Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Almond Joy

Almond JoyThe Almond Joy candy bar was introduced in 1946, just after the World War II, when sugar, tropical coconuts and chocolate became more available. The Peter Paul Manufacturing Co was based in New Haven, Connecticut and was already known for its popular Mounds bar.

Peter Paul, then producing out of their facility in Nagatuck, Connecticut was bought up by Cadbury back in 1978, and in a deal ten years later, Hershey’s purchased Cadbury’s American operations. Even though the company has gone through a few hands, the bars are still known by their original brand of Peter Paul. The Nagatuck plant that produced Almond Joy’s from 1948 forward closed last year and production was consolidated to a Virginia factory.

Mounds and Almond Joy enjoy a bit of a corner on the chocolate covered coconut market here in the United States. For a while Mars tried to push into the arena with their already popular Bounty bars from Europe, but they never quite made it.

Almond Joy

The standard single serving package includes two small bars. The moist coconut and fondant center is covered in milk chocolate and studded with two almonds each. They’re tucked into a tray to protect them.

The bars smell sweet and a whole lot like coconut. The bite is soft and moist, the mockolate is a bit grainy and fudgy and doesn’t really add much flavorwise but does keep things a little creamier (overall I’d say it’s not back mockolate and the ingredients to indicate there’s real chocolate in there). The almonds, though usually small, are good quality and nicely toasted.

I prefer the Mounds (though I’ve always wished they’d do a Mounds with Almonds) just for the counterpoint of the bittersweet chocolate and the sweet coconut. But the coconut is always a good texture and chew with a nice tropical flavor and satisfying tropical fat content. But it is sweet, a bit too much for me.

Almond Joy holds a place in many American’s hearts because of a very popular advertising campaign in the 80s and their jingle that says, “sometimes you feel like a nut and sometimes you don’t” to distinguish between their two coconut bars. Even though that campaign is long gone, the phrase “sometimes you feel like a nut” still knocks around as a cultural reference.

Sometimes you feel like a nut.
Sometimes you don’t.
Almond Joy’s got nuts.
Mounds don’t.

Almond Joy’s got rich milk chocolate
Coconut and crunch nuts, too.
Mounds’ got deep dark chocolate
And chewy coconut ...oooh.

Snack Size Almond JoyAlmond Joy are also available in a few other formats. They have snack pack size, which is slightly smaller than a single from the regular sized. (A two almond one weights approximately .8 ounces while the snack pack size weights about .6 ounces and sports only one almond.)

There is a third size called fun size, which I only see around Halloween, which looks like it’s from a box of candy. (See Wikipeda for an example.) That also has only one almond, though probably the highest almond to center & chocolate ratio of the three varieties. Easter also brings a large egg shaped version which also sports a solo almond (reviewed here at Candy Addict).

Almond Joy + Almond Joy Snack Size

Out of curiosity (mostly because there was a Consumerist posting yesterday), I picked up the Snack Pack and a regular Almond Joy just to see if there was some sort of shenanigan going on here. Consumerist alleged that there was false advertising because there are two little almonds on the package and the description lists “almonds” instead of almond. I can’t really say what the legal situation would be, but I would probably expect that the Snack Pack would simply be the same as a single from regular size.

I can say that this is not a new development. I found this shot from 2005 (back when it was real chocolate too) that shows the single nut on the Snack Pack Almond Joy, so if it were a big deal, I would have expected it to be addressed long before now. While the use of the plural almonds does create a sense of expectation, I’m not sure we also expect a half a coconut’s worth of shreds in there too, even though that’s also depicted in the artwork.

The Snack Pack, which I picked up at the 99 Cent Only Store, as far as I was concerned, was a very good value. Eight of these smaller bars for only 99 cents. They have 80 calories each. The regular sized ones have 110 calories each. It’s pretty obvious that the Snack Pack, even with its decreased almond density is a far better deal than a single bar purchase.

Almond Joy has enjoyed a few alternative varieties through Hershey’s limited editions including Key Lime, Passion Fruit, Chocolate Chocolate and Toasted Coconut (my personal favorite over the classic Almond Joy).

UPDATE 9/30/2008: Almond Joy was briefly made with mockolate but after consumer feedback, Hershey’s switched back to the original chocolate formula.

