May 16th: Galaxy Bites

Kcal 197 Fat 9.7g Carbs 25.2g (per bag)

With the launch of the Cadbury Nibbles (See HERE) in October 2009 it was a nailed on guarantee that Mars would follow up with a similar rival chocolate caramel offering. At the time the quick fire response was the launch of the Galaxy Caramel Pieces (See HERE) which I actually thought were superior to what Cadbury were offering at the time. A few years have now passed and the Galaxy Caramel Pieces seemed to have lost their permanent distribution and are only available around holiday times (Christmas time was when I last saw them!). As disappointing as this was, a few weeks I learnt that Mars would be launching a whole new product line called Galaxy Bites - 'bitesize pieces of Galaxy chocolate with a heart of soft chocolate caramel'. The concept was hardly new, but it was hardly something they could screw up ... could they!?

I was the lucky recipient of some sample 40.0g bags off one of Mars's PR companies though looking at this trade release article it looks like these will carry an RRP of £0.54. Aesthetically the bag design was what you expect to see from Galaxy with the two tone brown shadings and curved font types giving a familiar look and feel to the product. I was a little surprised to see that the material used was plastic film, however this didn't appear to have any detrimental effect on the freshness of the inner chocolates. Speaking of which, the pieces inside were about the size of Maltesers and emanated a sweet sweet set of cocoa scents upon opening the bag.

As the pieces weren't the largest ever it made sense to consume these more than one at a time - about three was a comfortable mouth fit. At first I let the ball shaped chocolates melt on my tongue at which point in time I was greeted with the standard creamy sweet Galaxy milk chocolate taste. The initial melt of the chocolate felt somewhat delayed due to thin layer of glaze that coated each chocolate but this was to be the least of the problems so it didn't come across as a particularly big issue. Unfortunately, as I have just alluded to, I wasn't totally satisfied with these Galaxy Bites and my main issue with them was their caramel centres. I fully expected that these were going to be the same sort of soft caramel chocolate filled chocolates as per the Galaxy Caramel Pieces, but I was majorly wrong. Unbeknown to me, these had hard, chewy centres that had a textural mouth feel of taffy and hard gummy sweets. This wasn't so much a problem in itself, however the centres failed to establish any sort of grand presence flavour wise, which ultimately rendered them as chewy and relatively flavourless. I found the 40.0g bag to be relatively unsatisfying which is a phrase I not often use with Galaxy products.

Overall I'm sure you can tell by my rating that these were a product I was left feeling pretty disappointed by. The descriptor provided stating 'chocolate caramel centres' I guess is a little vague in some respects, though I don't think I would be the only person expecting soft caramel as opposed to the harder, toffee like ones which were delivered. This unexpected textural difference wouldn't have been any major issue had the caramel actually been flavoursome and highly contributive to the taste. This just wasn't reality though - the caramel lacked the expected buttery, creamy sweetness and just came across as frustratingly bland and ultimately pretty pointless. With so many decent alternatives around I couldn't possibly recommend these ahead of the likes of the Cadbury Caramel Nibbles etc. If you are looking for a product along the same lines of Paynes Toffee Poppets then these could be worth checking out if you want a better quality milk chocolate - at least I can say they are better than them.

6.4 out of 10