Thursday, June 1, 2006

Head to Head: Mentos Sours & SweeTarts Shockers

When I came up with the idea to do this head to head comparison, it was because of the most obvious similarities between SweeTarts Shockers and Mentos Sours. They’re both rolls, they’re both sour and they’re both chewy pastilles. But they have completely different flavor mixes (the only flavor in common is green apple), different shapes and rather different takes on what a sour chew should be.

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Mentos has always been known for intense chewy mints, so it seems only natural that they’d develop Mentos Sours. The package is a little odd because it says “The Chewy Mint” above the Mentos logo ... but these are not mint flavored. I guess “mint” has become a kind of candy, not a flavor.

Mentos Sours come in three flavors: Watermelon, Green Apple and Lemon. The colors are beautiful, and if they weren’t candy you’d want to string them into a chunky beaded bracelet. The finish on them is matte and not quite a continuous color. They don’t smell like much.

They’re soft and chewy, the shell is a tad bit waxy only lightly sweet. Upon biting into them the flavor erupts.

Green Apple: typical fresh sour flavor. Not too tart.

Watermelon: at first it’s sweet, like a cotton candy flavor with some floral overtones, then it kicks into sour gear. This is a really nice flavor, not too chemical tasting.

Lemon: immediately it has a good zesty essence to it and then the sour follows quickly behind to combine into the protype of lemony goodness.

Basically, they’re nice without being radically toxic feeling on the tongue. There’s a strange waxy thing that develops at the end of the chew though. I’m not sure if it’s the remnants of the “glazing agents” on the shell, but it’s an odd, undissolveable substance on my teeth that tastes only vaguely like the chew.

Mentos Sour are made in Brazil. (Note: the packaging I have may not be the way you see it in the stores - the website shows them in little reclosable boxes.)

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Green Apple: intense and chemically flavored, it dissolves away into a sweet grit pretty quickly.

Orange: oh, this is the best! There’s an immediate blast of blisteringly sour tangerine on the tongue. Not as long lasting in the chew department as the Mentos.

Grape: it’s like a Purple Pixy Stix made chewy. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it. (TMI Alert - for some reason the grape ones make me burp.)

Cherry: the sour outside tastes like a very cherry candy, much like the SweeTarts, but with a stronger flavor instead of just more sour.

Blue Raspberry: an immediate sour hit is followed by some fragrant notes that remind me of cotton candy and violets.

All of the Shockers are intensely sour on the tongue from the moment you place them in your mouth but then mellow out to have a pleasant cooling sensation towards the end, but the chew doesn’t last long before they descend into sugary grit.

As all round chews, the Mentos Sours are middle of the road - they’re exceptionally pleasant and can be shared with adults who might ordinarily be afraid of something called “sour”. The SweeTarts Shockers, on the other hand, are a blast but you can’t keep eating them if you’d like to preserve the tasting functions of your tongue.

The packages hold slight different masses - SweeTarts Shockers clock in at 1.65 ounces (which the label says is three servings) and Mentos Sours are 1.32 ounces (which the label says is 14 servings ... one Mentos is a serving). Both contain hydrogenated oils, but not enough to warrant any fat content on the nutrition label.

Personally, I love the Shockers, if only for the intense orange ones. But the Mentos Sours have a much longer, consistent chew, especially the full flavor of the lemon ones, and I would probably pick them up in a pinch.

Name: Mentos Sours & SweeTarts Shockers
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Mentos (Perfetti Van Melle) & Wonka (Nestle)
Place Purchased: samples (Perfetti Van Melle & CandyWarehouse.com)
Price: ~$.85 MSRP
Size: 1.32 oz & 1.65 oz
Calories per ounce: 106 & 109
Categories: Chew, Brazil, United States, Nestle, Perfetti Van Melle, Head to Head

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:30 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. I love the candy formerly known as ShockTarts. In college, I ate 3 rolls of them in 1 day. (And then I got ulcers in my mouth because of it so I don’t recommend trying that at home kids.)  I haven’t had any in quite some time, but I think I liked the blue and purple ones best.  I’m gonna have to find some this weekend.

