Sainsbury's Chunky Caramel Bars

Kcal 188 Fat 7.6g Fat (Sats) 4.4g Carbs 28g (per bar)

Described as a ‘soft nougat and caramel milk chocolate bar’ you might think Sainsbury’s Chunky Caramel sounds familiar. I’ll give you a few moments to figure it out…ah yes, of course, doesn’t this description sound an awfully lot like a Mars Bar? Well you would be correct. Practically every supermarket has their own version of the brand leader, and this is Sainsbury’s take on it.

At £1.50 for a pack of eight 40g bars, they are significantly cheaper than Mars, and also a miniscule 0.6g heavier. On the downside they also come with a higher fat and sugar content. Statistics aside, how does it compare on the pleasure scale? A lot of consumers are reluctant to move away from a brand leader because familiarity breeds a mixed sense of nostalgia and reassurance. Can Sainsbury’s break the barrier?

The mix of red, purple, and gold for the multipack wrapper is attractive and draws your eye to it on the shelf, but that aesthetic allure does not continue all the way through. When you get to the individually wrapped bars, all you get is a block of dark purple, which is rather dull and depressing. It does make a good background colour so that the white and red text can stand out, but it all looks pretty plain and uninteresting.

The bar itself is more appealing, with the milk chocolate having a nice shine to it. These bars might be shorter than a Mars Bar, but they are also chunkier in width and depth.

A tempting whiff of buttery caramel always increases expectation, and the taste does not disappoint. The generous helping of caramel lives up to its aroma with its buttery vanilla notes and milky sweet chocolate coating. It is creamy, smooth, and highly refreshing. The nougat melts in the mouth and has a softer texture to that of a Mars, although not as malty or strong in flavour.

If you are familiar with Lidl’s television adverts, then you will know about their blind test taste survey, comparing a market leader to their own brand. If Sainsbury’s ran the same test with their Chunky Caramel Bar versus Mars, I’m pretty sure Sainsbury’s would win. The Chunky Caramel Bar surpassed my expectations, and even went on to surpass Mars.

Presentation: 7.5
Aroma: 8
Taste: 9
Sustenance: 9
Texture: 9.5
Overall: 8.6