mars
Trademarkia: 1962 US Trademark registration for Malteser
Collecting Candy: The Visual History of Whoppers (via candy wrappers & advertising)

Related Candies

  1. Mars MaltEaster Bunnies
  2. Ovomaltine Chocolate Bar
  3. Hershey’s Whoppers
  4. Target’s Market Pantry Malted Milk Balls
  5. Eat with your Eyes: White Malteasers
  6. Trader Joe’s Milk Chocolate Malted Milk Eggs (Plus a Bonus)
  7. Mighty Malts
  8. Jelly Belly Chocolate Malt Balls
  9. Mars Maltesers

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:41 am     CandyHershey'sMarsMaltMockolateUnited KingdomUnited StatesHighlightNewsComments (6)

Monday, March 31, 2014

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Almond Eggs

Hershey's Milk Chocolate Almond EggsAlongside the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Eggs on shelves this year are the new Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Covered Almond Eggs.

They’re not something particularly Easter-themed, as chocolate covered almonds are already rather egg shaped. But they’re still a welcome item, since some chocolate covered nuts sound less sweet than the many other marshmallowy, sugar-crusted and white chocolate items that typify the holiday fare.

They were expensive, as real nut items often are. I picked up this 7.1 ounce bag for $3.29, which is on par with what I’d usually pay for an item from Whole Foods ... yet I bought this at Target.

Hershey's Milk Chocolate Almond Eggs

They look great. Dark and glossy. They varied in size quite a bit, from a peanut all the way up to an almond in the shell. I expected this, because almonds themselves vary.

The chocolate itself is Hershey’s tangy, cheesy, fudgy chocolate ... it’s odd. But it goes well with the almonds, which are well chosen, nicely crunchy and good quality. I ate the whole bag in about two days, so I must have liked them, but I didn’t feel satisfied by any particular element. The chocolate is gritty and has that Hershey’s burp note ... the almonds are good, but the fact that I spent over $3 on less than half a pound of a Hershey’s chocolate product was a little odd.

Hershey’s had a version of these in their Pieces line that had a candy shell which added to the texture experience, but I haven’t see those in stores for a while.

If you’re a lover of the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate with Almond bar and wanted an Easter version, I think these ratios are good.

The allergen warning only says that these may contain traces of peanuts. They are made with soy, dairy and almonds as well. There’s no note on gluten or wheat at all.

Related Candies

  1. Ritter Sport Winter Edition Caramelised Almonds
  2. Starbucks Salted Almond Chocolate Bites
  3. Toblerone Crunchy Salted Almond
  4. Valor Milk Chocolate with Almonds
  5. Trader Joe’s Almondictive Bits
  6. Hershey’s Special Dark with Almonds
  7. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Almonds

Name: Milk Chocolate Almond Eggs
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $3.29
Size: 7.1 ounces
Calories per ounce: 145
Categories: Candy, Easter, Hershey's, Chocolate, Kosher, Nuts, 6-Tempting, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:28 pm     CandyReviewEasterHershey'sChocolateKosherNuts6-TemptingUnited StatesTargetComments (0)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Jolly Rancher Strawberry and Green Apple

While most hard candy is considered “old people candy”, Jolly Rancher really sets itself apart as an intense sweet for all ages.

Jolly Rancher Strawberry & Green Apple

Most of us encounter Jolly Rancher candies as little twist wrapped pieces in a bowl. So when I saw this little rectangular pack at Target, I thought it was an interesting way to format the iconic candy. Jolly Rancher Strawberry and Green Apple Hard Candy has 1.2 ounces and 9 pieces inside. Each is wrapped in a piece of clear cellophane, easy to carry, easy to share and with just two flavors.

Jolly Rancher Strawberry & Green Apple

The pieces are different from what I’m accustomed to with Jolly Rancher candies. They’re not little rods, they’re squares. The ingredients are also slightly different. The original Jolly Rancher hard candies are not aerated, there are no bubbles in them and they’re ever so slightly soft, like some sort of viscous solid. The ingredients list corn syrup first, then sugar. In these little squares, it’s sugar first, then corn syrup. Looking at the candies, they’re not glassy transparent either, so it appears they’ve been aerated slightly.