Related Candies

  1. Atkinson’s Coconut Long Boys
  2. Kisses Coconut Creme
  3. Russell Stover Coconut Wreath
  4. Mounds Island Orange
  5. Almond Joy Cookies
Name: Almond Joy
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Hershey's
Place Purchased: Hansen's Market & 99 Cent Only (Los Angeles)
Price: $.85 & $.99
Size: 1.61 ounces & 4.8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 136
Categories: Mockolate, Coconut, Nuts, United States, Hershey's, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:44 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. Hi Cybele what a coincedence you reviewed this - it was only a few days ago one of my readers suggest I do so myself as I reviewed the Mars Bounty and rather enjoyed it. The only real difference between the two looks like the inclusion of almond but I guess the milk chocolate will also differ…I guess I will just have to try! You should try get hold of a Bounty!

    Some of those variants you just posted look really really great! That Key Lime pie one especially looks indeed very tasty I hope you review it soon!

    Thanks for the review!

    Comment by Jim on 7/29/08 at 1:09 pm #
  2. You know, I’ve never been a fan of Almond Joy or Mounds, although I think I’d love the mix of almonds, coconut & dark chocolate. However, I did come across the Almond Joy Pina Coloda last summer, yum! So very good, I wish they would have it every year, but I haven’t seen it this summer.

    Comment by callie on 7/29/08 at 1:46 pm #
  3. I’ve always been a bit baffled as to why Bounty isn’t sold in the States—it’s pretty similar in concept to Mounds but there’s no doubt that it’s the superior product.

    Comment by Michael on 7/29/08 at 1:57 pm #
  4. Cybele's avatar

    Micahel - you can get Bounty in the States though usually at import shops or places near the Canadian border. I do doubt that it’s a “superior product” though. They’re different ... but I don’t think one is better than the other. You can certainly have a preference for one over the other.

    Callie - the Pina Colada was good too! I forgot that one on the list.

    Jim - the Key Lime one was a over two years ago. I kept eating my review samples (I think I had three of them) and just never put up a post. Same with the Toasted Coconut (I think I found them on vacation).

    I’ll poke around to see if I can find a fresh Bounty bar set (I often find that they’re a bit stale which wouldn’t be good for reviewing). The basic different between the two is Bounty is a little dryer, but tastes more “nutty” (and of course the lack of almonds in the milk version ... Mounds & Dark Bounty are pretty similar).

    Comment by Cybele on 7/29/08 at 2:06 pm #
  5. Hi, I am in middle school. Me and a few of my friends started a candy club a while back (p.s. im vice president.) Each week we have to come up with a new candy hat we have never heard of. It is really fun trying and rating candy. Im hosting next so I am surfing your blog looking for a great candy. thx =]

    Comment by Kayla on 7/29/08 at 5:08 pm #
  6. i agree with you, the bounty bar is dryer (sp?), i think the fondant is firmer as well, or maybe i’ve only ever come across stale bars. almond joys are one of the only american chocolate bars i still like, but i think it’s mostly a nostalgia thing.

    Comment by santos. on 7/29/08 at 6:15 pm #
  7. I love both Mounds and Almond Joy, even though I don’t much like coconut in anything else.  However, I’ve had a snack pack lately where most of the bars had two nuts and only a couple had one.  I figured that there was an average ratio that they had to follow.

    I also wish that Almond Joy was covered with bittersweet.  I would probably never buy a Mounds again.

    Comment by Dave on 7/30/08 at 1:10 am #
  8. Trader Joes now has something similar, I think it’s called “Put the Almond in the Coconut” or something equally quippy.
    But it’s actually pretty good. Better almond ratio, and the coconut texture is an improvement.

    Comment by Delilah on 7/30/08 at 3:28 am #
  9. This and Mounds are something I haven’t had in AGES. Time to remedy that, methinks. smile

    Comment by Sera on 7/30/08 at 7:32 am #
  10. I love Almond Joy! I saw the post on Consumerist, but as you said this is nothing new. The snack pack is really small, and sure they could try to pack 2 whole almonds in there, but then there would be less chocolate and coconut - it would in fact be like chocolate covered almond’S’.

