Unreal Candy - Candy Covered Milk Chocolates just like M&Ms

Unreal Candy: Candy Coated Milk Chocolates

The healthy M&M alternative? Unreal Candy strives to be just that

I have reviewed an Unreal Candy before – specifically their peanut butter cups. I connected a lot with their message and the product. They don’t use GMO’s and everything is fair-trade making it both a delicious and conscious decision for the environment.

Naturally, in that case, their price point is a little higher than your standard bag of M&Ms, which likely makes the decision that much harder for the consumers. Why buy the alternative for a higher price, when the classic can be found for so much cheaper? I found Unreal Candy Coated Milk Chocolates (needs a better name too) on sale at Target, making me concerned that their message is not getting across to an average candy-eater The bag was big, but it was also marked down from $5 to about $3.

I still stand by Unreal Candy, however. While M&Ms use dyes and artificials, Unreal’s version does not. They are still colored, but with a more natural look, which turns out to be a good thing. It’s likely that the M&M alternative is better for the environment and also better for your body & health!

Unreal Candy - Candy Covered Milk Chocolates just like M&Ms Unreal Candy - Candy Covered Milk Chocolates Nutrition Facts

How are the Candy Coated Milk Chocolates overall though?

Fans of M&Ms will find the taste to be distinctly different – whether that’s better or worse is up for you to decide.

That being said, it works against Unreal that their candy re-creates essentially everything about an M&M – from the color to the shape and size – but then tastes different.

Ultimately, they seem like they are trying to be the health-conscious version of M&Ms, but also want to distinctly be their own thing.

It’s fair to say that Unreal right now has a branding problem, which is why I might have found these on sale. They need to be more creative if they want to make a name for themselves in the candy world.

Until then, they will be a niche brand, unable to topple Mars and the unassailable M&Ms Empire. An OM.

Hi Chew Flavors Rank - Best HiChew Flavor

Hi-Chew Flavors: The Definitive Power Rankings

Considering that I’ve had thousands of Hi-Chews in my lifetime (I’m estimating here), I consider myself quite the expert of their many flavors. Ranking them can be like choosing between children, but if we are all being honest, some are just way better than others.

With this guide, I attempt to find the king of Hi-Chew. So without further ado, here are my rankings…

A list of all the Hi-Chew Flavors ranked from worst to best:

12. Chocolate

Disgusting.

 

11. Cherry

Too syrupy and overpowering for my taste. As a single flavor pack, it’s too much. Hard pass.

 

10. Grape

Again, it kind of has that cough syrup vibe. I would say it’s less so than grape flavors of other candy, but this is not one I would actively seek out (if given the choice).

 

9. Melon

Coming in lower than you’d probably expect is Melon – this one just doesn’t really do it for me. Certainly a unique choice from Hi-Chew, these are honestly just as boring as the fruit itself. By the end of the Tropical pack, I’m usually left with nothing but melon. Pass.

 

8. Green Apple

Not much to say about Green Apple other than it’s exactly what you would expect. Not super sour, but not super flavorful, it lands in the middle of the pack without much distinction.

 

T6. Lime

T6. Lemon

It’s hard to rank one of these over the other. In an effective “tie”, Lemon and Lime give a strong showing mainly based on their sourness.

 

5. Strawberry

Can’t go wrong with Strawberry. A safe pick if you aren’t a Hi-Chew risk-taker.

 

4. Peach

Fans of peach flavor will find these Hi-Chews to be packed with that amazing taste. They have the essence of peach nailed here, which is why they are able to crack the top 5.

 

3. Banana

While I’m not the biggest fan of banana flavors in general, this one is definitely good enough to be one of my favorite Hi-Chews. With the island / tropical feel, banana is hard to find but definitely worth the buy.

 

2. Mango

Of all the Hi-Chew flavors, Mango is likely the most sought after, and for good reason! Try eating these alone, as you won’t want to share, and everyone will want one. Mango is a classic and was the best for a long time. Until recently…

 

1. Grapefruit

Clearly the standout from the Sour Hi-Chew flavors, Grapefruit beats the juggernaut that is Mango (for me). Both a unique flavor choice and packed with flavor, Grapefruit dethrones Mango to be the best Hi-Chew flavor on the market right now. Congrats to Grapefruit for the big upset.

 

Unranked Flavors (because I haven’t tried them yet):

  • Kiwi
  • Orange Soda
  • Cola

What do you think of my list? Feel free to leave your #1 choice in the comments!

New Haribo Gold Bears – Which is the Best: Apple, Watermelon or Cherry?

