Tuesday, 23 May 2017
Recently Home Bargains started selling this range of Go Coco Coconut Milk shakes, in three flavours; Chocolate Fudge, Banana Split and Strawberries & Cream. I had never heard of them before so snapped up all three flavours. They were around 70p or so per carton.
They're suitable for vegans, dairy and gluten free and contain no refined sugars. They're sweetened with date nectar and stevia as well as fruit purees, and contain dietary fibres.
Starting with the Chocolate Fudge variety, this is the one I enjoyed the most of the three. It had a very sweet but distinctly fudgey chocolate flavour that was very nice. The coconut milk made it somehow lighter and more refreshing than a milkshake containing dairy. I would definitely buy this one again, I loved it! 8.5 out of 10.
The Strawberries & Cream was my second favourite, it was a bit sweeter due to the extra strawberry puree, but very refreshing and tasty. This would be perfect on a Summers day. 8 out of 10.
Last but not least, the Banana Split. Now banana flavoured products are always tricky to get right, and even though this contains real banana puree it still somehow tasted a little artificial and overly sweet. Maybe it was the stevia, but it didn't taste quite right somehow. Still it wasn't bad, and definitely makes for a nice alternative to dairy milkshakes. 7.5 out of 10.
Overall, this range from Go Coco gets a big thumbs up from me, they're not perfect but for vegan and dairy free milkshakes they're certainly better than a lot of stuff that's out there. They're refreshing and light, and great for Summer picnics. Thank goodness companies are starting to cater to people who are vegan or allergic to dairy!
Nutrition Information (per carton);
Chocolate Fudge: 299 Calories, 12.2g Fat, 42.3g Carbohydrates, 14.4g Sugars, 2.5g Protein, 4.9g Fibre.
Strawberries & Cream: 250 Calories, 11.5g Fat, 33g Carbohydrates, 15.5g Sugars, 3.7g Fibre, 1.8g Protein.
Banana Split: 240 Calories, 11.4g Fat, 30.6g Carbohydrates, 12.9g Sugars, 3.8g Fibre, 1.7g Protein.
Monday, 22 May 2017
Recently Home Bargains started selling a new variety of Kinnerton Just Chocolate, which is dairy free, vegan and gluten free. This variety is flavoured with Florida Orange and costs just 19p a bar - a bargain for anyone looking for dairy free chocolate!
The bars are thin and reminded me of Milkybars. They taste of semisweet dark chocolate (55% cocoa solids) with a hint of zesty orange, which tastes very refreshing - it seems that Florida orange is indeed different to regular orange. I really enjoyed these and would happily buy them again, which isn't something I can say for the regular Kinnerton dark chocolate bars.
Overall, if you're dairy free or vegan these are a perfect tasty little treat - be sure to stock up on them if you have a Home Bargains nearby!
8.5 out of 10.
Nutrition Information (per 25g bar): 138 Calories, 1.6g Protein, 8.9g Fat, 11.8g Carbohydrates, 10.7g Sugars
Friday, 19 May 2017
Coconut chips seem to be one of the new snacking trends this year, and I for one am very pleased about that. I've had mixed success with some brands I've tried so I was hoping these dark chocolate coconut chips from Maui and Sons would be a win. They're available in Poundland and discount stores like Bargain Buys and are gluten free and vegan friendly.
It's fairly obvious the coating isn't "real" chocolate but rather a blend of vegetable fat, sugar and cocoa, but that doesn't matter because they are pretty tasty! The cocoa flavours compliment the crunchy tropical coconut perfectly, making for a moreish snack. I soon polished off the whole bag.
Overall, if you're one of the coconutters out there like myself (you know who you are!) then these are a must try! For £1 they're a great bargain compared to other brands.
8.5 out of 10.
Wednesday, 17 May 2017
There's an increasing array of new fancier chocolate bars appearing in Sainsbury's stores recently, amongst them various Montezuma's varieties and also these new boys on the block: Doisy & Dam. I've reviewed their White Chocolate with Lemon, Baobab and Poppy Seed before, and really enjoyed it, so I was very eager to try some more flavours when they were on offer in Sainsbury's recently.