I started with Green Apple, because that’s the iconic flavor that Jolly Rancher is known for. It’s a tough flavor, because part of its profile is its artificiality. It was definitely tangy and caustic at first, like some sort of chemical peel for my tongue. That faded quickly into the familiar acidic green apple flavor. What was most surprising was the crunch ... I could crunch it. Because the pieces are small, you can crunch away immediately and there’s not tooth-cement issue. Still, the artificial flavor has a sort of of “sour but maybe bitter and salty at the same time” flavor going that was not as good as I recall the truly authentic version having.

Strawberry is quite tart at the beginning and reminded me immediately of sorbet (which often has an extra little pop of lemon juice in it). The flavor is bold and pretty well rounded and only has a slight note of metallic artificiality to it. It’s fresh tasting, overall. I like the crunchy, it’s not too much candy.

My roll had three Green Apple pieces and the rest were Strawberry, so the flavors are not evenly distributed. (Lifesavers always had an order to them, though you might not get a roll that started with the same flavor, they always went in the same progression once you started.) The way the package is made, you have to tear the outer wrapper to get to the inner pieces ... they seem to be glued in there.

I felt these were missing one of the key attributes of Jolly Rancher hard candies, the smooth, syrupy dissolve. Without that, the flavor was just passable, nothing terribly exciting. I might feel differently if they had the Fire Stix in this format, as there really is no other cinnamon hard candy roll out there (since Reed’s disappeared), even if they don’t have the same texture as regular Jolly Rancher. But they’re not a great value and difficult to unwrap.

These are made in Mexico. There’s no nutritional information on the wrapper and nothing, at this time, on the Hershey’s webpage for Jolly Rancher that lists it for this particular version of the product. There is also no statement about allergens, but does contain soy.

Related Candies

  1. Dilly Dally Pickle Candy and Barrels of Yum
  2. Assorted Charms Hard Candies
  3. Jolly Rancher Caramel Apple Lollipops
  4. Jolly Rancher Crunch n Chew
  5. Jolly Rancher Awesome Twosome Chews
  6. Napoleon BonBon
  7. Foxes Five Flavor
  8. Jelly Belly: Lollibeans

Name: Jolly Rancher Strawberry & Green Apple
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $.89
Size: 1.2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 100
Categories: Candy, Hershey's, Hard Candy & Lollipops, 5-Pleasant, Mexico, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:10 pm     CandyReviewHershey'sHard Candy & Lollipops5-PleasantMexicoTargetComments (2)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Hershey’s Lancaster Caramel Soft Cremes

Lancaster CaramelsMilton S. Hershey is one of great entrepreneur stories of the 20th century. Hershey always wanted to be a confectioner. He was apprenticed to a candy maker as a child and then later tried several times to make it on his own. He focused on caramels and small wrapped sweets, peddling them on a cart pushed around the streets. While working in Denver for another confectioner, he learned a new recipe for boiled sweets, a caramel that was extremely stable as well as delicious because of the use of milk in addition to butter. However, even in Philadelphia, Chicago and New York City ... each of these companies failed. In 1886 he returned home, in debt but still convinced that his new caramel recipe he learned in Denver could succeed. He convinced family members to invest once again and this time was the right time. He created the Lancaster Caramel Company which flourished.

He built this little enterprise into a full factory business by the turn of century, employing over 1,300 people and then sold it off for a million dollars in order to fund his new venture, the Hershey Chocolate Company. Hershey’s is finally introducing their own line of caramels, under the nostalgic name of Lancaster.

The new Lancaster Caramel Soft Cremes’ package looks nostalgic. What’s inside, though, is unlikely to be anything close to what Milton Hershey used to make in copper kettles. The package says “His [Milton Hershey] original caramel recipe is the inspiration for Lancaster Cremes. The ingredients tell the story of a modern confection:

Sweetened Condensed Milk (Evaporated Milk, Sugar, Water, Lactose), Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Palm Kernel Oil, Sugar, Contains 2% or Less of: Dairy Butter (Milk), Glyceryl Monostearate, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Disodium Phosphate, Tocopherols, to Maintain Freshness, Sodium Carbonate.

Lancaster Caramels

Though I was a little disappointed to see the use of things like palm kernel oil, tocopherols and high fructose corn sweetener, I was more disappointed at the price for such things. Kraft Caramels are usually about $2 a bag on sale and contain similar ingredients but not the premium price. But, I was willing to give these a try.

The little nuggets are glossy and soft. They don’t smell like much, but have a beautifully soft and chewy bite. The chew and dissolve is impossibly smooth and rich, with good flavor notes of caramelized sugar and butter. It’s like a soft version of Pearson’s Nips. (I could imagine these as fantastic in coffee flavor.) It’s not a completely stiff caramel chew, like a Storck Chocolate Riesen, but much smoother than the soft bite of a Kraft Caramel.