Haribo Gummy Bears may have just got a whole lot more interesting…

Haribo Gummy Bears are already some of the best out there. The only thing that could make them better is adding a new flavor, which is seemingly what they are hinting at with a new contest.

Starting at the beginning of the New Year, Haribo – quite creatively I might add – released 3 new flavors in their own packs for sale at supermarkets across the country. The three new flavors being:

  • Watermelon
  • Cherry
  • Apple

 

Fans can buy all of them, try them, pick their favorite, and cast their vote online. The winner will (seemingly) become the newest staple of the Haribo Gold Bears, though I see no mention of it on their website.

Taking the voting to the fans isn’t exactly something new for the candy industry. There have been campaigns for us to “choose” the new flavors for a while. Most recently, Oreo & Walmart were both hilariously trolled by voters to bring back the Oreo-flavored Oreo of Cookies and Creme.

What makes this contest unique is that we get to try each one before actually casting our vote. You have to buy each individually, so if you know you won’t like apple, for example, you can easily avoid it – you don’t have to a buy a mixed pack and pick through the bad flavors.

However, the 3 flavors they have chosen seem to be too good to pass up. Each of these could easily be someones favorite flavor. Here are my initial thoughts, ranked from best to worst:

Watermelon

 

Watermelon upon first glance seems to be the runaway favorite. It’s definitely the best of the 3. The smell is the least overpowering and the most authentic to the actual fruit.

Cherry

 

However, cherry usually ends up being a pretty good flavor when done right. Unfortunately, this is not an example of that. The Cherry flavor gummy bear is reminiscent of cough syrup, right down to its aftertaste.

Apple

 

Apple has a lot riding on its sourness and it doesn’t live up to the hype. It’s not sour, smells like an apple Jolly Rancher, and doesn’t even have a good apple taste to it! Probably the most disappointing of the bunch.

On the bright side, this kind of branding opens a whole new avenue for Haribo. None of the flavors are that good, but with some improvement, I think there is some great potential. Imagine a bag full of white gummy bears. Now that would be something worth writing about!

Try them for yourself and let me know what you think. And don’t forget to cast your vote at voteHaribo.com! Until 6/30/17 that is.

Peeps Oreo

Peeps Oreo – A New Easter Classic?

*Careful Peeps Oreo has been known to turn your tongue hot pink! Eat at your own risk.*

Peeps Oreo

Let’s be honest, no one really likes Peeps. I’m confident that no one on Earth would qualify it as their favorite candy. But if anyone could get people to like Peeps, it would be Oreo.

Oreo is coming off a hot streak in 2016, where essentially every candy creation they made turned to gold. 2017 started off nicely for them too as nothing went more viral than the Swedish Fish Oreo.

So just in time for Easter, Oreo has unveiled their newest collaboration, and it’s a great one. Yes, Peeps Oreo lives up to the reputation of the seasonal candy that is on the inside – in that they are not that colorful, only available one time a year, but not that great overall.

The most noticeable thing about Peeps Oreo is that the marshmallow filling is hot pink (practically neon). It’s quite festive and goes well with the Easter season – in that it’s bright and sugary. There are the signature Peeps sparkle to the filling, though you can’t see it in the photo.

Peeps Oreo - Pink

Other than that, there’s nothing too distinguishable about this Oreo. It’s a white cookie outside with a rather bland Peep marshmallow filling inside. The best thing about it is the fact that it’s now dying people’s tongues and poop bright pink!

Honestly, I had about 6 of these and I did not suffer from this side effect. I think you would have to eat an entire sleeve for this to be an issue – just my two cents.

Overall though, the candy is fun, and a good one to include in an Easter basket. Other than the gimmick it doesn’t offer any real staying power, but I more than expect it to be a part of Easter for years to come. We all know Oreo is better than Peeps anyway.

Sour Patch Kids Tropical

Sour Patch Kids Tropical – Review

Sometimes you just know when something is going to be good. That’s certainly the case with Sour Patch Kids Tropical. However, what I didn’t realize is just how awesome they would be. Seriously, this is one of the best candies I have ever had.

Sour Patch Kids Tropical

Sour Patch hasn’t exactly innovated recently. They’ve introduced new flavors but nothing that has caught the attention of the masses quite like Sour Patch Kids original. They have tried Extreme, they have tried Exploderz, but nothing seems to stick.

With Sour Patch Kids Tropical they have certainly found something that will be a hit. Right now, it’s only available in Target and 7-Elevens, but that should soon change.

