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Mars

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Limited Edition Milky Way Caramel Apple Minis

Milky Way Caramel Apple MinisIt’s fun to see the new iterations of favorite candy bars for Halloween. Some get new shapes or packages, but Mars has gone a little further with their Limited Edition Milky Way Caramel Apple Minis.

They say, “Combining the irresistible tastes of chocolate, rich and creamy caramel and apple, this new item brings a unique, new flavor to trick-or-treating, decorating and snacking.”

I had a tough time finding them in Los Angeles, but spotted them at CVS in Pennsylvania last week and managed to stash a bag in my luggage before leaving.

Milky Way Caramel Apple Minis

The Minis part of the Mars line is rather interesting. They’re far smaller than a snack sized bar, taken out of the mylar wrappers, you could easily tuck them in little fluted cups and put them in a candy box.

Each piece is .3 ounces (or 8.6 grams) and about 38 calories. They’re .8 inches square (a little shorter than a cube, about .7 inches tall). A suggested serving size is 5 pieces for 190 calories.

The big difference between the mini and the regular bar is the proportion of chocolate. The chocolate here is a thin veneer, just enough shell to hold the fillings.

Milky Way Caramel Apple Minis

The candies look no different inside than a normal Milky Way Mini. (Not like those Shrek Snickers which had green nougat.) This is comforting, as the candy smells more like apple pie a la mode than green apple Jolly Ranchers.

The scent has a light touch of milk and sweetness along with a hint of cinnamon and baked apple. The caramel and nougat are distinct layers. The nougat is a little on the mellow spice size, with notes of nutmeg and chai. The caramel seems to be where the apple flavors come from, more like apple cider and apple peels than an artificial apple flavor but it’s exceptionally mild.

Of all the formats for Milky Way, I prefer the mini, as it’s not too sweet and three can satisfy me quickly. I was not looking forward to this version, but was pleasantly surprised. That’s not to say that I thought they were transcendent and there are far better flavor combinations that I think would translate well to this, like Chai Spice.

For a Green Halloween for ethically sourced and clean ingredients, this candy doesn’t make the grade. Mars is making great strides towards using certified chocolate, starting in the US with their Dove line, but has not rolled it out in the Milky Way line in the US as yet.

Related Candies

  1. Werther’s Original Caramel Apple Filled
  2. Tootsie Caramel Apple Pops
  3. Wonka Exceptionals Fruit Jellies: Grapefruit, Goji Berry & Red Apple
  4. Milky Way Simply Caramel
  5. Milk Maid Caramel Apple Candy Corn
  6. Caramel Apple Sugar Babies
  7. Head to Head: Milky Way & Mars (Canada & UK)


Name: Milky Way Caramel Apple Minis
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: CVS (Bryn Mawr, PA)
Price: $4.49
Size: 11.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 125
Categories: Candy, Mars, Caramel, Chocolate, Kosher, Limited Edition, Nougat, 6-Tempting, United States, Sav-On/CVS

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:55 pm     CandyReviewHalloweenMarsCaramelChocolateKosherLimited EditionNougat6-TemptingUnited StatesSav-On/CVSComments (12)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dove Sea Salt Caramel Dark Chocolate Promises

Dove Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt CaramelI picked up the Dove Sea Salt Caramel Dark Chocolate Silky Smooth Promises about a month ago at Target. At the moment they’re a Target exclusive flavor, though I understand that when the flavors are popular they go into wider distribution.

The blue and white and brown package is summery and bright and caught my attention right away. But I was curious how different the flavor would be from the regular dark chocolate with caramel that Dove already makes.

The chocolates are expensive, at $4 for just a little over a half a pound. Mars is * still not using certified sustainable or ethically sourced chocolate for the vast majority of their products, this price premium at least prompts me to expect high quality ingredients, not things like hydrogenated palm kernel oil and potassium sorbate.

Dove Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt Caramel

The Dove dark chocolate is quite smooth and has an interesting flavor profile. It’s quite woodsy and a little on the dry side. But the melt is quick and slick on the tongue, so the dry finish keeps it from feeling to sweet or sticky. The flavor overall reminds me of chocolate sauce, not quite buttery but still silky.

