Thursday, January 18, 2007

American Value Chocolate Bars

imageCome on, admit it! Sometimes you go into the store and see something at an unbelievably low price and you turn up your nose because it could not possibly be any good at that price.

I’ll save you from skimming to the end of the review. Yeah, that holds true in the case of American Value bars.

This is a long thin Milk Chocolate bar that clocks in at a respectable 1.4 ounce portion and mentions the price of “4 for a Dollar every day” in a ghastly yellow logo in the corner. The label couldn’t possibly be less compelling if you gave me a version of Microsoft Word 95 to make it in. The package says nothing to recommend it, it doesn’t get our hopes up, it doesn’t lend any expectation to the experience.

image

Inside the package things get a bit better. It looks like a chocolate bar (and the ingredients reveal it’s real chocolate as well). It smells a little nutty and a little like chocolate. Sweet and less that ultra smooth, it’s a passable chocolate bar to give a child that isn’t very finicky, has a short attention span or perhaps you don’t like that much.

Since the bars are rather attractive (probably more so if you don’t leave it at the bottom of your bag when traveling) I would be comfortable recommending this bar for craft projects like Gingerbread Houses in the style of mid-eighties cubicle farms.

imageThough the Milk Chocolate bar was plain, it wasn’t pretending to be anything it wasn’t. The Four Finger Wafer Bar is a KitKat clone. Instead of the simple declaration of the contents that the Milk Chocolate bar has, this one says that it’s “Crisp Wafer Fingers Covered in Smooth Milk Chocolate.”

Oh, now they’ve raised my expectations. I’m expecting some smoothiness and some crispiness.

The wrapper features more design than a lowly word processing program could handle. This does not make it any more attractive. It’s not your monitor either, there’s a strange green cast to the package as well.

image

There are, in fact, four fingers. They are, in fact, crisp. They do not taste like KitKat fingers, and there’s nothing wrong with that. These are a bit less flaky and light. Looking at the ingredients I see that maize flour (corn) is used instead of wheat flour of a Hershey’s or Nestle’s KitKat. I actually rather enjoyed the malty corn flavor of the wafers. However, the chocolate here was funky. It had an odd flavor to it, kind of like a new car smell.

This bar was made in the UK (the Milk Chocolate bar was made in the USA). Taquitos.net has a few of the other Dollar General candies reviewed. I get the sense that Dollar General just subs out the manufacture of all of their candy - the Rocklets they sell under their own name are made by Arcor in Brazil, this four fingered bar in the UK and the milk chocolate bar in the US ... so you wouldn’t expect them to be so consistent.

Name: Small World Chocolates: Select Origin
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: American Value (Dolgen Corp.)
Place Purchased: gift from my brother (purchased at Dollar General)
Price: $.25 each
Size: 1.4 ounces & 1.3 ounces
Calories per ounce: 143 & 154
Categories: Chocolate, Cookie, United States, United Kingdom

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:12 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. I reviewed some Dollar general candy too ehre:
    http://candyaddict.com/blog/index.php?s=dollar+general

    Brian

    Comment by Brian on 1/18/07 at 12:18 pm #
  2. I would be more likely to turn up my nose at the sight than the price.

    Comment by Sophia on 1/18/07 at 12:23 pm #
  3. Cybele's avatar

    Brian - yes, I saw that. I couldn’t figure out how to do a link to a category on your site and I was feeling lazy about linking all the posts. (I did link to the Rocklets review before though ... I’ll have more to say about Arcor, the company that makes those shortly.)

    Sophia - yeah, my brother was the one who bought them! I’m not sure if he was being nice to me or not in this instance. (Actually, his wife gave me some wonderful malt balls ... so I’m inclined to think he’s nice.)

    Comment by Cybele on 1/18/07 at 12:35 pm #
  4. Some varieties of those bars are much worse than others.  I never tried the plain chocolate bar, I was too afraid.  I kind of like the mint one, and the 100 Grand type bar is actually very good.  The fake M&Ms; are borderline toxic, and I strongly disliked the KitKat one.  The almond one is passable, but lacks the appealing whole almonds of a Hershey.

    Comment by Dave on 1/18/07 at 2:20 pm #
  5. Maybe they are an acquired taste.  I suggest we all take $10 and buy 40 of them, then compare notes afterwards.

    Comment by Helen A. Handbasket on 1/18/07 at 2:58 pm #
  6. You’ve done us a great service.

    Comment by Laura-Marie on 1/18/07 at 3:11 pm #
  7. I dunno, those stars might be a little hard to do in Word 95…

    Comment by Tricia on 1/18/07 at 4:31 pm #
  8. I have a sudden urge to buy some of these and give them out to children misbehaving in public.  When someone asks me why I’m rewarding bad behavior, I’ll tell them the chocolate isn’t very good, then run away laughing. 

    It’ll be awesome.

    Comment by Jon on 1/19/07 at 2:47 am #
  9. yuck, I like it alot more when you review chocolates that make me hungry.

    Anyway, keep up the good work, I love your writing style. smile

    Comment by Rachel on 1/19/07 at 4:16 am #
  10. Cybele's avatar

    Dave - thanks for the rundown. I don’t live near a Dollar Tree and haven’t seen all the varieties before. I saw Taquitos also though the mint cookies weren’t too bad.

