Friday, April 3, 2009

Beechies Force Chewy Candy

Beechies Force Chewy Candy - FruitFor some reason people want Energy. I’m not quite sure why they’re looking for products specifically labeled that way, as my understanding is that all food contains energy. Calories are available energy from food. If it doesn’t have calories, as far as I’m concerned, it’s not food.

But consumers, I believe, have been duped into thinking that stimulants are actually energy. They’re not, they’re just, well, stimulants. Stimulants make you feel like doing stuff, as the general state of humans (if you believe advertising and general laws of physics) is to be inert and bored. Stimulants, though, don’t cure boredom or actually get anything done.

Caffeine is the most common stimulant and is naturally found in a product that masks the bitter and unpleasant taste of it very well: coffee. Caffeine also works as an additive in other products in smaller quantities, usually products with natural alkaloids, like chocolate or perhaps strong fruit flavors.

There are some other compounds which are also grouped into energy products: Taurine and B vitamins (Niacin, B6 and B12). These have their own distinct flavors, often known collectively as the “vitamin burp” taste. (You can read about these at Energy Fiend)

All of this writing, however, is just vamping. After trying my first Beechies Force Chewy Candy, I didn’t want to continue.

Beechies Force Chewy Candy - FruitLemon - it looks pretty good and the first crunch of the candy shell was a bright & promising sweet lemon flavor. But chewing it, well, I should probably start posting photos of my facial expressions. The first was something akin to “Wha? Is this really happening? Does this really taste like this?” kind of quizzical look. Then a bitterness set in, which caused me to furrow my brow. Then came a general distasteful look that someone might mistake for “May I spit this out in your hand please? Please! Right now!”

And then I waited for a couple of weeks. I reviewed a bunch of other stuff, even avoided reviewing yesterday by posting a new products announcement list. I carried the bags around with me in my “to review” package. The wrapper does say recharge - refresh - renew so I thought I’d try again.

Green Apple went a little better. The candy shell is tangy and has that comforting artificial apple flavor. Then ... well, it took a turn for the worse. The soft chew of the center, which is rather like a Mentos, had a bit of a bitter tingle. The flavor was that midrange bitterness that reminds me of dirty gym socks. But it was mercifully short

Strawberry was a beautiful red. Much prettier than any Mentos. The shell flavor was soft and sweet. The inner chew was musty and tasted like generic chewable vitamins.

Beechies Force Chewy Candy - JavaA serving (14 pieces) of Beechies Force Chews contain:

935 mg of Taurine
100 mg of Caffeine
18 mg of Niacin
2.5 mg of B6
6.5 mcg of B12

This combination of chemicals does not give me energy, it gives me angry.

I emailed the company, Richardson Brands, to see if they actually still make these. They never responded. Their website doesn’t list them on a product page but includes them in the ingredients/nutritional section. I found record of them being offered at All Candy Expo in 2006, but under different flavors. The only place I’ve ever seen these for sale is at the 99 Cent Only Store, but I have seen them at multiple stores and the packages appear fresh and current.

Beechies Force Chewy Candy - JavaThe next flavor was Java which made more sense as a masking flavor for caffeine.

The chew itself was odd looking, it’s olive green. Really nicely done olive green, but just not a color I associate with rich, roasted coffee. (But I do associate with unroasted coffee.)

The outer shell is sweet and has a mellow coffee flavor. The inner chew is rather promising. It’s sweet and has a latte taste - both creamy and with some good brewed coffee flavors. The bitterness is there, but rather believable because of the coffee flavor.

I still had the aftertaste of bitter B vitamins, but it didn’t feel as strange because there was no tangy fruit flavor component. I wouldn’t call these great, but compared to the fruit ones, they’re actually edible. They reminded me of the Chewy Coffee Rio.

The other trick I found is to actually chew it all up. When I ate my second Java, I left the candy shell dissolve. Bad idea, because that’s where the extra sugar was. The center chew is not as sweet, but if you let it dissolve like a hard candy, it’s not a bad either. They do end with coffee breath though, so have some real mint Mentos on hand for that (as a side note, there is a caffeinated version of Mentos available in Europe).

An 8 ounce cup of brewed coffee (yes, I actually drink just an 8 ounce cup) contains about 100 mg of caffeine but no calories. Each bag contains two servings (140 calories)... and for only a buck, it’s a pretty good price for an easily metered amount of caffeine. I suppose you can swallow them whole.