The caramel filling is like most of the other Dove caramels I’ve had. It’s thick and almost like a sauce or syrup without a chewy component. I’d call it a pudding or custard. (Or perhaps German Chocolate Cake frosting without the coconut.) It has the advertised touch of salt to it and a smooth slightly toffee note to it. It’s not as rich or butterscotchy as some others I’ve had from artisan styled companies like Fran’s, but still a nice desserty flavored chocolate.

They felt less sweet than the regular Dove Caramel Promises, though it’s not like they had a lot of salt, there’s only 30 mg per 5 pieces. Because I picked up Hershey’s Simple Pleasures on the same trip, I have to say that I preferred these by quite a large margin. They’re less caloric than a solid chocolate bar, but still more than the Simple Pleasures or a Peppermint Pattie. Dove is still not my go-to premium chocolate. I’ll eat them if they’re sitting around, but when I want a chocolate treat I find myself shopping for things like Green & Black’s (which I wish came in little bite sized pieces) or something like Trader Joe’s which have more intense or vibrant flavors and better ingredients.

* UPDATE 7/18/2012: A rep from Dove Chocolate called me to let me know that Dove is switching to Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa. This particular product is not Rainforest Alliance Certified, and still has unverified palm oil in it and preservatives. You can read more on their website, but the fact remains that Mars, the company that owns Dove, is far from converting their entire line of chocolate products to certified sustainable and ethical sources, but at least have a plan and are hitting targets. At this time they are sourcing only 20% of their cocoa from certified cocoa.

Related Candies

  1. Ghirardelli Intense Dark Sea Salt Soiree
  2. Trader Joe’s 70% Dark with Caramel and Black Sea Salt
  3. Equal Exchange Chocolate Caramel Crunch with Sea Salt
  4. Milky Way Simply Caramel
  5. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels
  6. Dove Promises (Caramel & Almonds)
  7. Dove Caramels & Chocolate Covered Almonds


Name: Dove Sea Salt Caramel Dark Chocolate Silky Smooth Promises
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $3.99
Size: 8.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 135
Categories: Candy, Mars, Caramel, Chocolate, Kosher, 7-Worth It, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:05 pm     CandyReviewMarsCaramelChocolateKosher7-Worth ItUnited StatesTargetComments (0)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Dove Cookies and Creme + Ghirardelli Cookies Jubilee

I’m a huge fan of Oreos. I love them. For my 16th birthday my little brother gave me a package of Oreos, and though some people would think, “What a cheap gift!” It was in reality just what I wanted. My love of the cookies is all about the cookie part, not the cream filling. It’s salty and barely sweet, slightly sandy in its crunch and has a deep, dark chocolate flavor that borders on charcoal.

Cookies and Creme

Now Kraft has their own Oreo candy bars, of course not in the United States, spawning ground of Oreos. Instead the best Oreo Bars came from Japan. So Americans have to eat Cookies and Cream candy (which is based on the awesome Cookies and Cream Ice Cream). It’s a white chocolate base with crushed chocolate. The thing about Oreos is that there is no substitute. People who like other brands of chocolate cream cookies (such as Hydrox) prefer them. I happen to prefer Oreos and find anything that’s like an Oreo but not an Oreo slightly disappointing. (But still usually delicious.)

Dove Cookies & CremeWhile Hershey’s has a 22 year head start in the Cookies and Cream arms race, Dove has an advantage when it comes to ingredients and texture.

The new Dove Silky Smooth Promises Cookies & Creme are the newest in Dove’s recent entry into white chocolate products. For a while everyone was going extra dark and all of sudden white chocolate is legitimate decadence. (Personally, I think we can have it both ways, they’re not mutually exclusive.)

Dove Cookies & Creme

I got a handful of these as a sample from Mars last month. I didn’t think it was the final packaging because of the rather generic looking black and white foil. (This wouldn’t be the first time I got samples from Mars in temporary packaging.) Well, when I opened the bag after picking them up at Target last weekend, it was clear that this was what the wrapper was supposed to look like.