What makes these Kids so great is obviously the innovation. Sour Patch Kids Tropical flavors are as follows:

  • White – Pineapple
  • Purple – Passion Fruit
  • Pink – Paradise Punch
  • Orange – Tropical Twist
Sour Patch Kids Tropical flavors
These are so amazing.

Which new Sour Patch Tropical flavor is the best?

Each one is special, unique, and really delicious. The two fruit-flavors are self-explanatory. Pineapple is quite honestly the best of the bunch, but probably the obvious choice of the whole pack. Passion Fruit certainly is a unique choice that pans out too. For a “purple” colored candy it doesn’t leave that syrupy residue that you get with grape or something like that.

The red flavor for the Tropical bag is ‘Paradise Punch’ which is a sour take on fruit punch. I’m not usually a big fruit punch fan but even this one is above average.

The mystery comes with the orange flavor. It’s called Tropical Twist, but I can’t seem to pinpoint exactly what it is. It’s very tart and sour, so I want to say it’s kumquat. If you have any ideas, be sure to leave them in the comments.

All in all, these are too good not to be a huge hit. Go give them a try – Sour Patch is at the top of their game with the Tropical flavors!

Sour Patch Kids Tropical Nutrition Facts

As always, these are vegan. The ingredients are: Sugar, Inverted Sugar, Modified Corn Starch, Tartaric Acid, Citric Acid, Titanium Dioxide, Yellow 6, and Red 4

Sour Patch Tropical Nutrition Facts (entire package):

  • Total Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 120mg
  • Total Carbs: 126g
  • Sugars: 108g
  • Protein: 0g

Vegan Candy – A List of the Best Ones Out There!

For vegans, being a sweet tooth can be difficult.

Finding vegan candy can be tough.

For one, gelatin is a common ingredient in most of your favorite candy. It gives that chewy, shiny quality to most gummy bears you see, for example.

However, did you know that gelatin is an animal product? Yes, it’s actually made from pigskin, cow hyde, and even some animal bones. While that certainly doesn’t sound appetizing, it has become a main staple of most candies that you know and love.

With chocolate too, most candy bars contain milk. So when vegans want chocolate, they have to stick to the dark stuff, which often times can still have traces of animal products.

Luckily, vegan candy is out there! There’s some awesome gummy and chocolate candy  that are free of animal products.

Here is a list of the best vegan candies that I know of:

Sour Patch Kids & Sour Patch Watermelon

Sour Patch Kids vegan candy
Eating kids is vegan? Sounds weird…

While eating “kids” doesn’t sound like it would be vegan, Sour Patch’s products all do not contain gelatin, which makes them free from animal products and vegan-friendly!

Already one of the best candies out there, there shouldn’t be any excuses left for someone not to have tried these!

Unreal Candy

Unreal Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Unreal Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups – No GMOs, Fair Trade Candy!

For our chocolate lovers, vegan candy bars can be hard to find. Luckily there are plenty of dark chocolate candies out there that do not contain animal products; the best (in my opinion) being Unreal Candy.

They have dark chocolate peanut butter cups, dark chocolate coconut peanut butter cups, and dark chocolate almond butter cups all of which are made with no GMOs and fair trade products. Each dark chocolate product they have is 100% vegan. but they don’t yet have official vegan certification. Apparently there’s “the potential for cross-contamination with dairy products on our production machinery” according to their website – just something to keep in mind.

Panda Licorice

Panda Black Licorice
Vegan friendly – Simple ingredients and no animal products!

If you are into licorice, Panda is definitely the choice for you. Available in both raspberry and original (black) flavors, the ingredients are simple and of course vegan. Non-GMO, no gelatin, no preservatives, no artificial flavors or colors – this candy is certainly a guilt-free one!

Swedish Fish

Swedish Fish
Swedish Fish are vegan? Go figure…

Yes, I know that fish is not vegan – I believe they call those pescatarians. That being said, Swedish Fish is an all time classic candy and has been doing it without gelatin since the 1950s. They recently gave their branding a new look, so maybe it’s time you tried this delicious vegan treat again!

* Any other good vegan candy out there? Leave them in the comments, so I can try them!

Tic Tac Nutrition Facts – Beware!

Have you ever noticed the Tic Tac nutrition facts? It’s shocking – they have 0 fat, 0 carbs, 0 sugar. According to these numbers, Tic Tacs are just as good for you as water. How do they do it!

They don’t – Tic Tac nutrition facts actually operate under a nice little trick! Let me explain:

Nutrition Facts Tic Tacs
Looks healthy but look again!