As much as I wanted to hate these for their divergence from Hershey’s original simple ingredients, they are quite good. The texture, the consistency and overall not-too-sweet profile is really ideal. I begrudgingly love them. They come in two other varieties: Vanilla and Caramel and Vanilla and Raspberry. Honestly, I plan to quit while I’m ahead. If they come up with chocolate or coffee flavored ones, I’ll give those a go.

Oddly enough, the Lancaster Caramels are made in Canada, not Central Pennsylvania. Also, they’re not Kosher and there are no other notations on the package regarding nuts, wheat or eggs though the ingredients list dairy and soy as ingredients.

Related Candies

  1. Slo Poke Caramel
  2. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Tahitian Vanilla Caramels
  3. Kraft & Ferrara Pan Caramels
  4. Hershey’s Miniatures
  5. Coffee Nips
  6. Werther’s Original Chewy Caramels
  7. Sugar Mama
  8. Goetze’s Caramel Creams

Name: Lancaster Caramel Soft Cremes
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $3.59
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 121
Categories: Candy, Hershey's, Caramel, 8-Tasty, Canada, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:08 pm     CandyReviewHershey'sCaramel8-TastyCanadaTargetComments (16)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Cadbury White Mini Eggs

Cadbury White Mini EggsOne of the favorite Easter candies is the Cadbury Milk Chocolate Mini Eggs. They’re unlike any other candy on the market, they’re not quite M&Ms, as the candy coating is soft and has a flavor of its own. A Dark Chocolate version came out a few years ago and though hard to find, returned again this year.

The big news is the new Target Exclusive version of Cadbury White Mini Eggs. Notice that they’re just called white, not white chocolate, just white. Though there is cocoa butter in the ingredients list (which is in real white chocolate), there are also other vegetable fats. I picked up a 9 ounce bag, which was helpfully on sale.

Cadbury White Mini Eggs

The eggs were not the shape I expected. The standard Cadbury Mini Egg is egg shaped, truly egg shaped, with a wider bottom and almost pointy top. The White Eggs are not, they’re symmetrical ovals. What occurred to me when I saw them was that they were actually a resurrection of last year’s Hershey’s White Chocolate Flavored Eggs.

So, I looked up the ingredients:

Hershey’s White Eggs 2013: Sugar, vegetable oil (cocoa butter, palm, shea, sunflower and/or safflower oil), nonfat milk, corn syrup, milk fat, contains 2% or less of the following: cornstarch, artificial color (yellow 5, blue 1, red 40 and yellow 6), soy lecithin, resinous glaze, gum acacia, carnauba wax, vanillin, tocopherols (preservative) and PGPR.

Cadbury White Mini Eggs 2014: Sugar, vegetable oil (cocoa butter, palm, shea, sunflower and/or safflower oil), nonfat milk, milk, reduced protein whey, lactose, milkfat, contains 2% or less of corn syrup, artificial colors (includes yellow #5, blue #2, red #40), cornstarch, soy lecithin, natural and artificial flavors, tocopherols, salt

The difference, as far as I can tell is in the very last ingredients, that make up the shell. The white confection center is made of the same stuff. I didn’t care that much for the Hershey’s version, as I found them to be a bit too sweet and not creamy enough. Especially when compared to the pre-existing real white chocolate M&Ms.

Cadbury White Mini Eggs

I picked up a back of the M&Ms since I was already at Target for comparison. (And here’s the ingredients, as long as I’m transcribing.)

White Chocolate M&Ms: White chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, skim milk, milkfat, soy lecithin, salt, natural flavor), sugar, less than 2% of cornstarch, corn syrup, dextrin, colorings (includes yellow #5, blue #1, yellow #6, red #40), gum acacia

Cadbury White & Milk Chocolate Mini Eggs

Ultimately, the coating on these really gives them a different dimension. The soft and matte shell that the Cadbury Milk Chocolate Mini Eggs and the Cadbury White Mini Eggs share is unique and holds a special place in the textural world of Easter. I like the soft scent and interesting slick dissolve on the tongue. The vanilla pudding flavor is also pleasant and goes well with the lightly salty white center.

The one thing that was missing was that sticky, fudgy melt that the Cadbury Milk Chocolate Mini Eggs have.

