October 20th: Thorntons Delightfully Soft Caramels

Kcal 486 Fat 23.6g Carbs 64.3g

It feels like forever and a day since I last reviewed something from Thorntons but after being confronted by these Delightfully Soft Caramels every which way I turned I felt like I couldn't deny them a run at the ChocolateMission rating system. These Delightfully Soft Caramels were first announced back in July earlier this year when they featured in a Thonrton's press release stating the launch of some new pouch based products (See HERE). Despite this initial billing I actually bought these in a boxed format after seeing them in several different locations, including a Thorntons's own brand store, my local newsagent and also my local supermarket. With the likes of Cadbury and Galaxy having been established in the chocolate caramel market for years it was always to be interesting to see how an offering from a more up market brand would fair.

As I stated above I bought these in a 188.0g box that contained about 15 individually wrapped chocolates for the price of £1.99. Considering the quantity on offer I thought this was a fair price, though I have to say I was a little concerned by the impression established by the outer packaging. I don't know if you will agree with me but I thought the packaging looked pretty cheap and not fitting for a brand that is supposed to be offering a higher level of quality than the average market goer (I thought the green colour of choice was espcially garish). Being a little more positive, the chocolates inside looked a little more promising wrapped in bright red foil wrappers - it still would have been nice to have seen some Thorntons branding on them though.

If there is one thing to say in defence of the presentation of the product, at least the chocolates looked exactly like they did on the front of the box. When cut in to, the caramel filling appeared to be plentiful and struck an appealing look with it's golden colour. Wasting little time popping the piece in my mouth before the caramel oozed out, I was first confronted by the milk chocolate exterior shell. Taste wise it was pretty generic in what it offered and was predominately sweet and very sugary in regards to it's flavour direction. There were underlying notes of diary milkyness but these were very mild in the grand scheme of things and were made redundant once the caramel came in to play. Speaking of the caramel, I unfortunately wasn't all that taken by it as it was similarly very generic and 'run of the mill' by all standards. It sounds almost silly to say this but it was very, VERY sweet and almost entirely rooted in a sugary flavour set. One could say that this is something you could levy at all caramels, but the point I'm trying to make is that it lacked any sort of additional flavour enhancing notes like butter, salt etc. Despite being billed as delightfully soft, there were times when the filling did feel a little grainy on the tongue, which only went to reaffirm the sugar focused flavours on offer. I was left feeling pretty unsatisfied by these, the sugary flavours were just too one dimensional for my liking.

Overall the crux of the story here was that these caramels didn't ever hit the standards I expected of a brand like Thorntons and I was ultimately left disappointed by them. Both the presentation of the product and the resulting quality of the milk chocolate and the soft caramel centres weren't the quality I desired, and although you could make a case saying they only cost £1.99 I was still left feeling shortchanged. Given their wide distribution I guess this is the sort of product that Thorntons hope to use to take on the likes of Cadbury and Galaxy in the everyday chocolate part of the market, but even compared to those offerings I would personally wouldn't place them in the same sort of league. At least with those products you get distinctive tasting chocolates and decent quality caramel centres - to put it ever so bluntly these Delightfully Soft Caramels were very average tasting at best but even that would be being immensely kind. I can't go recommending these I'm afraid, I would just stick with the far safer Dairy Milk and Galaxy options.

6.0 out of 10