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M&M’S Chocolate Bar

M&M’s. Chocolate bar. Seems like a logical combination, assuming you enjoy cocoa confections. I’m a huge fan of M&M’s, and will try any product they put on the market without hesitation. Never really been left disappointed, M&M is one of the most solid brands in the candy industry.

So this bar? I’m not sure. It really isn’t all that special. What you have is a milk chocolate candy bar, with M&M Mini’s dispersed throughout. The Mini’s really only add a bit of texture; the candy coating doesn’t really make an appearance in the flavor profile. The chocolate bar and M&M’s are not different enough to notice any contrast.

I think the product would have been better on a different type of bar. White chocolate perhaps? Or maybe use another variety of the famous M’s. I think the slightly saltier peanut-butter version would have been a much better choice, and would have left me with a lot better taste in my mouth. Or at least a lot more memorable taste.

Going with a ‘Meh’ for the M&M’S Chocolate Bar. There is not anything wrong with it, it’s just underwhelming. When I see that logo, I’ve come to expect greatness, and all I received was a mediocre chocolate bar. To top it off, this will most definitely melt in your hands. Sorry M&Ms!

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-Jeremy Hobbs

Twisted Tea Original

Any long time reader of  The Consumer’s Corner (all 3 of you!) knows that I have a particular disdain for beer. There will be beer reviews available here, but I won’t write them. Those articles will be subbed out to friends who have significantly more experience with the bubbly brew, or I’d be completely skipping over one of the largest markets in all of consumerdom. Not going to happen.

What I love to drink are beer strength (5%ish alc/vol) beverages that actually taste good, much like Twisted Tea. Except for the most virgin of palettes, I think everyone would agree that Twisted Tea offers one of the smoothest, tastiest, and easiest to drink alcoholic beverages on the market. The flavor of  Twisted Tea ‘Original’ is simple and to the point; sweet (but not too sweet) tea, a drop of lemon, and a barely noticeable bite. Again, it’s super smooth.  Refreshing as well.

This review probably isn’t news to some of you; apparently this is a pretty successful product that has flown under my radar for quite some time. Just tossing this up for other poor, clueless souls like myself. Now that it has my full attention, I’ll be sampling as much as I can from the rest of ‘Twisted Tea’ portfolio. Available in sizes ranging from 12 ounce glass, all the way to keg-in-a-box, they all get a big ‘Yea’!

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–Jeremy Hobbs

Centrum Flavor Burst Mixed Fruit

My diet is terrible, and I freely admit that. Unlike my editor/fiance Kat Graham, a pescatarian, I will cower in fear at the thought of eating almost any vegetable. I’d much prefer to eat animals that are (um… were?) vegetarians. This trait of mine, unhealthy as it may be, isn’t changing anytime soon, so taking a vitamin supplement is part of my daily routine.

A couple of years ago, every supplement company on Earth began making decently flavored gummy vitamins. Made a lot of sense; if it’s not so torturous to consume their products, people might take them more regularly, resulting in a boost in sales. I’m a bit too lazy to go nosing around for sales figures, but judging by the explosion of options now available, my guess is that this strategy is working out fairly well.

Centrum did something a little different with Flavor Burst. These have a chewy texture, a lot like what you’d find in chewy Sweet Tarts, or Shock Tarts. Hard outer shell filled with yummy goodness. Per bottle, at least in the Mixed Fruit variety, you get three flavors which I can only assume are cherry, grape, and blueberry. I could be wrong, but I’m close enough.

Flavor Bursts taste great. I can see me eating them as candy; they have that nice sweet/sour mix that I really love. All three are more than palatable. I prefer the red ones, but your results may vary. They taste less like vitamins than some other things I’ve sampled lately, and for that I tip my hat to those at Centrum that made Flavor Bursts possible. They get a ‘Yea!’ and will be my supplement of choice for a while. Be on the look out for a review of other flavor combinations in the near future.

Official Site

-Jeremy Hobbs

Ruffles Flame Grilled Steak Chips

A grilled slab of dead cow can be one of the most delicious, flavorful things one can eat. As a side dish, most steak eaters prefer having some form of potato, be it fried, baked, or mashed. The term ‘meat and potatoes’ didn’t just accidentally appear in our vernacular. Frito Lay has tried to take advantage of this, introducing a limited edition flavored Ruffles chip, ‘Flame Grilled Steak.’