I liked them better than the Hershey’s version, which is weird, because I do actually like the shell a lot on the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Eggs. However, they’re extremely sweet and I found that after five or six I had a raging headache ... so enjoy in moderation.

Related Candies

  1. Justin’s White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
  2. Hershey’s Candy Coated White Chocolate Flavored Eggs
  3. M&Ms White Chocolate (Easter)
  4. Dove Promises White Chocolate
  5. Whitman’s Marshmallow Eggs & Carrot
  6. Hershey’s White Chocolate Meltaway Bliss
  7. Green and Black’s White Chocolate

Name: Cadbury White Mini Eggs
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $2.19
Size: 9 ounces
Calories per ounce: 135
Categories: Candy, Easter, Cadbury, Hershey's, Kosher, Mockolate, 6-Tempting, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:40 pm     CandyReviewEasterCadburyHershey'sKosherMockolate6-TemptingUnited StatesTargetComments (3)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Jolly Rancher Sours Hearts

Jolly Rancher Sours - HeartsHershey seems to have made everything in their current brand lineup into a Valentine’s version by making it heart shaped. Reese’s, York, Bliss, Hershey’s Milk Chocolate, Special Dark… if they couldn’t make it heart-shaped, they jammed it into a heart-shaped box.

The Jolly Rancher Sours jellies have been around for at least 8 years (previous review). I don’t know when they started making the heart version, but they’re basically the same product. There are four different, very identifiable Jolly Rancher flavors. I tried them when they first came out, but I figured this was a nice opportunity to revisit them.

The jelly hearts are rather small and sanded with a mix of sugar and sour powder. They’re lightly colored and well made. Some jelly candies can get damp and sticky, but these didn’t get stuck together and are all of a consistent size and shape.

Jolly Rancher Sours - Hearts

Green Apple is a light green. The flavor is that inimitable Jolly Rancher apple flavor. It’s juicy but slightly artificial. It’s not as tangy or as long lasting as I would have liked and has a lingering aftertaste, like it’s made of artificial sweeteners or something.

Watermelon is another flavor that’s highly identified with Jolly Rancher. The tartness is largely missing from this, but the floral and slightly musk-melon notes are there. It’s quite sweet towards the end, but in a pleasant way.

Cherry is almost spicy, it has more of a baked cherry pie flavor than I think I expected. The result is that I actually liked this quite a bit.

Orange is well done, it starts out tart and even the rough sugar sanding gives it an authentic fresh peeled orange texture. The sweet orange finish has just a light hint of zest.

Overall, for a product labeled sour I found them pretty weak. But without that expectation, they were quite nice ... not overly intense, much more like a movie candy that I could eat without worry about blistering my tongue. I just wish the flavor assortment was more of my style ... maybe for next Valentine’s Day they’ll make Cinnamon Fire Hearts. If you’re looking for some really intense sour sanded hearts, I’d make an effort to find Gimbal’s Sour Lovers (which are also sold under the Target brand this year).

Related Candies

  1. Trolli Sour Brite Hearts
  2. Jolly Rancher Crunch n Chew
  3. Jolly Rancher Tropical Fruit Chews
  4. Milky Way Simply Caramel
  5. Mentos: Juicy Orange, Lemon Lime & Watermelon
  6. Hershey’s Heart’s Desire
  7. SweeTart Hearts
  8. Jolly Rancher Screaming Sours

Name: Jolly Rancher Sour Hearts
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park)
Price: $2.79
Size: 10 ounces
Calories per ounce: 101
Categories: Candy, Valentines, Hershey's, Jelly Candy, Sour, 6-Tempting, United States, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:55 pm     CandyReviewValentinesHershey'sJelly CandySour6-TemptingUnited StatesWalgreen'sComments (1)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Revisit Reviews: Pretzel M&Ms, Rally Bar and Snickers Rockin’ Nut Road

Every once in a while candies get a revamp, so I like to revisit them. Here are a few that caught my eye.

Pretzel M&Ms - Now with More Pretzel Taste

Pretzel M&Ms were introduced in 2010 (original review) and have done well enough for Mars that they have continued as part of their regular repertoire, even getting seasonal color varieties for the holidays. I noticed a new version on shelves that advertised “now more pretzel taste.” Since I was able to find the previous version, I thought I’d taste them side-by-side. They have similar “best before” dates.

Original Pretzel M&Ms (Left) Pretzel M&Ms - Now with More Pretzel Taste (Right)

They look identical. The originals are on the left and the new version are on the right. Same colors, same shape, same size.

