April 21st: Bits & Bobs: New UK Misc Products

There have been a few new products that have come to occupy our shelves here in the UK in the last few months. Here are a few of the best (and worst) I've found lately ...

Kellogg's Rice Krispies Squares Rocky Road
Kcal 143 Fat 4.0g Fat(sats) 2.5g Carbs 26.0g (per bar)

Though they aren't my cereal of choice, but I do like a good Rice Krispie Square from time-to-time. New to the UK for 2012, Kellogg's have released these Rocky Road Squares and judging by the back of the packet I bought it seems like they have replaced the golden packaged Caramel flavour ones (See HERE). Also on the back of the multi-bar packet I bought, there was also this rather long winded description - 'Cripsy toasted chocolate rice cereal with melted marshmallow, raisins and white chocolate chunks'. This sounded all good to me and out their cool looking black foil wrappers the Squares looks as advertised with plenty of the aforementioned pieces scattered throughout. Taste-wise these added bits had mixed success. The raisins and white chcocolate pieces were enhancing, though the shortbread biscuit pieces were mainly lost in it all. The base of rice chocolate cereal was as ever it's sweet self and with the added raisins and white chocolate the 34.0g bar was about the limit I would have wanted in one. Rice Krispies Squares fans will like that they have something new to try - whether or not they will like that this one has replaced the classic Caramel flavour is another thing altogether though.

7.0 out of 10

Cadbury Mallows with Caramel
Kcal 60 Fat 2.2g Fat(sats) 1.2g Carbs 9.9g (per Teacake)

Tunnock's Teacakes were one of the snacks I frequently consumed after school during my younger days. For some reason or other we always used to have a pack in the house - I guess it was because neither my sister or I ever expressed a dislike of them, so our Mother just continued to be them. Lifestories aside, it is for that reason I feel pretty confident about commenting on the quality of these latest NEW Cadbury Teacakes with Caramel. Cadbury's previous attempts at making Teacakes (See HERE) hadn't proved to be all that successful - generating only a 5.8 out of 10 on the JCM scoring system. The added promise of a 'caramel filling' in to the mix though, had me wondering whether they could be markedly improved!? I probably should have been able to tell that this wasn't going to be the case when I cut through the middle of one of the teacakes for the photograph. The caramel was minimally portioned in the mallow, and when it came to the taste it was almost indeed 100.0% suffocated. Aside from adding a little bit of moistness to the chalky, flavourless biscuit at the base, the caramel was pretty much a non-entity. That disappointment lumped in with the still unremarkable chocolate flavour hit and disappointingly foamy mallow and these 'with Caramel' weren't the step forward I was hoping for. These are best summed up by saying 'just buy Tunnocks'.

5.9 out of 10

Paynes Poppets Strawberry Milkshake
Kcal 188 Fat 5.5g Fat(sats) 3.2g Carbs 33.2g (per pack)

A quick wonder through the JCM archives will show you that I'm generally not the biggest advocate of Paynes Poppets (See HERE). Considering their average score usually nets around 5.0 out of 10, I really wasn't expecting much from this new Strawberry Milkshake flavour - lucky that really :D I found this new flavour on sale in a local newsagents, innocently sitting next to the more commonly found toffee and mint flavours. In regards to packaging and presentation these came brandished in the new Poppets style which like I said in my last Paynes review of the Choc Chip Cookie flavour (See HERE), is certainly a step up from the old style showcased on the older packs you can see in some of my first ever reviews for the site. Unfortunately all positivity ends there, no doubt you've likely already peaked at the scoring chart - yes these really did taste that bad :D! Where do I start!? bland tasting, waxy milk chocolate and centers so chemically artificial and sugary that I almost spat my first mouthful out as I thought I had come across 'a bad one' - the following mouthfuls proved evidently not. The strawberry flavour implementation was one of the worst I have come across, these were frankly just disgusting. Avoid if you know what's good for you.

3.4 out of 10

McVitie's Medley Hobnobs Double ChocolateKcal 181 Fat 6.2g Fat(sats) 2.6g Carbs 28.6g

Since the launch of the McVitie's Medley range back in 2010, we've seen a number of different variants come and go from the range:

McVitie's Medley Hobnobs Milk Chocolate & Raisin - See HERE
McVitie's Medley Digestive Milk Chocolate - See HERE
McVitie's Medley Hobnobs Peanut - See HERE
McVitie's Medley Hobnobs Caramel - See HERE

Well cometh' the year 2012, and cometh' the McVitie's Medley Hobnobs Double Chocolate. Indeed, the latest flavour to make it's way out of the McVitie's product lines is the Double Chocolate - 'dark chocolate chips, milk chocolate, cereal and biscuit chunks'. To get straight to the point this new variant was 'exactly what it said on the tin'. The larger 40.0g bar was a more fulfilling option than previous that had gone before, and the overall taste experience was more chocolatey rich. I suppose in that sense the proposition lived up to it's billing, though frankly I would jump at the chance to swap a bar of this for two normal chocolate Hobnobs. Those who were previously hating on the originals because of the raisins may wish to take another look. The rest of you might not have too much to get excited about.

7.7 out of 10

Galaxy Cookie Crumble SlicesKcal 150 Fat 7.8g Fat(sats) 3.9g Carbs 18.3g (per slice)

Having looked at new products from Cadbury, Kellogg's and Paynes already, I'm glad to say that Mars haven't missed out on being part of Bit's n Bobs today. Indeed new for 2012 we have these new Galaxy Cookie Crumble Slices - I guess a bit of a mix-up/match-up with their Galaxy Cookie Crumble Chocolate (See HERE) getting the Twix Slice treatment. As with all the other cakey Mars treats, these have been produced by McVitie's and can be found in most UK supermarkets likely doing the rounds on the £1.00 deals. Presented nicely in a pack of 6 individually wrapped packets, the slices looked simple, but nice. The thick topping of Galaxy milk chocolate melted nicely into the cookie base that lay below and retained all of it's typical creamy, sweet Galaxy chocolate appeal. Sitting on the bottom, the cookie bases were similarly delicious. It was buttery, crumbly and had a hint of saltyness. Unlike the horrible Twix slice I really liked these and would buy them again.

8.2 out of 10

Cadbury BiscBites Roacky Road CrunchKcal 125 Fat 5.5g Fat(sats) 2.9g Carbs 16.6g (per 7 biscuits)

Ladies and gentlemen well done for making it this far down :D Unfortunately I'm not going to be able to reward you with a review of a product of great quality, these were frankly just pants. Cadbury BiscBits Rocky Road Crunch - 'chocolate cherry and marshmallow flavoured biscuits covered with milk chocolate'. I'm sure you are thinking that all sounds dandy - I don't blame you, it had me thinking that to. These biscuits came in a 110.0g foil pouch that I bought for £1.00 in my local Tesco supermarket (that was an introductory reduced price deal of course). Suspicions immediately rose upon opening the pouch when a rather odd fruity smell emerged. Ignoring the warning signs I hoped for more from the taste and set about munching my way through the pack. After just a few biscuits I decided to set the pouch to one side where it remained untouched until it's ill fated trip to the bin. To sum this up short and sweet these tasted pretty horrible. The outer Cadbury chocolate had this horrible, fake tasting sugary sweet cherry twang and it overpowered the inner chocolate biscuit. These just tasted cheap and I guess I should have learnt from the Cadbury BiscBits Orange Crunch (See HERE) which were equally horrible. Lesson learnt folks!

5.4 out of 10