Combining the flavors was solid logic, and I was easily convinced to grab them as an impulse buy. The delicious looking cut of beef on the bag reeled me in.  Upon opening the bag, I was greeted by powerful, but pleasant aroma of smoke. I was brought back to a happier time of grilling out with the family, instead of eating out of a box like I do now.

But, alas, my bubble went bust upon first bite. These reminded me more of a potato marinated in liquid smoke, then crinkle cut and fried up to be served to unsuspecting steak lovers. Sure, they’re edible, and I had no trouble downing the bag, but Ruffles Flame Grilled Steak chips probably won’t find their way into my cart again. Your results may vary. Solid ‘Meh.’

Official Site

-Jeremy Hobbs

Rockstar Super Sours Bubbleberry

I saw this in the cooler while doing some market research for The Consumer’s Corner (a.k.a. ‘going to the store’). I’m a major fan of energy drinks, by themselves or used as mixers for cocktails. The bite is just different from regular sodas, and they make me feel good. Another thing–I also have a great appreciation for is sour candy: Sweet Tarts, Nerds, sour gummy worms, etc. So grabbing a can of Rockstar Super Sours Bubbleberry was a no-brainer; this was going to be my new favorite energy drink.

In a word? No. The first sip tastes very bitter. Hear me out, bitter and sour are very different flavors. Bitter is like biting into a non-chewable vitamin. In fact, ‘vitamins’ was my response at first taste. That nastiness eased off after a sip or two once my palette adjusted, but ‘ewww’ is not what any company wants a consumer thinking when they taste their product.

Even after the adjustment period, I was not inspired to go in for seconds at all. I’ve been very impressed by the Rockstar line in the past (‘Punched’ is my go to energy drink) but Supersours Bubbleberry left me disappointed, and two dollars poorer. Going to have to give this one a ‘Bleh!’ Sorry Rockstar.

Official Site

-Jeremy Hobbs

Cup Of Joe

This review isn’t so much for a product, but a wonderful idea. To tell the truth, I don’t remember how I discovered the ‘Cup Of Joe’ program, but I think it’s really amazing, and I wanted to spread the word.

I have enough friends in the military to form a decent sized militia. Knowing them all very well, male and female, I can’t imagine any of them getting all that excited if they received a letter from a random pen pal, no matter how great the intention was. I applaud the organizations that offer said pen pal services, and I’m sure our troops appreciate the communication, but Cup Of Joe goes a step beyond that. You can express your appreciation not only with words, but a friendly token. Gourmet style coffee, just like they order at home from their neighborhood Starbucks.

When I’ve written, I’ve kept it brief and generic, and honestly never expected a reply. My admiration for them runs so deep, I didn’t feel as if I deserved one. They’ve always written me back though, and it’s a cool feeling seeing that message on your screen. For $2, I’m able to correspond with a real hero, and given them a few moments of enjoyment. What bigger ‘Win!’ is there? Also, browse the store, and learn about the company, Green Beans Coffee. You can grab some amazing products. They do some really great work with the profits. Big ‘Yea!!’

Official Site

–Jeremy Hobbs

Nestle Crunch Caramel & Coconut Girl Scouts Candy Bar

It was a terrible disappointment for me to miss out on my annual binge on Samoa Girl Scout Cookies (now boringly named ‘Caramel & Coconut’ because America has become too politically correct for its own good). I could just never find myself in the vicinity of a Girl Scout at the right time and place. Every year I’ll buy three to four boxes, and happily gain a pound or two. I’ve been known to down an entire box in one sitting. Don’t judge me.

Then, like a vision beamed down straight from God Himself, I saw a commercial for limited edition versions of my beloved cookies, only they were in candy bar form, and part of the Nestle Crunch line. To say I was intrigued would be a gross understatement. Picking one up as soon as possible made my to-do list.

It is amazing how accurate the flavor was. I’m typically impressed with Nestle products, but I admit I was a bit skeptical. All skepticism ceased as soon as I took a bite. Endorphins flooded my brain, and a smile spread from ear to ear on my face. Then I figured I better pay for the thing before I was arrested for shop lifting.

The texture is more Crunch than Scout, but the flavor is all that you would expect had a cute kid in a green dress had handed it to you herself. Should you try one yourself? Yea!!!

Official Site

-Jeremy Hobbs

Nestle Crunch Thin Mint Girl Scouts Candy Bar 

Nestle Crunch Peanut Butter Creme Girl Scouts Candy Bar