Dove Cookies and Creme

I really wanted to love these, but as I mentioned before at the top, I love the cookie part of cream sandwich cookies. So I want a lot of cookie. The white chocolate Dove uses is very creamy, very smooth but also has a bit of a cocoa flavor of its own. It may not be deodorized cocoa (where the cocoa butter is filtered completely to remove any traces of cocoa solids or anything that makes it smell like chocolate). It’s not as sweet as some other white chocolates, especially those at this price point. But it’s still sweet and lacks that moderation that a larger proportion of cookie bits would bring.

The cookie bits themselves are okay, they’re crunchy, but missing a really dark and lightly salty note to them.

They’re okay eaten one at a time and with something else in between. I don’t find myself wanting more after I finish one.

Ghirardelli Sublime White Cookies JubileeI was on the lookout for the Dove Cookies & Creme but had no idea that Ghirardelli had their own new version. The Ghirardelli Sublime White Cookies Jubilee was far more expensive per ounce, at $2.79 for the 3.17 ounce bar.

The box is nicely made and protects the bar well, at paperboard sleeve over a foil wrapped bar. The price per ounce is 88 cents per ounce while the Dove is half that at 44 cents per ounce. So it should be twice as good. It should be all natural. It should be fair trade. It should complement my skin tone and make my eyes sparkle. (Candy doesn’t work that way, or so I’ve been told.)

What Ghirardelli does with there bar is actually different and sounds really good. They describe it on the front of the box as rich layers of chocolate with crunchy cookie bits..

Ghirardelli Cookies Jubilee

The ingredients are weird and the photo on the package (and physical examination of the opened bar) looks like there’s a milk chocolate base then a white chocolate layer filled with cookie bits.

But what it smells like is chocolate cupcakes. Not good chocolate cupcakes but those cupcakes that people buy at the grocery store bakery, that smell of automation and mixes. The ingredients list cocoa butter as the second ingredient, so that’s not a problem, the chocolate content seems all good. The cookie though seems to be made from rice flour, tapioca starch and corn starch. There’s no wheat flour in there, not that I need it to be made with wheat flour, but this isn’t a gluten free product. (Or is it?)

The flavor balance is weird, it’s like fake buttered popcorn. The little cookie bits have a nice crunch, but little dark toasted cocoa goodness of their own. The chocolate layers are smooth, far smoother than the Dove. It was weirdly greasy at the end and melted too quickly to become thin and watery. It’s just weird and I found it really unpleasant. (For the record, I have liked a lot of Ghirardelli’s other white chocolate products.)

Hershey's Cookies & CremeIn order to completely review a Cookie and Creme candy, I had to revisit the one that pretty much dominates the market, the Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme.

I love the idea of the Hershey’s and there’s so many things that are right with this bar, but the primary reason I can’t or don’t eat it is because of the ingredients. Instead of real cocoa butter the Hershey’s version uses, well, it’s hard to tell, because the ingredients list is vague. The second ingredient, after sugar, is vegetable oil. It says then, parenthetically, that it may include cocoa butter, palm, shea, sunflower and/or safflower. So there’s really no telling which or any of those are in there.

Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme

It’s extremely sweet and slightly grainy and I think not quite milky enough for a white chocolate style product. But then I get to the cookies. There are so many of them, they’re so consistently crunchy and salty and sandy and really exquisite. They balance out the sickeningly sweet white confection exceptionally well.

This purchase was the King Size bar, which was well priced, but far too much of this for me to eat and really, really smelly. The Drops version introduced more recently is a better portioning, though doesn’t have quite the same cookie density and satisfaction.

Cookies & Creme: Dove, Hershey's & Ghirardelli

I have to say, after all these years, I still haven’t found a Cookies and Cream candy I actually like enough to keep eating. Dove is pretty close, it needs more cookies, it needs better cookies. Or Hershey’s could go back to a real white chocolate with cocoa butter and a little less sugar. Instead I’ll probably just keep eating Oreos.

