I know we can’t always have amazing new additions to product ranges, but it has struck me that over the last few months we have seen some very low effort items. Products that are re-hashes, repackages or just completely lacking in imagination, not the best for Foodstuff Finds. I thought I’d give a quick rundown of the top five worst offenders.
5) Limited Edition M&M's - Meet Mrs Brown
These were released in the UK to coincide with Independence Day. That is a bit weird here in the UK when you think about it, but that hasn't influenced them appearing on this list. What has is the phrase Limited Edition and the only difference being a change in the colour of the shells. They are regular milk chocolate M&M's but the shells are red, white and blue. Wow. That must have taken all the imagination at M&M's UK head quarters. It's a shame they don't talk to their colleagues at M&M's headquarters in the USA where they have released Roasted Almond, Dark Chocolate Mint, Birthday Cake and various other flavoured M&M's. But hey there is a competition on the bag to win a trip to the States so at least one person purchasing them can try out the amazing flavours from over there. I made a quick trip to the import store and found:
4) Snickers & Hazelnut
Okay I reviewed this bar a little while back and if you read that you will see that I liked it. I did, chocolate, hazelnuts, soft nougat and caramel - what is not to love? It was only afterwards when I had a few emails that I realised what had happened. Chocolate, hazelnut, caramel and soft nougat is a really good combination, so good it is already available on the shelves and called a Topic bar. Both Topic and Snickers Hazelnut are made by Mars, I see what you did there! Again imaginations working over time.
3) Asda New Jaffa Cake Flavour Spread
This product is a very desperate attempt to make Asda's new spread sound more exciting than it is. I made a special trip to try this Asda Jaffa Cake Spread after I heard about it. There have been a few fab biscuits spreads recently and I thought this might well be another one. It isn't, after purchase I realised that it made no real attempt to be Jaffa cake flavoured, there was no correlation at all with the spongey biscuits, just a note saying it was just chocolate orange flavour. Would I have travelled across the city for a chocolate orange spread; no, of course not, thats not exciting. Did I feel conned, yes.
2) Twinings Spicy Chai Tea Bags
I have mentioned this before on the blog, and frankly the anger bubbling inside me isn't healthy, so I'll let it out once again and then try to move on. I have bought the 50 bag boxes of Twinings Chai for years. Special offers aside they used to cost £2.75 for a box of 50, so 2 boxes of 50 (100 bags) for £5.50 - my monthly purchase.
This "new" Spicy Chai has an almost identical ingredients list to that original Chai which has now been discontinued. This new Spicy Chai costs £2.49 for a box, which isn’t very fair at all as the new box only comes with 20 bags. So to buy 100 bags the price has increased from £5.50 to the ridiculous £12.45. Did I mention the ingredients list are almost identical. Not sure how they justify the nearly £7 increase on my monthly stash but i've sadly had to dump the brand. I cant afford them any more.
"In relation to the cost of tea production, the cost of buying, producing and selling tea has increased over the past few years. We always make every effort to ensure we do not pass these costs onto our tea drinkers. However, on some occasions, to ensure we can continue to sell our teas, we need to charge more."
The generic sounding response makes it sound they added 10p to my monthly purchase not £7.
1) New Cheetos Twisted Flamin' Hot flavour
Credit to Spectre for spotting this one. Cheetos are a big thing abroad. When I heard the brand had, finally, launched in the UK I went off to find some bags. Spectre said they seemed familiar, and I thought he'd probably just had some from import shops. No it turns out they were familiar as they are virtually identical to Smiths Twisted Flamin’ Hot, both in shape and flavour. Funnily enough again the ingredients lists are suspiciously similar, but the fact that they are both made by the same Walkers owned companies screams laziness and anticlimax.
I feel I should mention that although these products have been rather lame as "new" releases, I do acknowledge we have had some good things too appearing on the shelves. To balance things up I will write my top five best items as well, so watch this space.