Sunday, 23 April 2017

Milka Dark Chocolate

Milka Dark Chocolate

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.

Milka Dark Chocolate

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).

Milka Dark Chocolate

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

The Co Op Rhubarb & Custard Milk (Limited Edition)

The Co Op Rhubarb & Custard Milk (Limited Edition)

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.

The Co Op Rhubarb & Custard Milk (Limited Edition)

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

Aldi Dairyfine Mythicals & Switch Ups

dairyfine switch ups

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.

dairyfine switch ups

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.

dairyfine switch ups

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.

dairyfine mythicals

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.

dairyfine mythicals

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

Haagen Dazs Blueberries & Cream Ice Cream (Fruit Collection)

Haagen Dazs Blueberries & Cream

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.

Haagen Dazs Blueberries & Cream

The pots come with a handy plastic spoon beneath the lid, perfect if you buy a box to take to the beach!

Haagen Dazs Blueberries & Cream

The ice cream was of course purple, almost lavendar in colour, with little bits of blueberry mixed in.

Haagen Dazs Blueberries & Cream

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

How should businesses handle negative reviews?


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

Hotel Chocolat 100% Dark Hard-Boiled Egg

Hotel Chocolat 100% Dark Egg

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. 

Hotel Chocolat 100% Dark Egg

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:

Hotel Chocolat 100% Dark Egg

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!

Hotel Chocolat 100% Dark Egg

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.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Marks & Spencer Chicky Choccy Speckled Eggs

Marks & Spencer Chicky Choccy Speckled Eggs

Do you like Cadbury's Mini Eggs but not how they've changed the quality of them in recent years? Well these M&S Chicky Choccy Speckled Eggs might just be for you! Priced at £1 and available from most M&S stores, they're a bit chunkier than Cadbury Mini Eggs, but a whole lot tastier!

Marks & Spencer Chicky Choccy Speckled Eggs

Making them even more special, they're also speckled!

Marks & Spencer Chicky Choccy Speckled Eggs

I really enjoyed these, the chocolate is creamy and doesn't taste overly sweet or greasy like Cadbury's does nowadays and the shell is the perfect level of crunchiness. The chunkier size makes them quite a mouthful to eat, but they certainly satisfy.

Overall, you can't go wrong with a bag of these from M&S this Easter. Speaking of which it's not long now until the big weekend!

Suitable for vegetarians.

8.5 out of 10.