Related Candies

  1. Milka Bars, Milka Drops and some Li’l Milka
  2. Cookies ‘n’ Cream Bites
  3. KitKat Otonano Amasa (Adult Taste)
  4. Oreo Bitter Bar (Japan)
  5. Cookies ‘n’ Creme Showdown
  6. Trader Joe’s Mint Joe Joe’s versus Mint Oreos
  7. Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Mint


Name: Dove Cookies & Creme Silky Smooth Promises
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $3.49
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 153
Categories: Candy, Mars, Cookie, Kosher, White Chocolate, 6-Tempting, United States, Target


Name: Sublime White Cookies Jubliee
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Ghiradelli
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $2.79
Size: 3.17 ounces
Calories per ounce: 157
Categories: Candy, Ghirardelli, Chocolate, Cookie, Kosher, White Chocolate, 6-Tempting, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:41 pm     CandyReviewGhirardelliMarsChocolateCookieKosherWhite Chocolate6-TemptingUnited StatesTargetComments (5)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Starburst Sweet Fiesta

Starburst Sweet FiestaStarburst come in a myriad of flavor packs these days. I picked up a few of the less common flavors at some convenience stores recently. The Starburst Sweet Fiesta has been out for a few years. At first I thought it was a limited edition version, but it appears to be a regular item.

The package contains four different flavors, each is a combo flavor all based on a sort of tropical and sub-tropical flavors. It has Cherry mango, peach guava, strawberry pineapple and melon berry, with three of each flavor in the 2.07 ounce pack.

Starburst Sweet Fiesta

Strawberry Pineapple is pink and delightful. It’s sweet and tangy with floral notes that are close to honey and then something a little deeper and more heady.

Melon Berry is bright green. It’s quite melon, a cross between watermelon and musk melon, but there’s a strong sort of papaya note to it. It’s too musky for me, to tropical.

Peach Guava is peachy. It smells like coconut and has a peachy, apricot note at first. The guava is not terribly strong, which is fine with me because I’m not that keen on guava, it’s almost like passion fruit.

Cherry Mango is red. It smelled like the regular Cherry Starburst at first, but the flavor is quite a bit better. It’s cherry, with all those woodsy flavors, but there’s a pine and peach note to it that’s quite good. I’m not usually a fan of cherry, but I like how Starburst does them for the most part, and this is a good example.

Overall, this flavor set is different enough from the standard Starbust Fruits but I don’t feel like it completely breaks out of the show of the perfection of the original. If you’re the type of candy fan that hates citrus, this is a good mix, as it has none, which is pretty rare. I love the pineapple, but I’m not big on melon, so I’d probably give this a pass in the future as a whole pack, but if I can just pick out the Strawberry Pineapple and share the rest, it’s all systems go.

Related Candies

  1. Starburst Flavor Morph
  2. Haribo Maoam Fruit Chews
  3. HiCHEW World Fruit: Dragonfruit, CamuCamu, Durian & White Peach
  4. Starburst Sour & Sweet
  5. Starburst Baja California & Tropical
  6. Starburst
  7. HiCHEW Assortment
  8. Storck Mamba Chews


Name: Starburst Sweet Fiesta
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Wrigley’s
Place Purchased: 7-11 (Silver Lake)
Price: $1.19
Size: 2.07 ounces
Calories per ounce: 120
Categories: Candy, Mars, Wrigley's, Chews, Starburst, 7-Worth It, United States, 7-11

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:56 am     CandyReviewMarsWrigley'sChewsStarburst7-Worth ItUnited States7-11Comments (3)

Friday, June 1, 2012

M&Ms Sweet & Salty Snack Mix

M&Ms Snack Mix - Salty & Sweet Milk ChocolateLate last year Mars introduced a new line of snack mixes incorporating M&Ms with nuts, dried fruits, cookies and pretzels. There are currently three varieties available, I picked up one of each.

All share the use of M&Ms chocolate candies and pretzels, but then have slightly different elements from there. The basic mix, based on the Milk Chocolate M&Ms is Milk Chocolate M&Ms Snack Mix Salty & Sweet.

The bags are eight ounces and I got mine on sale for $3 each at Walgreen’s, but I have to believe that they’re going to be priced less than that on a regular basis for them to catch on.

