Wonka Kazoozles – Strawberry Melon

I got this bag of Wonka Kazoozles as a free sample from the Nestle booth at Sweets and Snacks. It was strawberry melon-flavored “delickoricious chewy candy”. Delickoricious is a ridickoricious word.

I’m not sure how close my sample was to the final packaging, as it said “sales sample – not labeled for retail sale”, and though it claimed that it contained “2 strawberry ropes with watermelon filling”, my bag had 4. The bag itself was crackly, and its inner surface was reflectively shiny, like mylar.

The Kazoozles looked like red and green versions of my beloved filled licorice pencils and smelled like a bag of red fruit snacks. Each was about 6 inch long and softly floppy, so that its top half slowly bent over when I held it upright. Ridickoricious.

The candied red outside was stiffly chewy, similar to a Twizzlers but softer and less stick-in-your-teeth-y. It tasted of sweet fake berry with just a smidge of plasticky undertone.

The green center was a finely grainy fondant with the texture of dried up frosting. I didn’t get any watermelon flavors, candied or otherwise; it just tasted generically sweet to me.

As the Kazoozle’s chew continued, that sweetness intensified and brightened near the end. It wasn’t a super classy or fancy candy, but I enjoyed it enough.

It’s not quite the perfect replacement for licorice pencils – Kazoozle’s have a higher rope to fondant ratio than the fatly fondant-y pencils that I like – but it’s pretty good. An O. I’d give it an O+ if I could; it’s not quite at OM level.

Cybele from Candy Blog reviewed a different iteration of Kazoozles a few years ago. Hers look fatter and actually were 2 to a package.

Wonka Squishy Sploshberries Gummies

Wonka’s Squishy Sploshberries Gummies are yet another new addition to Wonka’s Edible Garden of gummies. These, too, were in my free 16 lb bag of Sweets and Snacks Expo preview goodies, courtesy of the NCA.

I thought they were just berry-flavored gummies with foamy bottoms, until I tried one and discovered that they were berry-flavored gummies with foamy bottoms and liquid goo inside!

I do believe that liquid goo is the “splosh” component of the name. Though it could also be the “squish”, I suppose.

The Squishy Sploshberries came in raspberry, goji berry, cloud berry (apparently that’s a real thing), and blueberry flavors.

The gummies were all varying shades of a honey/amber color with a white foam gummi bottom and a gooey liquid center.

The foam gummi sort of had the texture of marshmallows and just tasted lightly sweet and fruity, while the inner liquid was thick, a bit grainy, and powerfully sweet and fruity.

Cloud Berry, the flower-shaped one, was the lightest colored of the bunch and was more yellow than orange.

I have no idea what cloud berries are supposed to taste like, but Wonka’s gummi version of it was great! It tasted like sweet white grapes, what some candy makers call muscat flavored.

Goji berry was strawberry-like in shape. While it tasted somewhat like strawberry candies, I also got some seediness to that I usually associate with raspberry candies.

The actual raspberry gummi took that seediness and gave it more depth. This one tasted more deeply of raspberry than the strawberry did and was covered in lots of bumps to look like the bottom of a real raspberry.

Blueberry looked like a weird leaf or a bunch of berries on a vine. I was blown away by how well Wonka captured the distinct flavor of blueberries – the flavor is spot on. And delicious!

I really enjoyed the Squishy Sploshberries. They were uniquely flavored, with flavors that were powerful and well done, and I loved the added flavor injection and textural contrast of the inner goo. An OM.

Wonka Exceptionals Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate Bar

I have to admit, I had a beef with this bar even before I tasted it. Its name is too darn long – it’s annoying to type out “scrumdiddlyumptious!” So I’m shortening it to WESCB, for Wonka Exceptionals Scrumbdiddlyumptious Chocolate Bar.

Wonka Exceptionals is Nestle/Wonka’s new line of higher quality – and higher priced – candy bars. I got mine in my free 16 lb bag of Sweets and Snack Expo preview goodies, courtesy of the NCA.

The WESCB has “bits of scrumptious toffee pieces, crispy cookies and crunchy peanuts wrapped in milk chocolate.” It sounds pretty amazing but busy, which is also how I’d describe the crazy shiny purple packaging.

Inside, the bar was strangely segmented into different-sized pieces (mine came broken along one of the lines), each imprinted with the Wonka W. I actually like the lack of uniformity. Theoretically, you could break off an appetite-appropriate chunk.

The WESCB was packed full of bits and pieces. Peanuts were the most predominant flavor and scent contributor, almost tricking me into thinking that the bar had peanut butter in it. They brought a deep, roasty nuttiness and a lot of crunch.