This one is organic and vegan, containing 74% cocoa solids and with the inclusion of maple syrup, toasted brown rice and himalayan pink salt. Quite the bold combination!
The toasted rice is clearly visible on the underside of the bar, and the chocolate itself has a strong maple aroma.
It tastes interesting. The maple is very prominent, with a sweet syrupy almost earthy tone, that is almost too much combined with the rich dark chocolate. It's a very bold flavour, so if that's your thing you'll probably love this. Personally it was just a bit too much for me. The rice pieces were nice and crunchy and gave a good texure, with the pink salt adding to that sweet and salty flavour mix, but all in all this bar was a bit too much.
Overall, a bold flavour for sure, as are the other bars in the Doisy & Dam range, but this one is not for me.
Nutrition Information (per 100g): 552 Calories, 7.3g Protein, 34g Carbohydrates, 26g Sugars, 41g Fat, 10.2g Fibre.
Ingredients: Dark chocolate (cocoa mass, organic cane sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla powder), pure canadian maple syrup (4%), toasted brown rice, himalayan pink salt, natural maple essence.
7 out of 10.
Monday, 15 May 2017
The Montezuma's range seems to be steadily expanding in Sainsbury's stores recently, from the likes of the Absolute Black bar and the Geranium and Orange, and now they're also stocking these Great British Pudding Bars. I picked up the Black Forest Gateau variety recently to see if it lives up to the classic cakey treat.
Described as "Dark chocolate with cherry" this cost £1.50 and is currently on special offer. The bar comes foil wrapped, with the classic Montezuma's design of segmented blocks on the upper half and a thicker chunk at the bottom with the Montezuma's symbol on. I like the design, it's a bit different!
Taste wise it was a nice fruity rich dark chocolate, with earthy tones. Sweet enough to be palatable (70% cocoa solids) but strong enough to give a good flavour. The cherry pieces enhanced the flavour with a gentle tartness, which complimented the chocolate perfectly. I did feel there could have been more of them, and there were no other ingredients to make this similar to a Black Forest Gateau so I do think they're pushing it by giving this bar such a name. Regardless, it's still a tasty bar of chocolate.
Overall, this is a good bar from Montezuma's that I would happily buy again, and I do hope to see more varieties in Sainsbury's in the future.
Nutrition Information (per 25g): 10g Fat, 9g Carbohydrates, 7g Sugars, 2g Protein, 2g Fibre.
8.5 out of 10.
Friday, 12 May 2017
Ice cream season is slowly creeping up on us, and there's a never ending variety of new lollies, sticks and tubs appearing in shops recently. Some have been disappointing, but Tesco have bucked the trend with these rather tasty White Chocolate & Raspberry ice creams, which are essentially a Magnum Double.
Described as "Vanilla dairy ice cream, covered with raspberry sauce, coated in Belgian white chocolate with freeze dried raspberry pieces", they're suitable for vegeterians and cost £1.50 for a pack of three.
The white chocolate shell is creamy and sweet, with the raspberry sauce oozing out just below it. It's the perfect contrast of creamy and zingy flavours. The raspberry pieces further add to the flavour, and combined with the ice cream make for a pretty delightful treat! I actually enjoyed these a lot more than some of the other ice creams I've tried recently, including the Haagen Dazs Mango & Raspberry sticks and the Magnum Doubles. The white chocolate, raspberry and vanilla flavours are just spot on.
Overall, for a cheaper alternative to a Magnum Double you can't far go wrong with these - highly recommended!
Nutrition information (per stick): 213 Calories, 17.5g Fat, 37.1g Carbohydrates, 33.8g Sugars, 2.7g Protein.
8.5 out of 10.
Thursday, 11 May 2017
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are becoming ever more popular in the UK, so it makes sense that other Reese's products would start popping up over here too. One that caught my eye recently, reduced to clear in Morrisons, was this Reese's Peanut Butter Chocolate Spread. It's described as simply "a blend of peanut butter and cocoa".
Peanuts feature high on the ingredients list, which is a good sign since some spreads don't use a high percentage of nuts in them. Opening the lid, the spread certainly smelled very strong and nutty.