First I have to say that the packaging is well done. The stand up bag does stand up and the zip lock closes easily and securely enough to both keep contents from spilling and protect from moisture. The bag also will sit “open” well enough to serve from.

M&Ms Snack Mix - Salty & Sweet

The items within the Milk Chocolate mix are: Roasted Peanuts and Crunchy Pretzels from the salty side and mini Chocolate Chip Cookies and Milk Chocolate M&Ms from the sweet side.

In the case of my bag, things appeared to be packaged in tiers, so all my peanuts were at the bottom and all my pretzels were at the top. So when I first dumped it out for photographing, I missed the peanuts entirely. (See below.)

The pretzels are barely an inch across and just lightly salted, which I thought was perfect. They’re not so big that they took up a whole bite, allowing me to combine elements for a customized flavor/texture profile.

The little chocolate chip cookies are like Chips Ahoy!. A bland vanilla cookie with teensy little chocolate chips. They’re about .8 inches around and reminded me of Cookie Crisp Cereal in shape, but actual chocolate chip cookies in flavor. They’re a little salty, very sweet and nicely crunchy.

M&Ms Snack Mix - Salty & Sweet

The M&Ms are, well, Milk Chocolate M&Ms. They’re a bit dusty with crumbs or salt, but otherwise fresh and crunchy, the sweetest thing in the bag.

The peanuts, well, this is where things took a bad turn. I didn’t like the peanuts at all. I thought they were roasted too dark, they were bitter and sometimes chalky. Since everything else in the bag was perfectly fresh, it made very little sense to me why they were consistently so unappealing. (One or two bad peanuts are understandable, but they were all the same color, uniformly small in size and rather lifeless.) I have to wonder if they were a bit on the over-roasted side as a way to stabilize them, especially the fats in peanuts that can make everything greasy.

As long as I ate the peanuts in the same bite as something else, I didn’t mind the. But on the whole, I prefer a snack mix with a strong protein component (usually from nuts).

M&Ms Snack Mix - Salty & Sweet PeanutPeanut M&Ms Snack Mix Salty & Sweet is in a bright yellow bag featuring the yellow Peanut M&M as its mascot.

This bag features a mix of salted roasted almonds and pretzels along with mini shortbread cookies and Peanut M&Ms.

The little shortbread cookies are similar to the chocolate chip ones in size, but actually more successful in this application. The flavor is quite good, I got a great sense of the toasted shortbread cookie with its vanilla flavor. But what was really interesting was that the salt from the almonds had rubbed off on the, so there was an excellent contrast going on. They’re dense and crunchy and not too sweet.

M&Ms Snack Mix - Salty & Sweet

The pretzels were again nicely layered in, a good crunch with a mild flavor.

The almonds were tiny, but roasted perfectly thought slightly over-salted for my tastes. (The overall sodium level for the snack mix is 125mg for a 1/3 of a cup portion which is about 190 calories.

The Peanut M&Ms were, well, exactly like Peanut M&Ms. They were big and had a lot of crackle going on and added a buttery element to the whole mix.

All of the items went with each other. An almond with a Peanut M&M was great. A cookie with a pretzel was also really satisfying. I was surprised at how much I liked this mix, though it does combine some of my favorite items. It was the cookies I was hesitant about, but they really did add to the satisfaction level.

M&Ms Snack Mix - Salty & Sweet Dark ChocolateDark Chocolate M&Ms Snack Mix Salty & Sweet is the only mix in the set that doesn’t have little cookies.

The mix contains salted, roasted almonds and pretzels along with raisins and Dark Chocolate M&Ms.

This is the “healthiest” of the mixes, if you go by calorie load. There are 132 calories per ounce, slightly less than the milk chocolate mix with a half a gram less saturated fat but still 16 grams of sugars. But it does have a bit of iron at 6% of your daily recommended allowance and two grams of fiber.

Of course all of that relies on eating the exact proportions of each element in the mix. If you pick out the M&Ms and almonds, well, all bets are off.