It comes down to the serving size. US federal regulations state that if a single serving contains less than 0.5 g of sugars it is allowable to express the amount of sugar in a serving as zero.

Because the Tic Tac is so small, they can put the nutrition facts as 0 because it’s nearly zero grams.

They’re still pure sugar, so buyer beware. They may appear harmless when you first look at them, but don’t be fooled – Tic Tacs are still candy disguised as a fun mint. Even the label on the front preaches that each Tic Tac “mint” is less than 2 calories.

Anyone who has even had the orange flavor Tic Tac knows that you don’t just have one. You are lucky if you don’t finish the whole container in one sitting. So it’s hard not to see this as deceiving.

I remember the first time I noticed the “healthy” Tic Tacs. I was on a road trip picking up candy at a pitstop (typical). Much to the disappointment of my girlfriend, I had my eyes on yet another candy that was bad for my health. “Why don’t you eat more healthy candy? Look at all the carbs and sugar in these!”

She wasn’t wrong. I had been consuming a lot of candy on the trip, so it was probably time that I toned it down. “Okay,” I conceded, “let me see what I can find here.”

For the next few minutes I searched the convenience store for something without so many carbs. Then I saw this on the shelf:

Tic Tac candy
Tic Tac : candy or mint?

I had remember having Tic Tacs when I was a kid. It was a mint that you could easily eat the entire box of – who even has the peppermint kind! It’s all about the orange Tic Tac! When I quickly checked the nutrition facts I thought I had discovered the secret to all my problems. No fat! No carbs! This is the magical candy I would eat for the rest of life and finally be healthy.

I bought them, but on further investigation on the roadtrip, the girlfriend and I came to a horrifying conclusion: it was all a lie.

Call it good marketing or call it deceitful, but Tic Tacs still have sugar in them (shocker) and they also contain yellow 6, rice starch, carnauba wax. So why was it that the nutrition facts say there is nothing in them, when there is clearly some harmful stuff?

Unless you are using Tic Tacs as actual mints, my recommendation to you is to stay away from them! There is much better candy out there, and you aren’t being “healthy” by eating Tic Tacs. You are just being dumb like I was!

 

Black Forest Organic Sour Heads

Black Forest Organic Sour Heads Review

Clearly, Black Forest wants to duke it out with Sour Patch Kids with their Sour Heads product (already kind of a ripoff name if you think about it). They don’t explicitly say it on the packaging, but they do call the candy a “sour n sweet soft and chewy candy”. Those who know sour candy like I do know that “first they’re sour, then they’re sweet” is the tagline for the aforementioned Sour Patch Kids. On first look, their packaging too implies that Black Forest is trying to take a bite out of Sour Patch.

Black Forest Organic Sour Heads

However, Black Forest’s Sour Heads do have something going for it that Sour Patch Kids does not – all of its ingredients are organic. Just look at the package – it’s on there twice!

Here’s what Sour Heads contain:

  • Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Potato Starch, Organic Lemon Juice Concentrate, Cornstarch, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Color (Black Carrot Juice, Carrot Juice, Turmeric)

Pretty good huh? It’s good to read the ingredients of your candy and actually know what is going into it. Another cool thing I noticed? No corn syrup, which is pretty common in pretty much any other sour candy you see at the grocery store.

While the Sour Heads are gummier than Sour Patch Kids, they make up for it those organic ingredients mentioned above. That being said, if this were a taste test, I would still probably have to go with Sour Patch Kids. I think that Sour Heads are more what the consumer is looking for in today’s candy world, but the flavors don’t pop much.

Black Forest Organic Sour Heads

The conclusion:

I think that with time, we could see Sour Heads get pretty popular. I just wish they weren’t so blatantly ripping off Sour Patch in their branding. It would be cool if they could be what they are – a good, organic sour candy. The pack I started with was their regular assorted pack (with flavors orange, lime, lemon, raspberry and fruit punch). Do those sound familiar?

Sour Heads even come in a watermelon flavor, which is obviously Sour Patch’s second most popular candy. C’mon now…

All in all, I would recommend this candy for sweet tooths out there looking for an organic alternative. Otherwise, I would stick with the classics!

Fun packaging touch:

The barcode is forest-shaped! See? They are creative. Why not make Sour Heads the Black Forest Organic Sour Trees or something like that?

Black Forest Organic Sour Heads Barcode

Unreal Candy – Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

The first time I heard of Unreal Candy, I was immediately intrigued.

