Crunchkins - Walmart
Okay, this is a (relatively) new candy product a lot of people were excited about, but I (sadly) was not one of them.
From the second I saw the promo image for this product I felt like it was going to be a disappointment. Why? Look at those flavors! It seems like this is going to be another case of fancy flavor names that the product can't deliver. I mean, Birthday Cake and Fudge Brownie? Aren't those just fancy ways of saying "Chocolate" and "Vanilla?" But Glazed Donut? That one I wasn't sure about. My curiosity won out over my gut instinct. Lets see who was right, my gut, or my brain
The packaging has great colors, a fun layout, and lovely food illustrations, but something about it screams "Dollar Store" to me. I just can't out my finger on it. It might just be the overall concept. When bite-sized chocolate-based candies are flavored like complex desserts it never seems to end all that well. When Crunchkins were first announced I had flashbacks to those god awful Cupcake Bites I bought from the dollar store. Those nightmarish artificial sugar bombs were one of the worst candies I have ever eaten, and I still shudder when I see their box in the candy aisle, so maybe my personal bias influenced me too strongly. Maybe all my hesitation is completely unfounded and this candy will be absolutely amazing. I mean, I don't think that will be the case, but it IS a possibility. I should try to keep an open mind.
I opened the bag the the candies inside looks like mini malt balls with different candy coatings. They smell sweet like a white chocolate confection with a hint of cocoa and puffed corn or rice cereal, so far so good, but how do they taste?
Birthday Cake (white with confetti spots) - The outside coating feels m&m-like, more like a panned sugar shell than any kind of white chocolate, and as it breaks apart on my tongue the sweet vanilla white chocolate layer melts away into sugary vanilla-cake frosting. The flavoring on on-par with the waxy white stuff you get on grocery store cakes, and the center is...so weird! I expected malted milk ball but this was more like stale Captain Crunch cereal...but with the flavoring of Kix? It's corn-y, vanilla'd, and pretty interesting, but the texture makes this feel like it's stale or old when it's brand spanking new. Very odd, but far more authentically cake-like than I ever thought it'd be. Easily my favorite of the three, but that might not be saying much...
Fudge Brownie (brown with dark brown and white spots) - Same sugary texture but this time the chocolate flavoring is really low end. This is like dollar store quality chocolate flavoring, and the core tastes exactly the same as the birthday cake one. Not getting much brownie with this one, this is mostly a generic chocolate. Not great. Even cheap malt balls are better than this.
Glazed Donut (yellow-tan-dough color) This was the flavor I was most interested in and it did not disappoint. That outer sugary-layer I mentioned earlier gives this a really authentic glazed donut texture and the overall flavoring is sweet, vanilla-y, doughy, and artificial, but in a grocery store glazed donut kind of way. This isn't Krispy Kreme, but it's pretty on-point with a box of Entenmann's. Then we have the same generically crunchy core inside. Even though the overall flavoring impressed me at first, I can't say I enjoy it. I hate most grocery store doughnuts and pastries, so this authentic, but overly processed flavoring, just doesn't appeal to me. After eating a few for this review I didn't care to eat anymore.
Crunchkins have the potential to be a really fun product but, as of right now, they taste really cheap and processed. Safe to say, my gut was right. The Birthday Cake and Fudge Brownie flavors are little more than a glorified chocolate and vanilla, and the Glazed Donut, while innovative, just isn't snackable. I found myself feeling a little nauseous after eating several handfuls to write this review and I find the thought of eating more of these more of a chore than an treat. No candy should ever make you feel that way.
I wouldn't be surprised if you see these popping up in the dollar stores very soon and unless they undergo a drastic recipe change, I won't be repurchasing.
Saturday is my first ever Tasting Party, where I invite friends and family to come over and eat all the leftovers from my reviews and share their thoughts and this is one of the products on the menu! I'll update this with their comments and thoughts afterwards. Maybe they'll like it a lot more than I did.
© Maria Smith http://poison-and-antidote.netLike me on facebook to keep up with all my adventures!