And it tasted pretty darn good! It's somewhat like a cross between smooth peanut butter and chocolate spread, sort of like a peanut Nutella. The peanut butter texture is nice, giving that grittiness that only peanut butter can. This is good stuff but it's definitely very sweet, which is maybe the only thing that lets it down.
Overall, if you're a fan of Reese's and peanutty things in general this is definitely worth a try, it makes a nice change from Nutella, and I think it would go nice alongside some real peanut butter as a topping.
Nutrition (per 100g as sold): 552 Calories, 32.5g Fat, 56.1g Carbohydrates, 51.2g Sugars, 8.7g Protein.
8 out of 10.
Wednesday, 10 May 2017
I've been exploring the dairy free side of life a bit lately, and trying to find some good ice cream alternatives has proved to be a bit of a challenge. Most are based on soya milk or pea protein, which don't sit too well with my tummy, but I had heard good things about Booja Booja's range so thought I'd give them a whirl. They were recently on offer at Waitrose so it seemed like the perfect excuse!
Booja Booja ice cream is nut based and made with cashew nuts and coconut syrup, so not suitable for those with nut allergies but it's gluten free and suitable for vegans.
I went for the Caramel Pecan Praline variety as it sounded a bit more lively than the Hunky Punky Chocolate tub. And boy I'm glad I did!
This is described as "Caramel vanilla dairy free ice cream shmoozled with salted caramel pecan praline sauce (18%) made with cashew nuts" and contains 7 organic ingredients: Water, cashew nuts, coconut syrup, agave syrup, pecan nuts, sea salt and vanilla extract.
The ice cream is amazingly creamy considering there's no dairy. Who knew cashew nuts could give such a great texture? In fact this ice cream was quite simply heavenly, the creaminess is delightful and the salted caramel pecan praline swirl has the perfect sweet, salty and nutty flavour that makes it ever so moreish. The combination of the ice cream with the swirl is just perfect, I couldn't stop myself from eating! This is seriously good stuff, up there with the most expensive ice creams around.
Overall, if you're vegan, dairy free or otherwise curious about nut based ice creams, this is one you simply MUST try, it's the best out there in dairy ice creams in fact! I seriously need to try more of their flavours now...
Nutrition (per 100ml): 149 Calories, 5.5g Fat, 22g Carbohydrates, 19g Sugars, 3g Protein.
9 out of 10.
Tuesday, 9 May 2017
Haagen Dazs have brought out some new boxed packs of mini tubs recently, including a Caramel Collection, Sorbet Collection and this - Fruit Collection. It contains 4 varieties: Mango & Raspberry, Summer Berries & Cream, Blueberries & Cream and Strawberries & Cream. I bought this box on offer at £2.50, although the RRP is £4.
Like the Blueberry version this comes in a small pot with a plastic spoon, making it perfect for taking to the beach or on trips out.
It's basically strawberry ice cream with strawberry pieces mixed in, and tastes delightful! I preferred it over the Blueberry variety as it's more refreshing and summery, and who doesn't love strawberry ice cream?!
Overall, this is another fantastic variety from Haagen Dazs, and probably the best strawberry ice cream out in shops right now. I will definitely pick up the large tub if I see it on offer.
8.5 out of 10.
Nutrition (per pot): 211 Calories, 13.5g Fat, 19g Carbohydrates, 3.4g Protein.
Monday, 8 May 2017
Okay so I've been a little absent from the blog lately, do forgive me - life has been getting in the way! But I'm back, back again, guess who's back?...to tell you all about the bestest snacks around!
Today's review is for something that's been around a few years now, the Magnum Honeycomb. This is available in most supermarkets for £1.50 to £2.00 per pack of three, and is described as "Honeycomb flavour ice cream with milk chocolate and sugar pieces". It's gluten free but does not state if it's suitable for vegetarians.
The bars have pieces of honeycomb or "sugar pieces" studded in the chocolate coating.