Original Pretzel M&Ms (Left) Pretzel M&Ms - Now with More Pretzel Taste (Right)

It is striking how much better the new ones are. The new ones are crunchier, taste lighter and airier yet have more of that malty, pretzel toasted coating. There was no difference I could see in the ingredients or in the new nutrition panel. They’re still a pretty low calorie candy treat, at only 150 calories per package, they’re pretty satisfying without being too fatty. (Of course the portion is only 1.14 ounces, but there’s a lot going on with the textures.)

The original rating stands at 7 out of 10. They’re not perfect and I still don’t think I’ve bought them since the first introduction (though I eat them when given a sample package, which happens once or twice a year). I still go for the Almond M&Ms when given the chance.

Hershey's Rally Bar

Hershey’s Rally Bar is a strange sort of candy bar in that it appears and disappears on store shelves with little notice. It’s a Hershey’s candy bar, first test marketed in the late 1960s, it was in wide distribution by 1970 across the country. The advertising theme was: Reach Me a Rally Bar, the Milk Chocolate Covered Nut Roll for the Man-Sized Appetite as well as the more gender-neutral The Crowded Candy Bar. This was one of the Hershey Corporation’s earliest attempts at advertising, before this they stood with the founder’s position that a quality product would sell itself. More about the Rally Bar on Collecting Candy.

Rally BarThe candy bar has no real package identity to adhere to in this reissue. This is what it looked like back in 2008 and this is what it looked like in 2004. The new one doesn’t even mention the name Hershey on the front. I picked it up at Walgreen’s as an exclusive item.

Though it was probably a chocolate candy bar when it was introduced, by the 2004 wrapper it was evident that this was a mockolate item. (Here’s my original review.)

This is smaller than the 2.2 ounce bar I tried back in 2008. This is 1.66 ounces (which is actually a good size for me). It smells like peanuts. The fudgy center is like a nougat, it’s soft and chewy with little flavor of its own. The peanuts are Payday-like, they’re crunchy, though not quite as salty. The chocolatey coating actually has a hint of salt, keeping it from being sickly sweet. Overall, it’s an okay bar but I don’t see it as that different from a Baby Ruth.

I stand by my previous rating of 6 out of 10.

Snickers Rockin' Nut RoadThere was a time when there were oodles of limited edition candies - not a month went by in the late Aughts that the major candy companies didn’t present a flavor twist on one of their tried and true candies. Snickers alone went through many iterations including: Shrek (green nougat), Indiana Jones (spiced nougat), Charged (caffeinated), 3X (chocolate nougat, chocolate caramel), Fudge (chocolate fudge instead of nougat), Xtreme (no nougat) and Nut n Butter Crunch (peanut buttery nougat).

The Snickers Rockin’ Nut Road changed up a few items in the standard Snickers Bar. First, they replaced the milk chocolate coating with dark chocolate. I approve. Second, they replaced the peanuts with almonds. I find this to be a good substitution. Third, they changed the lightly peanut butter nougat with a smoother marshmallow nougat. Definitively goes with the other two items. The structure is the same - nutty nougat on the bottom, caramel on the top and covered in chocolate. 

Snickers Rockin' Nut Road

I gave these an 8 out of 10 rating last time (full review) and I fully endorse them again this time. The nougat is smoother than the 3 Musketeers style and the crunch of the almonds is great. It’s more of a variation on the classic Mars Bar, but I won’t quibble with Mars if they want to bring this back. (In fact, I prefer it to the standard Snickers Almond, which replaced the Mars bar).

Related Candies

  1. Liddabit Sweets - Candy Bars
  2. Pretzel M&Ms
  3. Short & Sweet: Bites & Bites
  4. Rally Bar
  5. ReeseSticks (Revisit)
  6. Revisit: Take 5, Sunkist Fruit Gems & Snickers Almond
  7. Snickers Rockin’ Nut Road Bar

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:03 pm     CandyReviewHershey'sMarsCaramelChocolateCookieKosherM&MsNougatNutsPeanuts6-Tempting7-Worth It8-TastyUnited StatesSav-On/CVSWalgreen'sComments (2)

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Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.





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• Hachez Braune Blatter (Chocolate Leaves)

• Rogue Chocolatier

• Dandelion Chocolate

• Candy Encyclopedia: The Difference Between Gummi and Jelly

• Candy Rant: If your Licorice isn’t black, it isn’t Licorice