The story of the company went viral after Tom Brady posted about the candy (and its message). For those who haven’t heard it before, Unreal Candy was impressively started by a 15-year old who was fed up with the way conventional candy was being made. Sick and tired of all the garbage ingredients (including corn syrup) in his sweets, he decided to make his own candy with only organic, non-GMO ingredients.

The results are fantastic and the hype is well-deserved. Unreal Candy tapped into something that is now true across the nation. People don’t want crap anymore – they want products with ingredients that they can get behind! Tom Brady certainly did – and now I am on board too.

As a candy addict, I admit that most of the stuff that I’m putting in my body is bad for me. While it makes me feel good in the short term, I know that long-term the effects can be hazardous. I’m trying to cut it out – but it’s certainly not easy.

Enough! How are the Unreal Peanut Butter Cups?

Getting off my podium for a bit, I find Unreal Candy to be delicious regardless of what’s actually in it. I tried the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups because the Coconut Peanut Butter Cups were not in stock. They have other flavors too that I will eventually get around to:

  • Candy Coated Milk Chocolate Peanuts
  • Candy Coated Milk Chocolates
  • Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
  • Milk Chocolate Crispy Quinoa Peanut Butter Cups
  • Dark Chocolate Crispy Quinoa Peanut Butter Cups
  • Dark Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter Cups
  • Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

For the peanut butter cups in particular, I was expecting something like a Reese’s ripoff; I was pleasantly surprised to find out that was not the case. Each bag of Unreal Candy contains 8 pieces of half-dollar sized peanut butter cups. Each of them are individually packaged too!

The chocolate and peanut butter both are of great quality. You can eat them guilt-free as the ingredients are fair trade. For dark chocolate fans, I highly recommend you go out and find these. They are at Whole Foods, but you can order a pack online direct from Unreal Candy or you can find them at about just any health food store!

So you’re saying Unreal Candy is unreal…

Overall, if you have a sweet tooth, but are looking for a more sustainable substitute, give these a try. These are by no means “healthy” and they still have a lot of sugar, but they are better than just about anything produced by Big Candy (taste included)!

A Traveler’s Guide to the Candy of Costa Rica

The candy I found while traveling around Costa Rica

When discovering any new place or culture, I find it important to look into what kind of candy they eat too. Whether you like sweets or not, it’s a small glimpse into what a given country is really like. Recently I went to Costa Rica and discovered what the Ticos eat when it comes to sweets. Here is what I found:

Costa Rican Chocolate

Costa Rica Candy - Chocolate Cacao

As you can imagine, chocolate is big in Costa Rica. Any “supermercado” you walk into is bound to have some of your standard American favorites. There are Snickers, M&Ms, Milky Way. Mars is an international company and you can find them just about anywhere, so this is far from surprising.

Also far from surprising is the presence of heavy cacao chocolate bars. However, the majority of the bars are produced by small, artisanal chocolate makers – not international candy conglomerates.  When in Costa Rica, give one a try! You might be able to stumble onto a chocolate tour like I did.

Not only does it help local cacao growers by exploring chocolate tourism like this, but often they are far better than your normal candy bar. The one I tried, for example, was a 70% cacao with pink salt! You pay quite a bit more, but it’s better for the Costa Rican economy and probably better for your health.

Costa Rican Fruit

Another thing that Costa Rica is famous for is their fruit. Ticos are big on pineapple, papaya, banana and plantain (at least what I can judge from the breakfast buffets). However, if their delicious fruit isn’t enough for you and there is more to be desired, I recommend Choco Frutas.

I found them at a supermercado in Tamarindo but quickly found that they are readily available around the rest of the country. The packaging is fantastic – I mean there is a sloth on every box!

Costa Rica Candy - Choco Frutas

They come in 3 flavors too (at least which the ones I found) – all of which are very Costa Rican:

  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Banana

The packaging is one of the coolest that I have ever seen. It even has Pura Vida and the flag on the side of the box – just in case the sloth wasn’t enough!Costa Rica Candy - Choco Frutas

The candy consists of a very small piece of fruit covered in chocolate. Think of a Raisinette, but covered in a more exotic fruit – it’s a great snack on the go as you explore the wonderful volcanos, rainforests and beaches of Costa Rica.

The conclusion:

When in Costa Rica, eat sweets! It’s amazing how health-focused and environmentally conscious Costa Rica is in general. It’s reflected in their lifestyle, food, and most importantly…candy!

You can find the same old sweets that you can find anywhere so why not try something new in Costa Rica. The country and their candy selection is something to experience.