Taking a bite, this was one very tasty Magnum indeed - the honeycomb ice cream is the perfect flavour, with a sweet buttery burnt sugar edge, with the honeycomb pieces adding some crunchiness to the texture. They're very yummy indeed, but quite sweet so you won't want more than one at a time.
Overall, out of all the many new varieties of Magnum out there (I've got my eye on the Magnum White Almond), this is definitely one I would buy more than once.
8.5 out of 10.
Nutrition Information (per 100ml stick): 240 Calories, 13g Fat, 27g Carbohydrates, 25g Sugars, 2.8g Protein.
Saturday, 29 April 2017
There's been a few new additions to the Lindt range in the UK recently, not only have we had a small bar of Lindor Orange, there's also a new Lindt Excellence Raspberry Dark and this; Roasted Hazelnut Dark. Described as "Fine dark chocolate with roasted hazelnuts from Piedmont", this is something I simply had to try - I love any chocolate with hazelnuts in! The bars were on offer for £1.60 in Sainsbury's recently, although usually cost around £1.99.
The chocolate contains 47% cocoa solids and milk fat, so unfortunately isn't suitable for vegans. The Piedmont hazelnuts make up 9% of the bar.
It had a yummy strong hazelnut flavour, somewhat remiscent of Nutella, with the richer flavour of the dark chocolate complimenting the nuts perfectly. A few squares of this go perfectly with a cuppa, however I did feel it would have been better had it been either 70% cocoa dark chocolate, or just milk chocolate. I get that they're trying to appeal to fans of both types, but personally I like it to be either one thing or the other.
Overall, still a very tasty bar and definitely worth trying if you like hazelnuts or Nutella!
7.5 out of 10.
Sunday, 23 April 2017
We don't seem to get many new Milka bars in the UK these days, since Mondelez just convert most Milka products into a Dairy Milk version, which is a shame really because MIlka has a distinctive flavour that's very different from Dairy Milk. Perhaps it's the alpine milk in Milka bars, or the higher cocoa content, but they definitely have that unique "something" that Dairy Milk can't replicate.
So I was excited when these new "dark" Milka bars appeared in B&M and Home Bargains recently. They cost 79p, and consist of 45% cocoa dark chocolate with the addition of hazelnut paste and milk powder (so aren't suitable for vegans unfortunately).
The chocolate tasted pretty good! It has that distinctive creamy Milka flavour of alpine milk, with the hazelnut paste adding a vague nuttiness in the background. It's very tasty and was easy to eat a lot of, but more of a richer milk chocolate than a true dark chocolate.
Overall, this is quite a tasty bar and if you prefer milk chocolate with a higher amount of cocoa, this is for you!
8.5 out of 10.
Thursday, 20 April 2017
I'm always a sucker for a limited edition, and when I spotted this Co Op Rhubarb and Custard Limited Edition milk over Easter, straight into my basket it went! I've always enjoyed rhubarb and custard so putting it in milk form seems quite the logical next step, although it's not something I've ever seen done before.
This cost £1.29, is suitable for vegetarians and gluten free. There's some "Amoosing jokes" on the carton, such as "Where did the rhubarb get its hair cut? The rhu-barbers". Eye rolls ahoy! There's also rhubarb facts such as "In the wild rhubarb can reach 6 to 10 feet in height". Educational too, thanks Co Op!
Onto the most important thing then...how does it taste? Well, I was expecting it to be artificial but it actually tasted lovely and fresh! The flavour was very realistic in tasting of both rhubarb and custard in equal measure, with the thick texture of the milk making it even more reminiscent of custard. This was a lovely drink, and if you're a fan of milkshakes or milky drinks in general I would highly recommend it! It's actually quite unique - as far as I'm aware no other supermarkets have ever made anything similar.
Overall, well done Co Op, this is an interesting limited edition indeed! It will go down perfectly over the Summer months.
8.5 out of 10.
Wednesday, 19 April 2017
I don't know how Aldi manage to get away with making obvious clones of so many famous brands, but they are still at it so I won't judge. It makes the confectionery world a lot more interesting (and affordable) for those of us on tight budgets. The latest addition to their ever-expanding range are these new Dairyfine "Switch Ups" and "Mythicals" crunchy coated chocolate candies.
