Thursday, 11 June 2009

June 11th: Burton's Wagon Wheels

Kcal 158 Fat 5.7g Fat(sats) 3.2g Carbs 24.6g (per biscuit)

It almost seemed like fate last week when I bought a Wagon Wheel from my staff shop and received a request for a review later that afternoon - Weird huh!? I have fond memories of Burton's Wagon Wheels from my childhood, they were a common feature in my school lunch box and I remember them being one of the most valued items in the playground swapsies marketplace :) Before today I hadn't seen the brand for a good few years! Are they even still available in the supermarket multipacks? Described as a familiar marshmallow filling sandwiched between two biscuit pieces the only thing notable about todays proposition was the wording 'chocolate flavoured coating' ... oh dear!

I must say the Wagon Wheel I ate today looked slightly smaller than the ones I used to feast on as a child!? It would be nice to know the weight of the product down the years - todays weighed in at 36.0g and I thought it was a fair sized snack to compliment an afternoon cup of tea. As well as knowing the hostory of its weight it would be also nice to see the development of the packaging. I may be wrong but I remember Wagon Wheels coming in glossier, foil packets. I thought the wrapper that this product was presented in was just a little simplistic and lacked anything that drove home the message of the contents or created any sort of anticipation. In addition to the lacklustre presentation I was also not that enamoured by the extremely sweet smells that emanated from the product.

Despite not being impressed by the design work on the packet it was nice to see that the product looked little different from when I was a child. The circular biscuit pieces contained the marshmallow layer well and the chocolate coating was evenly dispersed. Unfortunately my worries regarding the 'chocolate flavoured' coating proved to be well founded though, and it tasted really quite dull. I am finding it hard to summon the words to describe its taste as it went no further then providing a simplistic waxy sugary coating to the biscuit pieces. I guess the important thing to take from this is that I didn't get the desired chocolate flavour hit from the coating whatsoever. Whilst I thought the coating was poor my perception of the biscuit and marshmallow layers were a lot more positive. The biscuit elements had a pleasant malty base taste and brought bursts of both sugar and salt flavours when chewed. Sitting at the middle of the biscuits was the marshmallow layer - it was by no means anything special with its sugary taste but I still enjoyed the slightly chewy mallow texture as it added a nice bit of variety.

Overall this product didn't quite deliver the nostalgia hit I was hoping for, yet at the same time certainly didn't indicate to me that it was a product best left in the past. At the heart of the product there are still some great things - the brand name and image is still in my opinion strong and could be reinvigorated with a rethink of the packaging and presentation. The product itself also still has legs - the combination of the biscuit and marshmallow is still a pretty good one and I think that if it was backed up by a real milk chocolate coating then I could see it being far better received in terms of taste. I personally won't be rushing back for another Wagon Wheel anytime soon but would be interested to hear what you guys think!

4.8 out of 10

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