Monday, February 15, 2010

Go Max Go Mahalo Candy Bar

MahaloThe Mahalo Candy Bar is a vegan version of Almond Joy. The big difference, besides no milk, is that it’s one big log of a candy bar instead of two pieces and it’s more than double the price.

The packaging belies its special place: it’s not that crazy dreadlocked, barefoot and patchouli drenched candy bar. Nope, it looks like a little plastic wrapped, sugar sweetened tropical paradise. It bears all the signs of Hawaiian hospitality, including the name Mahalo, which means thanks and praise, while the hibiscus flowers which are abundant on the islands. The description on their website for the bar is:

If you crave a gently sweetened coconut candy bar topped with three whole dry roasted almonds and covered in a luscious chocolately coating… hang loose, the Mahalo(tm) bar is for you!

Mahalo Bar

Oh, chocolatey coating. Hmm, that doesn’t sound quite as paradise-like. I actually knew that going in with these bars. I’ve looked at them before at the store and online and just wondered what they were thinking. Dark chocolate is vegan, in fact, it’s pretty easy to find. So why go with this rice milk mixed with cocoa and palm oil. How on earth is palm oil better or more vegan than cocoa butter. (Well managed cacao plantations are more diverse than palm plantations because cacao needs shade, so there are other canopy trees - less monoculture.)

The bar looks pretty good. The mockolate coating has a few bloomed spots, but I don’t hold that against them, the texture seemed just fine. (I know that coconut can be very difficult because it’s also fatty.)

Mahalo Bar

The bar smells like coconut and hot chocolate. The bite is soft and chewy. The coconut center is moist and the coconut bits are big and sticky. The almonds are nice, but I could have used one or two more at this price. They added a nice crunch though. The mockolate coating was barely noticeable but had a strange “not quite milk” flavor to it that I can only say is like cereal.

Go Max Go Foods makes a series of candy bars, a vegan version of several classics. This one is by far the best, mostly because it’s all about the chewy and sweet coconut and the chocolate is not the focus. With real chocolate this would probably be a much healthier and tastier bar but since there are few vegan coconut bar options, this is an excellent choice except for the price.

If you want vegan, try the Sunspire Coconut Premium Dark Chocolate - it’s cheaper, real and actually tastes better. (Review here, scroll past the foul milk version.)

Go Max Go is not organic, not fair trade, not Kosher and is made in a facility with dairy, eggs, wheat, peanuts and other tree nuts.

(For anyone interested in the candy maker’s reaction to this post, check this out.)

Related Candies

  1. Hershey’s Almond Joy Pieces
  2. Sunspire Coconut Bars
  3. Almond Joy
  4. Regional Flavors: Key Lime, Pina Colada & Huckleberries
  5. Crispy Cat
Name: Mahalo Candy Bar
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Go Max Go Foods
Place Purchased: Whole Foods (Park LaBrea)
Price: $2.39
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 140
Categories: Mockolate, Coconut, Nuts, United States, Go Max Go, All Natural

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:11 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. I’ve tried the Jokerz bar by this company (and reviewed it on my blog - plug! :D) and found it pretty overwhelmingly sweet - and you’re right about the cereal taste in them! I think what I noticed in particular was how “fruity” the sweetness of the caramel was.

    But still, for a sugar hit, they’re tolerable… I’d still rather a plain dark chocolate, though smile

    Comment by Hannah on 2/15/10 at 1:43 pm #
  2. How large is the vegan/vegetarian candy market?  Just one of those things I think about when looking at candy like this.

    Comment by Mark D. on 2/15/10 at 5:21 pm #
  3. Just from the picture, I want to try it. And the Sunspire one.

    Comment by C on 2/17/10 at 4:12 pm #
  4. wow! you got both your friends to write comments on your blog. congrats! if you were vegan (or intelligent) you might count, but….meh.

    Comment by susan on 2/26/10 at 1:04 pm #
  5. Only vegans are allowed to purchase, eat these bars and offer their opinions? How do you regulate that exactly?

    I saw this via tweets in my feed. I don’t know the Candy Blog reviewer. She has a right to express her opinion. If it’s a crappy candy bar, it’s a crappy candy bar. No amount of snarky attitude will change that you change her opinion.

    Expend the energy making a better candy bar. Yeesh.

    Comment by Stephanie on 2/26/10 at 1:31 pm #
  6. Cybele's avatar

    For the record, sweet readers, Susan’s comment (#4) was from an email domain registered to the manufacturer of the candy bar. (I was unsure at first, but this tweet confirmed that it was an actual member of the company) Similar comments by Susan were left on all the GoMaxGo products I reviewed.

    Comment by Cybele on 2/26/10 at 1:41 pm #
  7. yikes ... the way the “family” wrote on their website in the “about us” section would’ve made me think they’d be friendlier types but, I just checked all Susan’s snark on your other reviews and she sure comes across as bitter, defensive and crabby ( oh, when I was trying to look them up I came across the article you wrote about it on your other blog and your dad’s comment that he’s proud of you was super adorable )

    Comment by joni on 11/15/10 at 4:12 pm #
  8. I understand what you are saying about using real chocolate.  The thing is, I like milk chocolate.  I have a dairy allergy, and I really just don’t like dark chocolate that much.  Vegan (or dairy-free) products are really hard to find in “milk chocloate”. The original almond joy is also made with milk chocolate, so I am very happy that they attempted to mimic the original.  I agree could use some more almonds, and it is just a tad sweeter than I would like.  Other than yet, I think they nailed the feel of the original

    Comment by Karen Barlettano on 8/21/13 at 9:19 am #
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