    Comment by g on 6/01/06 at 6:57 am #
  2. I love Mentos…and is it jsut me or did they used to have a green apple flavor in their regular mix????  Mmm….grape…my favorite. LOL

    Comment by Amy on 6/01/06 at 11:36 am #
  3. At most of the stores, the Mentos are in those dang boxes.  Doing parody Mentos commercials aren’t as fun now.  :-(

    Comment by Marvo on 6/01/06 at 11:37 am #
  4. Cybele's avatar

    g - I know exactly where you’re coming from! I’ve made myself pretty sick on them for the past few weeks.

    Amy - I don’t know about what used to be in the pack, but check this photo for the current fruit box mix. It’s strawberry, cherry (new), orange and lemon.

    Marvo - I just stopped at the drug store at lunch and they had the Sours in boxes, so that must be how they’re sold (and made in the US). Sure takes the funky sassyness out of the.

    Comment by Cybele on 6/01/06 at 12:07 pm #
  5. You can get the tubes of Mentos over here too, but I agree, the boxes are too cumbersome and nowhere near as fun. Everyone enjoys squeezing Mentos from the tube, it’s awesome.

    I hate the new Ads too, are they the same in the US as in the UK? We get random animals singing “There’s no sugar” to the tune of “There’s no limit”. Not funny, very cheap looking and very un-mentos.

    Comment by GTO on 6/01/06 at 12:34 pm #
  6. When I was in France last summer I got grapefruit Mentos.

    Divine. Best Mentos Ever.

    Comment by tracy on 6/02/06 at 6:09 am #
  7. Cybele's avatar

    GTO - yeah, I like the boxes because it means I can pick out the flavor I want ... but I don’t like the noise they make in my purse!

    The ads here are some sort of march of the animals, but I never really understood that ad. Well, I never really understood any of the Mentos ads.

    tracy - you had to bring up the grapefruit mentos! I really want to try them. You can order any flavor of mentos on their website ... but I don’t want a whole box of them until I try them. (I love grapefruit.)

    Comment by Cybele on 6/02/06 at 6:14 am #
  8. Just reading about these makes my mouth water. Even as I type this! haah
    I love both kinds, I used to eat a ton of shocktarts as well.  Like 2 rolls a day!
    Maybe that’s why I don’t find most sour candies sour anymore..

    Comment by JKim on 6/02/06 at 10:23 pm #
  9. Oh yeah we have grapefruit Mentos in Canada too. I could send you guys a tube or two wink

    Comment by JKim on 6/02/06 at 10:26 pm #
  10. mmm the flavours of sour mentos in australia are apple (neon green), grape (pastely purple), and pineapple (lurid yellow). the pineapple is interesting because i havent come across many pineapple candies

    Comment by chocolatesuze on 6/03/06 at 11:42 pm #
  11. Hey because of this review i actually went and bought some sour mentos (in a tube) But was dissapointed to find they were different flavours. Dang, i wanted the lemon and watermelon.

    Comment by Leigh on 6/03/06 at 11:51 pm #
  12. I just bought some of these and found that waxy thing at the end was enough to make me not want them anymore :(

    My package was like the one you show about but had an outer plastic-foil wrapper as well.  Odd that they would add packaging.

    Comment by Grommie on 7/26/06 at 3:04 pm #
  13. I just bought some Mentos Sours in Canada and found that they are the standard tubes (with foil and paper) with an outer sealed package (I guess to keep the flavor and/or the moisture intact).  This was a single tube in a single package.  I see the other flavors 3 or 4 tubes to the package here.

    Comment by Rob Ocelot on 8/20/06 at 8:35 am #
  14. After reading this review a while back, I just bought Mentos Sours at the convenience store. They were in a roll, but there was an extra layer of foil . Mine were terribly hard, not soft like the mints. They weren’t expired according to the date stamped on. I was terrible disappointed.

    Comment by danielle on 11/15/06 at 10:13 am #
  15. Brilliant!.  What a wonderful selection of flavors!

    Comment by Encuestanos on 12/11/06 at 11:50 am #
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