The Switch Ups are clearly the same thing as Nestle's Vice Versas, with the brown ones containing white chocolate centres and the white ones containing milk chocolate centres.
Sadly they didn't taste as good as Vice Versas. Vice Versas aren't great nowadays, but the white chocolate ones are at least decent. The white chocolate in Aldi's version is very flavourless, tasting mostly of sugar; no creaminess at all. They were just far far too sweet for me. 6 out of 10.
The Mythicals are similar to a product Nestle used to make called Milkybar White Moments - if anyone remembers them, please let me know in the comments! Unfortunately these aren't as good as Milkybar Moments were.
They taste of pretty much just sugar and a hint of milk, no creaminess at all. They were far too sweet and gave me that throat burning sensation after just a mouthfuls. 6 out of 10.
Overall, these new sweets from Aldi may be cheap but they're not the greatest of quality - as they say, you get what you pay for! They'll probably make for some fun cinema snacks, or baking decorations but that's about all. If you've tried them please do let me know your thoughts in the comments!
Dietary advice: Mythicals are suitable for vegetarians but Switch Ups are not suitable.
Aldi are also making some Peanut and Caramel Domes, which are similar to Rolos and Reese's Cups. I hope to try the Salted Caramel Domes next...
Thursday, 13 April 2017
When this new Blueberries & Cream flavour Haagen Dazs came out I was super eager to try it, although at £4 a tub I thought I would wait until a special offer was on. That offer never came, but by chance Haagen Dazs recently launched some new boxed mini tubs, in both a Caramel Collection and Fruit Collection, as well as a Sorbet Collection. The Fruit Collection contains the likes of Mango & Raspberry, Strawberries and Cream, Summer Berries & Cream and this...a mini tub of the Blueberries & Cream. They cost £2.50 for a box containing two tubs of each flavour, although are no longer on offer in Tesco.
The pots come with a handy plastic spoon beneath the lid, perfect if you buy a box to take to the beach!
The ice cream was of course purple, almost lavendar in colour, with little bits of blueberry mixed in.
It tastes, well, like blueberry ice cream! Something I've never tried before but pretty much as I would expect - there's the subtle blueberry flavour with the creaminess of the ice cream, complimented with yet more fruitier bursts of blueberry bits. It was very nice indeed, refreshing and creamy and would go perfect alongside a dessert...dare I say some blueberry pie?
Overall, as always with Haagen Dazs it's difficult to fault this ice cream. They always use top notch ingredients like fresh cream and whole eggs so they never disappoint, and the blueberry here is just as good as any other fruit flavours they make. If you see the regular large tubs of this on special offer over Summer - buy a tub, you won't regret it!
Stay tuned for reviews of the Strawberries and Cream and Mango & Raspberry varieties...
Nutrition (per 87g pot): 212 Calories, 14g Fat, 17.7g Carbohydrates, 16.8g Sugars, 3.6g Protein.
Ingredients: Fresh cream, condensed skimmed milk, sugar, blueberries, blueberry puree, egg yolk, concentrated lemon juice, rice starch, gelling agent: pectins, natural blueberry flavouring. Gluten free. Suitable for vegetarians.
8.5 out of 10.
Wednesday, 12 April 2017
Today's post is a departure for Kev's Snack Reviews...I was recently asked my thoughts on what companies should do when faced with negative online reviews of their products. Reviews can really affect a brands reputation, as word spreads faster than ever nowadays thanks to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook - a bad review has a big impact especially if a company is new to the market.
In my opinion, honesty is always the best policy and if a product has issues then the business and the consumer needs to understand why. We all have biased opinions to some degree and some only "see what they want to see", whether it be consumer or producer. So it's good to be aware of this if you're a company faced with bad reviews. You might be blinkered about how good you perceive your product, just as a reviewer might be about how bad it is.
How should companies deal with us bloggers' opinions, varied as they are? Well for a start it's always nice to be given an opportunity to re-evaluate our opinions; if a company has altered their product after consumer feedback, give us a chance to try it again. Work with bloggers to find out consumer opinions, perhaps even sponsor giveaways in exchange for further feedback. If your product ends up different based on this feedback then say so - it will make consumers feel listened to.