The crunchy toffee bits cleaved cleanly and added some nice dark caramel notes, while the cookie bits added further crunch.

The milk chocolate bar had a thick melt, but it was so full of stuff that the melt was barely noticeable. On its own, the chocolate was a tad too sweet for my taste, though it was definitely a cut above plain Nestle chocolate.

While I liked the idea of the WESCB, I think it failed me in execution. There was way too much peanut flavor that totally overwhelmed everything else, losing the potential of the other flavor components. An O.

Wonka Whipped Wingers Gummies

Nestle’s been doing a great job of breathing new life into their Wonka lineup. While I haven’t loved everything that they’ve rolled out, I do love the creativity and imagination that’s gone into their new products.

I’m devoting this week’s reviews to the bunch of new Wonka products that I got in my NCA goody bag (sadly, I’m not heading to the Sweets and Snacks Expo [formally the All Candy Expo] tomorrow. Because I’m in Italy for a cognitive science conference. I know; my life is so hard).

These Whipped Wingers Gummies are “from Wonka’s Edible Garden,” which is a cute thematic (and psychedelic) tie-in for their new gummies. They come in four shapes – wasp, butterfly, dragonfly, and ladybug – and four flavors – pineapple, orange, watermelon, and tropical punch.

The shapes and flavors are not linked. That is, all shapes come in all flavors, and vice-versa. The gummy shapes were well-defined, with sharp etchings.

All of these gummies had a soft, creamy texture, which I take to be the whipped component. Unlike most other gummies, they were totally opaque.

Pineapple was yellow, mellow, and sweet. I wouldn’t have guessed that it was pineapple flavored, as it was rather generically sweet and fruity.

Orange was orange and had muted citrus notes. Watermelon tasted round and floral with a solid artificial watermelon candy flavor and a seedy, fruity finish.

Tropical punch doesn’t taste very punchy to me. Instead, I get the red fruitiness of strawberry, with maybe a little grape in there.

The Whipped Wingers were too lightly flavored for me. While I appreciated the idea and effort, I found them to be rather meh flavorwise because that added creaminess so diluted the fruitiness. An O.

Wonka Sluggles Gummies

I think Nestle deserves a prize for making a candy with a name that’s so much fun to say: Sluggles. Sluggles sluggles sluggles sluggles. And so friendly sounding! I wonder if that’s why the Snuggie caught on more than the Slanket, because the former was way more fun to say than the latter?

Tangent aside, these are a fairly new addition to the Nestle/Wonka line. I bought them at the same time as the Puckerooms, and both were released together as Wonka’s inaugural gummies.

Sluggles came in four flavors – orange, lemon, strawberry, and grape – and four shapes. I hereby dub them almost-snail, worm, stepped-on, and standard-slug. Like the Puckerooms, all the flavors came in all the shapes.

The gummies were soft and immensely sproingy, a textural combination that I find ideal for maximal chomping addictiveness.

Orange was blandly sweet with a zesty citrus aftertaste. Lemon managed a brightly zest lemon flavor but was more muted than I would’ve liked.

Strawberry and grape were both bland. The formal was floral and sweet, while the latter was mostly sweet with a grape-y finish.

Compared to the Puckerooms, these gummies were rather disappointingly mild. I loved the texture, but I wanted punchier flavors.

At least the shapes are fun, and sluggles is still fun to say. An O.

And finally, here are Cybele’s review and Sera’s take.

SweeTarts Hearts Gummis

When I was a kid, SweeTarts were my favorite non-chocolate candy. I loved them in the big coin-sized rolls; in the smaller, Smartie-like rolls; and, of course, in the little paper sleeves of 3 SweeTarts each that are still ubiquitous players in Halloween and Kiddie mixes.

It somehow totally escaped my notice that my favorite brand of compressed sugar candies has since been expanded to include gummies. I picked up a bag of heart-shaped SweeTart gummies in a post-Valentine’s Day sale.

The gummies came in classic SweeTart shades of purple, pink and purple+pink. It was two hearts melding to form one. D’awww/gag. While the shapes weren’t nearly as creative as other gummies in the Wonka line, they were cute and served their Valentine’s Day role well.

The chew was firm but not stiff. In other words, they didn’t immediately yield to my bite, but they didn’t put up much fuss either. Tiny grains of superfine sugar coated the gummies, adding a bit of textural grain (while also creating a mess when I spilled the bag).

To me, the two colors tasted the same: super grapey, with dark tannins. They tasted almost exactly like purple SweeTarts, except perhaps a tad sweeter and thus rounder.