M&Ms Snack Mix - Salty & Sweet

The mix is attractive and has a good salty note to it from the pretzels and the almonds. The raisins were pretty big, soft and juicy without being sticky. The Dark Chocolate M&Ms pair well with any of the elements. Part of me would like to see a more interesting dried fruit in the mix, like dried cherries or cranberries (which do suffer from being sweetened) but this version does fit the bill by adding in a little tangy chew.

These are not candy. There’s very little candy in there, by most accounts, about 25% of it is actually M&Ms, the rest of snack foods. Mars has made a nice mix and chosen each element pretty well and balanced them expertly.

It’s a good mix for a lot of different purposes. Easy to share you can take it on an airplane, a car trip or a movie theater (of course you’d pay concession prices ... probably about $8 a bag). I prefer to make my own mixes, but if I have to grab something already made a store, this is a fair value.

Related Candies

  1. Glico Pocky Cookie Crush
  2. Snyder’s Peanut Butter Pretzel Sandwich Dips
  3. Pretzel M&Ms
  4. Candy on the Trail
  5. Limited Edition M&Ms Coconut
  6. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzel Bites


Name: M&Ms Snack Mix Salty & Sweet: Milk Chocolate
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park)
Price: $3.00 (on sale)
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 138
Categories: Candy, Mars, Chocolate, Cookie, Kosher, M&Ms, Peanuts, 5-Pleasant, United States, Walgreen's


Name: M&Ms Snack Mix Salty & Sweet: Peanut
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park)
Price: $3.00 (on sale)
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 142
Categories: Candy, Mars, Chocolate, Cookie, Kosher, M&Ms, Nuts, Peanuts, 7-Worth It, United States, Walgreen's


Name: M&Ms Snack Mix Salty & Sweet: Dark Chocolate
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park)
Price: $3.00 (on sale)
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 132
Categories: Candy, Mars, Chocolate, Cookie, Kosher, M&Ms, Nuts, 7-Worth It, United States, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:24 pm     CandyReviewMarsChocolateCookieKosherM&MsNutsPeanuts5-Pleasant7-Worth ItUnited StatesWalgreen's

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Candy Tease: Mars 2012 Announcements

Mars has scaled back on the new product introductions they announce at Sweets & Snacks Expo, but there are still plenty of new twists on your favorite candies coming out in the next six months or so. Here are some highlights:

Dove Cookies and CremeName: Dove Cookies and Creme
Brand: Dove (Mars)
Description: Savor the grown-up experience of a childhood favorite with the delicious flavors of cookies and crème. New DOVE® Brand Silky Smooth Cookies and Crème blends sweet and creamy white chocolate and crunchy chocolate cookie bits into an indulgence that only DOVE Chocolate can deliver.
Introduction Date: September 2012
Notes: I am actually looking forward to this. The Hershey’s version has gone downhill since they stopped using all cocoa butter but the Dove Peppermint Bark that came out two years ago did turn out really well ... the big question remains, will it have the right ratio of chocolate cookies.

Milky Way Caramel AppleName: Milky Way Caramel Apple
Brand: Mars
Description: Caramel apples are a Halloween tradition, and new MILKY WAY® Brand Caramel Apple Miniatures add a chocolate twist to this Halloween favorite. Combining the irresistible tastes of chocolate, rich and creamy caramel and apple, this new item brings a unique, new flavor to trick-or-treating, decorating and snacking.
Introduction Date: September 2012
Notes: These are coming out for Halloween, but will be around through the end of the year. I know that the apple and caramel flavor thing has been around for a while, but I have my doubts that this will taste realistic and not fake.

3 Musketeers Hot CocoaName: 3 MUSKETEERS Brand Hot Cocoa with Marshmallow
Brand: Mars
Description: What’s better than hot cocoa on a cold winter’s day? Try new 3 MUSKETEERS Brand Hot Cocoa with Marshmallow Minis and find out! This new limited-edition holiday flavor may not warm the bones, but with its smooth and creamy goodness, it’s sure to satisfy holiday decorating and snacking this season.
Introduction Date: November 2012
Notes: 3 Musketeers has been the area where Mars has been throwing its muscle in the seasonal flavors. The previous 3 Musketeers Marshmallow for Easter 2011 was a bit lackluster. I’m not quite sure what this flavor will be, except less malty (is it possible for the current version of 3 Musketeers to be less malty) than the current version.