Offer a wide array of bloggers the chance to review your product...you're likely to get varying views and insight into it. This is invaluable, after all how can you know what real people think of it? Observe comments left on blog posts, this is yet more invaluable feedback.
If you get several bad reviews - chances are your product needs to be changed or it's not as good as predicted to begin with. If you're confident in your product then select several reviewers that fit its niche the best.
Incentives help. Work with bloggers to provide incentives in exchange for a fair review. Free products and samples of future products are good ones. Give shout outs to the reviews on your social media channels and mutually help each other out.
Whatever you do - don't go arguing with the reviewers after they've posted their review! I've seen this happen and it leaves a sour taste. My snacks pal Reaching for Refreshment and her dealings with Spanish Mint Company Mentas Boggle are a case in point. I do think it's okay to disagree with a review, but have a think about what you disagree with objectively, whilst bearing in mind everyone's right to an opinion, whether it be right or wrong. Make a list of the objective aspects of your product and point out things they didn't consider in their review. But don't behave angry or sarcastic, it just doesn't look very professional and anyone reading it will be turned off your company.
If the unthinkable happens and you end up with bad reviews...think about how to reach out and make things better. Take it as an opportunity to learn what went wrong - is it simply one persons opinion or is your product genuinely at fault? Can you offer another, better quality or different product to them for re-evaluation? This can help soften the blow of a bad review. Maybe you can even create your own blog post, offering an alternative opinion on your product. If the situation ever becomes more than you're able to handle, remember that professional crisis management services can help you get back on the right track.
I recently reviewed the new White Skittles and remarked what a strange idea they are. I've seen a variety of opinions about them on social media, some similar to mine and some different. This was reflected in comments left under my review, and I think this is a very good thing - open discussions get a better idea of a general consensus of how something has been received.
Well, I feel I have said all I can about this subject for now. Over the years I've been offered various products to review and I always do my best to be fair and consider where the company is coming from with their product - are they aimed at a particular dietary need, such as vegan, paleo etc? If they are new, niche or specialist I always factor this into my review where possible, but if I still don't like the product I will say so. Even then I will try to evaluate how the product might be received by someone else with different tastes to my own. Which is difficult to do but seems only fair.
I do hope this post has been helpful for anyone looking for insight on this subject! If you have any thoughts please do leave them in the comments below.
Tuesday, 11 April 2017
Today I'm reviewing an Easter Egg I was gifted that sadly will not make it to the Easter Weekend, being the chocoholic that I am. I know, I know, I'm a pig!
I was really excited when I heard about this 100% Dark Egg from Hotel Chocolat, because back in my sugar-free diet days it was so hard to find anything to have at Easter without sugar. There's always a need for such products on the market and the fact Hotel Chocolat have made this is surely a first - I've certainly never seen anything like it in shops before anyway.
The egg weighs 170 grams and has Turkish raisins and Californian roasted almonds embedded within the shell. It's suitable for vegans, although made in a factory that handles dairy products. I was excited when I split it apart to see an abundance of raisins and almonds hidden beneath:
The egg also comes with two small trays of 100% St Lucia chocolate panned Piedmont hazelnuts, which reminded me of a richer and more refined Ferrero Rocher in taste. They're super moreish!
The quality of the chocolate is excellent, and if I were currently on a sugar free diet (I'm not!) I would probably have loved it. But as I'm not, it was a bit too bitter for my tastebuds. The inclusion of the raisins and almonds was a lovely touch though and I found myself enjoying them mixed in with the chocolate. If this were an 85% cocoa egg I would probably have loved it. The total lack of sugar is just a bit too much...like they say on the packaging, its only for "the persistent, the sticklers"!
Overall, I have to say that this egg is...eggcellent...if you're avoiding sugar. They've put a lot of effort in and done it justice, and I do hope they sell really well and return next year. There's a need for more products like this, and so it's nice to see Hotel Chocolat ahead of the curve.
8.5 out of 10.