I can see these having their place. For travelers, especially those who don’t want to take in a lot of liquids, it’s a nice alternative to coffee or energy drinks. They’re extremely portable (although 14 of them do take up a bit of space).

The package says a serving is 14 pieces, but it holds on 25 ... so it’s just shy of two actual servings. They’re made in

Columbia

Colombia, which knows a lot about coffee. I’m keeping the Java (4 out of 10) ones on hand for medicinal purposes but I’m throwing out the fruit ones (1 out of 10).

Related Candies

  1. Butterfinger Buzz (Caffeinated)
  2. Fresh Cola Mentos
  3. Choco-Fudge Mallow Sundae
  4. Junior Fruit Cremes
  5. Loud Truck Energy Gummies
  6. No Time & Black Black
Name: Beechies Force Chewy Candy
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Richardson Brands
Place Purchased: 99 Cent Only Store (Miracle Mile)
Price: $1.00
Size: 2.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 100
Categories: Chew, Coffee, Caffeine, Colombia

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:01 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. “Dirty gym socks”.  A wonderful, and disturbing, flavor description.

    Comment by Cat Skyfire on 4/03/09 at 9:58 am #
  2. bettyfelon's avatar

    what a shame

    the fruit ones look like they would be really good

    Comment by bettyfelon on 4/03/09 at 10:01 am #
  3. I really think they would taste worst then fibre powder when it hasn’t dissolved into the drink.    raspberry

    Comment by Rielle on 4/03/09 at 10:45 am #
  4. Tricia's avatar

    Another 1! This was only the 2nd I could remember, but I checked the listings and there are 6 of them (only 2 were 99 cent store purchases)

    Comment by Tricia on 4/03/09 at 1:32 pm #
  5. psst…“Colombia.” smile

    Comment by Carrie on 4/03/09 at 2:53 pm #
  6. Cybele's avatar

    Carrie - dangit! I think I do that half the time. Thanks for the catch.

    Tricia - the 1 was well deserved. Seriously, I’ve been angry most of the day, they’re like little frustration chews. (It’s probably because I’m overcaffeinated now.)

    Rielle - I’m not sure I’ve ever had the fibre powder, but I’m pretty sure if they wanted to make these worse, they could add fiber to them!

    bettyfelon - the coloring and production was definitely good. And I loved that they did Strawberry instead of Cherry.

    Cat - I had to keep the descriptions family friendly. I can think of really bad things to compare this to!

    Comment by Cybele on 4/03/09 at 3:02 pm #
  7. This is strange, i cant imagine what they were thinking making this awful strange alien like candy. 
    When you first bite in its like a mento But only for a moment. The center tastes like death and roadkill
    DONT EAT THIS EVER!!!

    Comment by Bob Jackson on 4/29/09 at 7:11 am #
  8. OH NO!!! ( takes cover)

    Comment by Rielle on 6/29/09 at 4:21 am #
  9. I found them at the dollar store. I had the java and citrus flavors I ate like 7 today and coincidentally ended up in the ER. My leg muscle popped or something. I wonder if it is related to the taurine and/or caffeine. I heard caffeine causes DVT too. The ER just gave me crutches in the waiting room. I never saw a doc. Hope it isn’t DVT, cuz that kills more people than aids and breast cancer combined.

    Comment by Julie on 7/10/09 at 10:55 pm #
  10. They were good though, such irresistible sugary goodnesses… the shell is so crispity and the chewy center is just right… I have crutches now and can’t even walk to get them away from me. They are right by my bed, I hope I can resist them during the night!

    Comment by Julie on 7/10/09 at 10:59 pm #
  11. But still, I’ll buy more, I shall just ration myself. I’ll eat one before going to the gym. Do you realize one candy has as much Taurine as a $3 Red Bull? 
      Man, I want to eat another one… that crispity sensation. Maybe
    I can just kinda bite it through the wrapper and that will be good enough for now…

    Comment by Julie on 7/10/09 at 11:23 pm #
  12. i had like 4 of these today. i got it for a dollar at a local store. i have a headache now. this sucks. i think u understand why richardson doesn’t make these anymore. it has probably caused problems and obviously anything that goes for a dollar, it has failed and been sent to the dollar store. go ahead and buy it.. it’s only 1 dollar. but trust me, i dont think you’ll end up eating that whole bag because you might as well spend 5$-10$ on a real energy drink/pill.

    Comment by jonathan on 9/17/09 at 9:48 pm #
  13. ..i think julie is showing signs of addiction.
    wink

    Comment by maya on 3/04/11 at 10:49 pm #

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