I’d like to see them in a wider array of flavors, as a whole bag of identically themed gummies gets boring after a while. Still, I managed to snack through the ~70 gummi bag on my own, though it took a couple of weeks and quite a few episodes of House. An O.

Wonka Sour Puckerooms Gummies

I bought a bag of Wonka Sour Puckerooms Gummies on sale for just a dollar (along with a $1 bag of their new Sluggles Gummies, which shall be reviewed in the future). I hope the Puckerooms’ on-sale-ness doesn’t mean that they’re on the way out! I found them adorable, creative, and most importantly, tasty!

I love the bright, colorful, slightly psychedelic-hippy-ish packaging on these babies. And I love that, when Wonka chose to make a sour gummy, they thought outside of the cutesy animal box and went with cutesy fungi instead.

The mushrooms come in three shapes and three flavors, but the shapes don’t correspond to a specific flavor. In other words, all three flavors come in all three shapes: a pointy mushroom, and bulbous mushroom, and a mushroom-cloud-y mushroom (aka a bulbous mushroom with a little stretch to the stem).

The Puckerooms are really more sour than sweet – the white sour coating is basically sugar. The chew is soft but also quite sproingy, making them fun to chomp on.

Red is cherry. I expected the somewhat medicinal flavor of artificial cherry. Instead, I found it more reminiscent of Hawaiian Punch.

Purple is grape and tastes of deep purple or black grapes. It’s like grape juice concentrate. I’m usually not a purple-grape candy person, but these were actually enjoyable for me.

Yellow-and-orange is lemon-orange and is by far my favorite. The colors are pretty, and its clear citrus zesty notes brightly sing on the tongue.

You can really only go so far with mass-produced gummies, and I think Wonka’s made it to the pinnacle with their Puckerooms. The shapes are fun and the texture is spot on. My only critique is that I wish there were more flavors. Please? An OM.

Nerds Song Contest

From the folks at Nestle and Wonka, a Loss for Lyrics contest:

Wonka’s new candy, Giant Chewy Nerds, has the Oompa Loompas so excited they are at a complete loss for words! Willy Wonka has launched a nationwide contest in the search for a new song to describe Giant Chewy Nerds. The Oompa Loompas and Raven Symone have teamed up in Wonka’s Loss for Lyrics contest to help the Oompas regain their rhymes.

Teens can log on to WONKA.com starting July 21st through September 21st and upload videos of themselves and their friends singing witty, whimsical songs about the new Giant Chewy Nerds. The lucky winner of the Loss for Lyrics contest will be flown to Los Angeles to record his or her song with the assistance of Raven Symone!

Giant Chewy Nerds

This Easter, Nestle/Wonka introduced a new jelly bean: Nerds Bumpy Jelly Beans. The candy blog world pretty much raved about them (Candy Blog and Candy Addict were just two who gave them high marks). When I picked up a couple of bags in post-Easter sale season, I loved them too, but because they had already been so written about, I saw no need to add my voice to the chorus.

Until now, that is. Easter is all about rebirth – resurrection from a religious standpoint, spring and green things and baby animals from a non-religious perspective – and, fortunately for candy lovers, Nerds Bumpy Jelly Beans have been reborn as Giant Chewy Nerds (for the record, the Nerds Bumpy Jelly Beans I bought; the Giant Chewy Nerds were sent to me from Nestle). The Giant Chewy Nerds packaging may not be as cute without the bunny eared Nerds characters, but the candy itself is the same and just as addictive.

As Candy Addict Blog noted, these are ridiculously addictive. They have a soft jellybean inside covered with a thin, hard, bumpy, crumbly flavored Nerds shell. I really think it’s the textural contrast between the crunchy shell and the chewy inside that make these so darn hard to stop popping in your mouth.

Pink is strawberry, a sweet and fruity/floral flavor with a lightly sour tinge. Grape is artificial, grape-soda niceness. Green I thought was green apple (Candy Addict says its watermelon), which I found to be the weakest of the bunch. Too much sugary sweetness, not enough tart, fruity flavor. Orange was tart and tangy and orangey and delightful. The yellow lemon is my favorite of the bunch, a strong and bright lemon juice flavor that’s not at all floor-cleaner artificial.

These get an OMG from me. I personally think they could go even more sour or a little less sweet, but they’re deliciously addictive as is. While I’m glad that they’re back, I don’t think I would buy them again for purely selfish, lack of self-control issues, as it frightens me how quickly I can chomp through a bag of these. And then I feel ill and guilty. Incidentally, the sales rep who sent me these also included a bunch of SweeTarts in the package because she’d read about how I loved them. I have the same issue with SweeTarts in that I’ll eat too many at once and then will feel sick.