October 30th: Nestle Munchies Mini Bites

Kcal 78 Fat 3.3g Fat(sats) 2.1g Carbs 11.2g (per bite)

I have to hold my hands up from the start here and admit that I was pretty reticent about reviewing these as Nestle's Munchies brand has previously come in for a fair bit of flack from me on this website. Way back in July 2008 I reviewed the original Nestle Munchies and concluded that they were 'an unspectacular offering'. My view of the Munchies Munchies which I reviewed in January 2009 was little different and I rated them a poor 6.1 out of 10 so suffice to say all the indicators were that I was hardly going to get on to well with these Nestle Munchies Mini Bites. Described as 'chocolate and biscuit bases with a layer of caramel, covered in milk chocolate' it sounded a very familiar proposition so I was expecting much the same experience as per my last two reviews from this brand.

Like the Nestle Toffee Crisp Mini Bites these Munchie Mini Bites did not have a catch weight on box, however it did tell me that 15 Mini Bite pieces were contained within. Apologies if it sounds like I am repeating myself from the Toffee Crisp review but my thoughts regarding the packaging and presentation were very similar - aesthetically all was well but the product let itself down with its lack of inner wrapper. The Munchie branding gave the box and fun and inviting look, though the problem of the inner pieces having dusty, scuffed surfaces reared its ugly head again and the Mini Bites just didn't look fresh. Aroma wise the Mini Bites failed to register anything more than a slightly chocolaty smell when I opened the box which neither managed to excite me or put me off.

I was frankly expecting to launch into a full on rant about how poor these tasted but I was relatively surprised (and pleased) with what I came across. I needn't bother going into detail about the quality of the chocolate as I am sure you are all already well aware of the sweet, milk based taste of Nestle milk chocolate. The surprise factor of these Munchies Mini Bites came in the proportion of caramel to biscuit and thankfully unlike the packaging indicated the proportion of biscuit to caramel was far greater than I thought it was going to be. Unlike in the original Munchies where the biscuit elements plays a minor role in these Mini Bites the biscuit base had a real say in the majority of the taste and the brown sugar noted, malt flavours were exceedingly welcome given the average standard chocolate and relatively poor caramel. The biscuit base not only provided a well needed burst of flavour to the bland caramel but it also provided a nice crunchy variation to the texture as well as making each bite feel quite substantial. A few of these Munchie Mini Bites complimented an afternoon coffee relatively nicely and subsequently did tie over my hunger until the evening.

Overall these are probably the best of the Munchies products I have ever reviewed but if you look at the score you will be able to see that this wasn't exactly a hard feat. Having tried both the new Mini Bites products I am still wondering why Nestle felt the need to leave out a layer of inner wrapping. Given that the box itself isn't air tight it makes very little sense to me and it subsequently affected not only the look of products but most likely probably the taste as well. One thing that I did like about these Munchie Mini Bites was the biscuit base which I felt made up somewhat for the poor standard caramel (less said about that cheap tasting stuff the better) and the bog standard Nestle milk chocolate. So down to the all important question .... would I have these again? Most likely not given the price point would be my answer. If your a Munchies fan I would give these a try but if your unfussed by the brand already there is no real reason for you to venture into these parts.

6.9 out of 10