February 15th: Cadbury Dairy Milk Bar of Plenty

I dedicate this review today to ChocolateMission readers Lottie, Phil and Alan. These three must of had their ears to the walls of Cadbury HQ as they managed to alert me that this range was coming out even before I think Cadbury knew themselves :D Well thanks to those guys I managed to ping a few e-mails out early last week and within a matter of 24 hours I had some samples of this new Cadbury Dairy Milk Bar of Plenty range.

This new line of 140.0g bars includes three brand new Dairy Milk flavours that according to Cadbury themselves are aimed at a 30-40 year old, female demographic (See HERE) ... fantastic ... all I need is another twenty odd years and a gender change :D Luckily with my samples being delivered to me at work I did share these with some colleagues who are a little closer to that demographic target and I have mentioned their views below where I think necessary.

My first impression of the bars in my hand were that they were a very odd size - not in entirely practical for eating out and about yet still significantly smaller than the 230.0g bars that are supposed to be for in-home consumption. Moving on swiftly I thought the packaging looked pretty smart in the what are now standard purple Cadbury matted foil wrappers. Inside I thought some of the flavours looked more appetising than others, but I will get into that more below - lets get into it then ...

Cadbury Bar of Plenty Berry Fruit & Vanilla Shortcake:

Kcal 505 Fat 26.4g Fat(sats) 15.8g Carbs 60.5g (per 100.0g)

'Milk chocoloate with dried cranberries with natural strawberry and elderberry and vanilla shortcake pieces'.

This was the flavour that appealed to the majority of my fellow test panel the most and it did little convince anyone otherwise with the sweet chocolaty red berry aromas that greeted us when we opened the wrapper. Biscuit pieces in Dairy Milk chocolate is nothing new and like the past has proven I did still find it a little bland and dominated by the chocolate. What the biscuit did add though was a delightful crunchiness and the additional fruity element here did more than enough to liven up the taste no end. The different dried fruit red berries were surprisingly fresh tasting and really added some zingy, juicy fruit flavours that contrasted nicely with the sweet chocolate. In comparison to the Cranberry & Granola (See HERE) bar released last year I would say the fruit was on a par but the biscuit wasn't as good as the granola.

8.1 out of 10

Cadbury Bar of Plenty Toffee Apple:

Kcal 495 Fat 24.8g Fat(sats) 15.4g Carbs 61.5g (per 100.0g)

'Milk chocolate with dried spiced apple chunks with toffee pieces'.

Some might say this was the most adventurous of the new bars and the spicy cinnamon aromas did little to dispel this preconception. Cutting to the chase I thought this was the weakest of three flavours and I wasn't alone in thinking this. The combination of the spiced apple and toffee just didn't work with the chocolate as well as the others did and I would say this was mostly the fault of the toffee as it was surprisingly fake tasting and made the chocolate ridiculously sweet. Most people find Cadbury chocolate quite sugary in the first place but the toffee really took it over the edge for me and it was to the point that it started to irritate the back of my throat after only a few blocks. The apple fruit wasn't bad but the over dominating sweetness of the chocolate and the toffee heavily detracted from the spiced fruit side of the taste. This isn't a flavour I would buy again in the future it was just too damn sweet.

6.4 out of 10

Cadbury Bar of Plenty Roast Hazelnut & Honey Roast Cashews:

Kcal 540 Fat 33.5g Fat(sats) 15.9g Carbs 50.6g (per 100.0g)

'Milk chocolate with hazelnuts and honey coated chopped cashews'.

Did I save the best until last? Of course I did - this was the unanimous favourite of all three flavours. To be perfectly honest with you taste wise it differed very little from a Cadbury Dairy Milk Whole Nut (See HERE) but of course this was no bad thing whatsoever. Just as I thought it would the sweet and creamy Dairy Milk chocolate contrasted fantastically with the savoury flavours from the nuts. The whole piece hazelnuts in particular added delicious woody nut influences to the taste and fantastically crunchy and fresh when bitten into. Personally I thought the cashew nuts were a bit hit and miss as they were great at adding sweet buttery nut notes to the taste but were unfortunately not implemented or impactful as they could have been as they were chopped in nature and thus far smaller the hazelnuts. On the whole though this was definitely the most well rounded flavour out of the selection and would be the one I would buy again.

8.7 out of 10

Overall this new range from Cadbury encompassed everything that most other chocolate ranges do ... the good, the average and the ugly. Whereas the description of 'good' for the Hazelnut & Cashew is perhaps a little understated and the 'ugly' a little harsh on the 'Toffee Apple' this was a range that I thought varied in quality quite considerably. What was consistent across all three of course was the Dairy Milk chocolate and it was it's usual delightful creaminess. Of course what sorted the wheat from the chaff here was the quality of the stuff in the chocolate and I thought the savoury nuts, and sharp red fruits worked with the chocolate far better than the poor quality toffee and apple combination. Whilst my preferences are quite clear what I am still quite unsure about is where this range came from!?? Personally I am all for manufacturers releasing seasonal limited edition bars to keep consumers interested but what I don't quite get is why Cadbury has chosen to release three new flavours all at once!? Didn't last year show Cadbury that releasing two new flavours was pretty ambitious!? If the past is anything to go by new variants have a tough time sticking around so surely three new ones at once is just insane!? Thw questions are endless ... where will they sit on the shelf!? What are they going to be pushing out? I look forward to hearing what you all think of these new variants ... drop me a comment with your thoughts.