Sunday, July 2, 2017

Frosted Maple Bacon Pop-Tarts

Product circa: mid-2016

We're a bit past the bacon craze, aren't we?  Don't mistake what I'm saying for disappointment, however.

You bite, and the first seconds afterwards all you can taste is brown sugar, reminiscent of Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts, one of their most prolific varieties.  It's not nearly as sweet as you expect, probably to remind you that this aims to be a slightly savory product.

A few bites in, however, you'll notice something a bit more; I'd call it a "porky" flavor, not unlike fried pork rinds.  But disappointingly, there's no smoke, which is what would really make this product distinctive.  Upon leering at the ingredients list, I find that these Pop-Tarts have MSG added to them, probably for the meaty/umami flavor to make you think of bacon more.

In all, not bad at all, and a welcome change.

Pop-Tarts Frosted Maple Bacon:- Good
Original Pop-Tarts Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon(for comparison):- Great

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Mountain Dew Spiked Lemonades

Product circa: early 2017

Mountain Dew really can't seem to give up on its image that it's somehow related to alcohol.  These two "spiked" products now make up a trio of recent Dew products that specifically have to spell out on the packaging that they are non-alcoholic.

Otherwise, these look to be an honest effort on Pepsico's part.  Real sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup.  Real fruit juice added.  No artificial sweeteners.  Let's crack them open and get to sippin'!

Upon tasting, "sour" is the first term that might waft into your mind, or rather, smack you in the head.  The third ingredient in this product is citric acid, the fourth is a lemon juice concentrate, and the fifth is prickly pear juice.  The prickly pear is unnoticeable, but the raspberry pleasantly comes through in the Raspberry Lemonade.  Surprisingly, the regular Spiked Lemonade is better.

The balance is a little off, and the considerable tartness prevents you from tasting quite everything.  It's almost as if this stuff needs a bit more sugar... wait a minute... <looks harder at the ingredient list>

Sigh.  Let it be known that Mountain Dew Spiked is slightly bamboozling you here.  Because of the existence of Stevia, consumers need to be aware that "No Artificial Sweeteners" no longer means "No 0-calorie Sweeteners."  Spiked has both sugar and Stevia, and my taste buds suspected it from the first sip.

Maybe I'm biased, but it's my opinion that consumers can be divided into two groups on this subject: those who like 0-calorie sweeteners, and those who do not.  I don't think combining sugar and Stevia into one product magically bridges the gap between both market segments.

Everything from children's cereal, to baked goods, and now to soft drinks are using sugar-Stevia combinations to bring down calorie counts, and that's fine.  But what's not fine is not conspicuously labeling the addition of 0-calorie sweeteners.

Mountain Dew is choosing not to do that, and while it may increase the number of first time buyers, I bet it will decrease repeat buyers.  Buyers like this guy.

Mountain Dew Spiked Lemonade:- Good
Mountain Dew Spiked Raspberry Lemonade:- Passable

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Filled Cupcake Oreo

Product circa: 2016

At first glance these seem almost satirical, as Oreo has been known to do.  However, Oreo has also taught me to not judge the cookies by the marketing, and so down my gullet they go!

The first bite would indicate that they don't taste much different than the original chocolate creme Oreo version.  After a cookie or two you finally notice that there's something different with the creme; for me, it somehow had a more noticeable hit of vanilla, maybe?

Anyway, if you open the cookie sandwich and examine the creme, you'll find the center has a whipped cream-like dollop.  The texture is different and it tastes great, but I think you'll lose all that between the thick creme and crunchy cookie.

Filled Cupcake Oreo:Great

Original Oreo(for comparison):- Great