Description. Ever since that ill-advised promotion 25 years ago during which the Mars Corp. asked America to vote on which color M would replace the staid but reliable beige, the M&M has become progressively more antic in its desire to be all candies to all people. Specialty colors, pretzel fillings, uncomfortable advertising campaigns that ask us not only to anthropomorphize these tiny edibles, but also to infer that they are sexually active — there is the whiff of desperation.
The candy-corn/white-chocolate M&M pairs that whiff with a much stronger literal one, of candied orange peel rolled in Nerds. Each M is between a classic and a peanut M in size; the colors follow the stripes of a classic kernel of candy corn.
Packaging/Branding. Standard for the M&M family. Our AV technician failed to capture an in-focus shot of the package, but the front features the red M dressed in a candy-corn “costume” and looking too drunk to care what foolishness his overlords have forced him to promote this time. He may also be staggering under the weight of the 35% RDA of sat fats the single-serving package contains.
Description. A comparatively faithful rendition of Sanrio’s most ubiquitous character, the Hello Kitty Marshmallow Pop does hit a couple of uncanny-valley snags. Its in-packaging presentation implies that it is composed entirely of Christmas-cookie sprinkles, but this isn’t the cause of the unsettlement; rather, it’s the rodent-y placement of Kitty’s button nose, which never quite succeeds in three dimensions — and the nipple-y placement of Kitty’s shirt buttons.
Speaking of buttons, their texture may startle some consumers; they, and Kitty’s other “features” (her bow, whiskers, et al.), resemble button candy in both diamond hardness and dearth of flavor. Setting them aside for future messages to be written on glass is advised.
Description. A Nickelodeon-branded version of your standard gummi hamburger (if we can say that a “standard” gummi hamburger exists), derived, of course, from Sponge Bob Square Pants. The TV show is fun; the dense, rubbery, flattened blob masquerading as a stack of fast-food burger parts is not.
Packaging/Branding. Nickelodeon and the Frankford Candy and Chocolate Company have taken great care with the fonts and graphics on the exterior box, as well as the individual servings, each of which comes in its own plastic sleeve with a teeny serving tray — presumably to prevent the Patties from melting into a gelatinous massif. If only as much concern had been expended on the…
Description. A shockingly non-vile and genuine piece of candy — not what we expected from a cousin of the pathetically off-putting Chocletto. While the fecal-presentation problem is also present in the Walnetto, and to an even more troubling degree (…nuts; enough said), everything else is a marked improvement.
With that said, between the color, the nut hunks, and the unfortunate tendency towards…glistening at room temperature, the visual is extremely disgusting.
Packaging/Branding. The first sign that the depressing Chocletto experience is not to be repeated is the minuscule Diamond Walnuts logo on each Walnetto wrapper. The wrapper’s color scheme is an upgrade as well, not mistaking “institutional” for “classic” as the Chocletto’s does.
Description. Made by the Atkinson Candy Company (the Chick-O-Stick people), the RCB promises “PURE coconut for pure enjoyment!” What it delivers is rather more modest: the bar is hardly an entire rainbow, but a two-color top-of-a-tube-sock layout in glittery Strawberry Shortcake pink and off-white.
Packaging/Branding. A dissonant pairing of a gay-friendly rainbow and the sports-jersey style of font usually called something like “Gridiron” or “Rockne.”
Flavor Profile. The usual disclaimers for a coco-centric snack apply, but coconut lovers will find little to appeal to them, either. The white stripe is unobjectionable, although the texture — a densely Sour-Patch-esque gel cake with a hint of crunch — doesn’t match the taste profile. But the pink sections have an unpleasant pectin-y sourness; apparently, the idea is to replicate a berry of some sort. The…dingleberry, perhaps. Whatever the intent, the result is bilious and off-putting.
Habitat. Pride parades; pairs skate; tiki-themed office retreats.
Field Notes. Another effective route to a high BMI: the RCB contains 45% of the RDA of sat fats.
Revulsion Scale: 6
Description. How to pronounce the name of the airy chocolate bar? “Uno,” like the game? “You know,” as if eating the bar confers upon the consumer membership in an elite — albeit boring and fat-logged — secret club?
Our tester has chosen to go with “ooh…no.” The only discernible reason for selecting a chocolate novelty as dull as the U-No is the hope that its stratospherically high fat content will induce a stroke.
Packaging/Branding. A sleek silver wrapper and mid-century lettering belie the utter tedium of the product within.
The candy’s cheery attempt to spin its utterly uninteresting stale-pudding center as a delicate truffle is a deluded failure.
Description. Better known for the Mallo Cup, the Boyer Corp. didn’t have a completely terrible idea with the Butterscotch Smoothie, which aims to do for the peanut-butter/scotch pairing what Reese’s did for PB and chocolate.
Whether the pairing succeeds culinarily is almost beside the point, so distasteful is the visual presentation. All the butterscotch hues in the world — beige; caramel; camel — and the Boyer brain-trust selected a mid-aughts-Michael-Kors orange to coat the Smoothie. On top of that, the coating has chunks of peanut (we…hope) mixed into it. Add a crimped paper wrapper, and the whole affair looks like a vomit muffin.
Packaging/Branding. We would strongly suggest retooling the product to match up more closely with what appears on the package, as those Smoothies look reasonably attractive (not to mention, well, smooth). As it is, the label misrepresents everything about the product: the color; the texture; the proportions (and quality) of peanut butter to cup/coating.