    Comment by Tanya on 7/30/08 at 9:35 am #
  11. Hi Cybele - Love the background on the candies. Please keep up the histories, whenever possinle


    Comment by Will on 7/30/08 at 2:09 pm #
  12. I never got into these, even though I like coconut. The texture is just so greasy.

    But I’m really looking forward to your review of the Meiji Rich Strawberry bar! It’s one of the most interesting “chocolate” bars I’ve ever had.

    Comment by Debby on 7/31/08 at 5:04 am #
  13. I admit, I LOVE Almond Joy’s.  And while I’ve had the Bounty, I don’t think they compare.  There is something noticably different.

    Whatever happened to Almond Joy Bites?!  Other “bite” flavors (kit kat, reese’s) are still available, but it seems my favorite, the almod joy bites were discontinues?  Any scoop on that?

    Comment by Doreen on 8/01/08 at 5:51 am #
  14. I love that you said “though I?ve always wished they?d do a Mounds with Almonds” because I’ve always just wanted Almond Joy with dark chocolate. I know that it’s six of one, half-dozen of the other, but the angles from which came to the same conclusion are the same.  I thought you didn’t like coconut because I was always pushing Cherry Ripes on you, but now I recall that it’s cherry you don’t like.

    One of the best Australia coconut candies is something called Golden Rough. It’s toasted coconut covered in milk chocolate and flattened.  It’s amazing but they are hard to find in Oz.

    Comment by Melissa Algaze on 8/01/08 at 12:52 pm #
  15. I can?t buy Almond Joy because the Hersheys,in Brazil, don?t export more since 2006. Can you post a some bars to mee? PLEASE…replay please

    Comment by Antonio Carlos on 9/10/08 at 8:10 am #
  16. yo Almond Joy, I’m really happy for you and ima let you finish, but Mounds is one of the best chocolate bars of all time! ALL TIME

    Comment by Jamee on 5/12/10 at 11:08 am #
  17. I love the candy bar; one of my favorites!!! But please spell Naugatuck correctly. (I know because I live in the town and down the street from the former plant.) Thanks!!

    Comment by Patty on 2/01/11 at 4:57 pm #
  18. It vexes me that you can often find Almond Joys in vending machines here in Northern California, but rarely, if ever, Mounds. I’ve never seen one in a vending machine here, and believe me, I noticed because coconut needs DARK chocolate, and AJs just don’t do it for me.

    I’ve long suspected the California Almond Growers may have something to do with it. Conspiracy!

    ::dons tin foil hat::

    Comment by Jen on 4/06/11 at 7:59 pm #
  19. I LOVE ALMOND JOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by TERRANCE BATSON on 4/20/12 at 11:59 am #
  20. Hi, is Almond Joy availabel in any cities in
    Ontario yet ?

    Thanks !

    Comment by Derek on 2/17/13 at 6:43 pm #
  21. Almond Joy and Mounds are indeed tasty. Still, I prefer the Mars Bounty bar and remember their campy TV ads that aired briefly. I find Bounty in single or six-pack (full size) at Cost Plus stores. The chocolate seems thicker with same amount of coconut as a Mounds, but with milk chocolate instead of dark. I guess I don’t always feel like “a nut”, then. wink Cheers!

    Comment by James on 11/02/15 at 4:01 pm #
  22. What if someone wants almonds with dark chocolate? Why didn’t Hershey offer a Mounds with almonds and Almond Joy (milk chocolate) without? (of course a name change would be in order)

    Comment by Sahan on 8/22/16 at 10:07 am #
  23. Almond Joy was our favorite chocolate-coconut-nut treat,—but no longer do the snack-size treats contain the TWO almonds which made the coconut & chocolate taste so great…(dark chocolate preferred, but with 2 almonds for each snack we were satisfied)...So for whatever it’s worth reporting this,-myself and other former AJ consumers remain very disappointed in this reduced almond change, and have been using some online AJ candy recipes with increased almonds to get by..But it sure would be great & convenient if the AJ producers might reconsider adding the second almond to each AJ snack treat as used to do.  Hoping some readers on your site might agree. ~ Thanks & best regards, RC

    Comment by Reba on 6/10/17 at 12:02 pm #
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