Dove StrawberryName: DOVE PROMISES Silky Smooth Milk Chocolate & Strawberry Crème Swirl Hearts
Brand: Dove (Mars)
Description: Juicy strawberry crème coated in milk chocolate combine for a decadent and irresistible taste sensation. DOVE captures this hallmark flavor of the season in new DOVE PROMISES Silky Smooth Milk Chocolate & Strawberry
Introduction Date: January 2013
Notes: The white & milk swirl that Dove came out with is nicely done. The fakey fruit flavors that I had in the raspberry was just not my cup of tea, but there are others that might enjoy these, especially in small pieces with a Valentine’s theming on them.

Other items returning:

M&M’S Candy Corn White Chocolate Candies were an unexpected hit last year. I was surprised that I liked them and am glad to see that they’ll return for Halloween 2012. Full review here.

Dove Peppermint Bark will be back for Christmas in the bark and Promises version, but also a new DOVE Peppermint Bark Singles which sounds like a great way to just pick up a small, easy to eat bar instead of a large bag. Previous review of Promises here.

DOVE PROMISES Silky Smooth White Chocolate will also return for Christmas 2012. Previous review is here.

3 MUSKETEERS Dark Chocolate Strawberry Minis were introduced in a Fall Mix in 2007 (along with French Vanilla and Cappuccino). Lately they’ve been bringing out Cherry and Raspberry seasonally, but this Strawberry version will be out for Valentine’s Day 2013.

Images courtesy of Mars, Inc.

Related Candies

  1. Candy Tease: Sweets & Snacks Expo 2012 - Part 2
  2. Candy Tease: Sweets & Snacks Expo 2012 - Part 1
  3. Candy Tease Spring 2012
  4. Candy Tease: October 2011
  5. Candy Tease: Mars 2011 Announcements
  6. Candy Tease: Mars 2010

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:09 am     CandyNew Product AnnouncementMarsHighlightFeatured NewsComments (4)

Monday, March 5, 2012

M&Ms White Chocolate (Easter)

M&Ms White ChocolateMars has introduced White Chocolate M&Ms a couple of times in the past, most notably the M&Ms Pirate Pearls tie in with the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

This new Easter version of M&Ms White Chocolate is a little different in all the right ways.

The first thing is the appropriateness. White Chocolate is inextricably tied to my memories of Easter. The white confection works so well with pastel colors, it’s milky sweetness just embodies the sugary overload of the season.

M&Ms White Chocolate

I picked up this bag at Target, it’s over a half a pound but still a little pricey at $3.19 for the bag at regular price. Though they’re Easter themed, with the Red M&M wearing a furry white rabbit suit on the package, it’s just the colors. There are no little icons on them like M&Ms has done in the past with the holiday versions.

M&Ms White Chocolate

The morsels are larger than regular M&Ms. I’ve come to expect this with the limited edition M&Ms. The Dark Chocolate Mint M&Ms are also oversized and part of me wonders if they’re just using the former Mega M&Ms production line or the M&Ms Premium.

M&Ms White Chocolate

The large size and thick shell means that there are a lot of textures going on, and each gets to shine. The shell is crunchy and crisp. The light coloring means that there’s no perceptible off flavoring from the colors for me. The centers are smooth and creamy. When I say cream, it’s like it’s real dairy cream. Instead of tasting like frosting, these taste more like vanilla pudding. The white chocolate has both a lot of cocoa butter and milk solids in it. Cocoa butter is the second ingredient, so it’s quite light without being overly sweet or greasy.

While I wasn’t blown away by the earlier Pirate Pearls, this larger size and less sweet flavor is really quite good. Granted, you have to like white chocolate in the first place, but for a mass-marketed white chocolate product, Mars has addressed a lot of the confections shortcomings quite well.

The package lists possible allergens as peanuts, almonds and wheat and it’s definitely made with dairy and soy. Mars has not released any information about going fair trade or ethically sourcing their current American cocoa products, though they’re planning release of ethically trade chocolate products in Europe. (More on that here at Change.org.)