    Helen - oh, I’m getting a tummy ache just thinking of what $10 worth of these would look like.

    Laura-Marie - good, I was afraid I was going to have to make people sign waivers.

    Tricia - wasn’t there a default background template that had stars in it ... maybe I’m thinking of the orignial version of “Publisher”.

    Jon - I can picture the story in the “Oddly Enough” column about how you get sued for cruelty to minors.

    Rachel - this way you’ll appeciate the good stuff! (People used to complain that I’d never given out bad ratings.)

    Comment by Cybele on 1/19/07 at 12:30 pm #
  11. Generic Kit Kats! Haha! Gotta love it.

    Comment by patti on 1/20/07 at 2:19 am #
  12. WOW!!!!!  This site is sooooo Cool!!!

    Comment by Beth Bradley on 1/26/07 at 9:40 pm #
  13. I will say that I have never bought any chocolate bars or kit kat clones from Dollar General, but I have bought a variety of cookies and various other bags of candy for a dollar that are just as good as the more expensive names at say three dollars.  No they are not as good as the name brand but I can’t justify paying 3 times the amount for something a little better.  Hey who knows mabye it’s just an acquired taste!

    Comment by Tony on 5/17/07 at 11:38 am #
  14. My husband has been buying me dark chocolate bars from Dollar General (Dolgencorp)and they are FANTASTIC.  Smoooth and great taste.  And only $1 each, and it says “100% of all proceeds go to charity”. But I’m concerned: they’re manufactured in )Poland… how do I know there aren’t, for example, Chinese ingredients in there (like melamine?)

    And I wonder what charity?  Hopefully not Al-Qaeda…

    Trying to find info about them online, or at least a place to ASK about the ingredients…
    thanks for providing this forum!
    Barb

    Comment by Barbara Kostelnik on 3/13/09 at 6:56 am #
  15. RE: Barbara Kostelnik’s question about the charity the Dollar general candy goes to.  I was wondering the same thing, so I wrote them and asked, and this is the response I received:

    “Thank you for your email and for your interest in our Chocolate Candy Bar.

    All proceeds from the sale of these candy bars go to the Dollar General Literacy Fund, which is used to award literacy grants to a multitude of organizations.

    Dollar General?s commitment to literacy spans the life of our company and remains strong because of the significant need for literacy in our nation. Our co-founder, J.L. Turner, was functionally illiterate when he started the company recognized today as Dollar General.

    We understand that sometimes various circumstances in life prevent individuals from achieving their educational goals. Whatever the circumstances, we believe it is never too late to learn.

    We also believe that learning to read, receiving your GED, or learning the English language is an investment that opens new doorways for personal, professional, and economic growth for individuals and families. That is why our commitment to literacy remains strong. It is the one gift that no one can take away?the one gift that lasts a lifetime.

    Kind regards,

    Justin Comer

    Customer Relations Team Leader

    Dollar General Corporation”

    Comment by Dan on 5/20/09 at 7:52 pm #
  16. i wonder why thse are made in the uk..seems abit wierd to me! we dont get atall!

    Comment by alan on 7/12/09 at 4:37 am #
  17. The 5.3 oz. Dark Chocolate from Dollar General for $1 is one of the best values I have found. Being careful to avoid corn syrup and artificial favors (and something of a dark chocolate connoisseur) this would have been my choice at three times the price. The fact that it supports a charity, as well, makes me an evangelist for this new favorite!

    Comment by David Hughes on 7/20/10 at 6:09 pm #
  18. I absolutely love the 5.3 oz dark chocolate charity bar.  The entire family is hooked on them and the kids do not like milk chocolate anymore.  BUT, the last few bars that we purchased tasted different and nobody will eat them.  I hope it is just a bad batch and not a recipe change.

    Comment by katrinasos on 8/13/10 at 6:20 pm #
  19. I love these European Dark Chocolate bars too. Only trouble is, I can’t get them at my local Dollar General anymore. They still have an open spot on the shelf and a ticket for it, so if they are getting it it’s selling before I have a chance at it. I did find it at another store in another city today, but I see that the size has gone down to 4.94 oz from the previous 5.3 oz size. Oh well, at only $1 a bar it’s still a bargain.

    Comment by akawho on 1/18/11 at 2:55 pm #
  20. We had a problem getting them for several months at our local Dollar General Stores. One of the employees speculated that they had been recalled. However, they recently reappeared on the shelves and they are still a dollar, but are now smaller - 4.94 oz. instead of 5.3. My husband is hooked on these and has not mentioned that the new ones taste different. They are available so intermittently, that we were wondering if they were available on the internet somewhere?

    Comment by GKB on 1/27/11 at 1:22 pm #
  21. why has dollar general stopped carrying the dark chocolate bars from Poland

    Comment by maureen krausch on 2/15/11 at 6:17 pm #
  22. My local Dollar General used to sell these amazing candy bars.  Is this brand still sold at different locations?

    Comment by Emily on 11/25/12 at 1:01 pm #

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