Related Candies

  1. Dove Promises White Chocolate
  2. M&Ms White Chocolate Candy Corn
  3. Cookies ‘n’ Creme Showdown
  4. M&Ms Premiums
  5. See’s Hollow Eggs with Novelty
  6. M&Ms Line
  7. Green and Black’s White Chocolate


Name: White Chocolate M&Ms (Easter)
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: Target (WeHo)
Price: $3.19
Size: 9.9 ounces
Calories per ounce: 147
Categories: Candy, Easter, Mars, Kosher, M&Ms, White Chocolate, 8-Tasty, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:29 pm     CandyReviewEasterMarsKosherM&MsWhite Chocolate8-TastyUnited StatesTargetComments (14)

Monday, February 6, 2012

M&Ms Mint Dark Chocolate

M&Ms Mint Dark ChocolateMint and Chocolate is a classic combination and one that M&Ms has brought back seasonally with their Milk Chocolate Mint M&Ms in the winter for the past few years.

This year they’ve introduced a new item with a little twist, Mint Dark Chocolate M&Ms. Like other Mars dark chocolate products, it’s not a true dark chocolate, just a semi-sweet chocolate with a bit of dairy fats thrown in.

I found them in this stand up bag, which was a bit pricey at $3.39 per 8 ounce bag at Target. I expect they go on sale often, so keep an eye out. But I’ve heard tale that they’re also available in single serve packages.

M&Ms Mint Dark Chocolate

They come in two colors. Green and Green. Maybe there are three shades, it’s hard to tell. But they’re green, and they’re beefy. They’re much larger than regular M&Ms.

M&Ms Mint Dark Chocolate

Because they’re bigger, there seems to be more chocolate than shell, so it felt like there was more chocolate flavor.

They’re lightly peppermint, not so much that it completely overpowers the chocolate. The chocolate is smooth and buttery, though a little grainy ... kind of hard to tell if you chew up the sugar shell though. Overall, a very nice rendition of minted chocolate in candy. It does remind me quite a bit of Peppermint Bark. It’s much less sticky tasting than the milk chocolate variety. I’d definitely chose the Dark Chocolate over Milk Chocolate. So much that I’d kind of like to downgrade the Milk Chocolate variety.

M&Ms Mint Dark Chocolate

They’re also satisfying. M&Ms, by design, are engineered to be unsatisfying. You eat some, and then you want some more. Otherwise folks wouldn’t keep eating a whole bag and then buying more. The dark chocolate variety has a lot going for it with the textures, but the mint is light and reminds me (because I still taste it in my mouth) that I just had some and that I enjoyed them. So no need to keep shoveling them into my maw.

Mars made Premium M&Ms for a while, they were M&Ms without the shell, instead something more like a thick layer of latex paint (okay, it was really just food coloring and edible wax). The flavor that seemed to make it the longest on store shelves was their mint version, and this hard shell variety does emulate that flavor profile quite well.

Last week Mars introduced a new M&Ms character, Ms. Brown. She’s voiced in the current campaign by Vanessa Williams (Ms. Green is voiced by Cree Summer) and characterized as a bit brainy (because she has glasses) and chic. It seems odd that all the M&Ms are “candies of color” in name only, their arms and legs are actually rather pale and lead me to believe they’re Caucasians. None of this has anything to do with Mint Dark Chocolate M&Ms, I was just thinking about it over the weekend.

Related Candies

  1. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Mints
  2. Marich All Natural Holland Mints & Chocolate Jordan Almonds
  3. Dove Peppermint Bark
  4. Hershey’s York Pieces
  5. Mint Chocolate M&Ms
  6. M&Ms Premiums
  7. 3 Musketeers Mint with Dark Chocolate


Name: Dark Chocolate Mint M&Ms
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: Target (WeHo)
Price: $3.39
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 140
Categories: Candy, Mars, Chocolate, Kosher, M&Ms, Mints, 8-Tasty, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:30 pm     CandyReviewMarsChocolateKosherM&MsMints8-TastyUnited StatesTargetComments (10)

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