Monday, December 28, 2020

Lidl's take on Skittles - Worth the Buy?

Sweet & Sour Crunchy & Chewy Candy - Lidl

Chocolates are easy to copy. I have seen variations of peanut butter cups from pretty much every store out there from big chains to mom and pop's, tons of candy bars that look an awful lot like Snickers, but aren't, and I have even seen plenty of takes on m&m's, but fruity candy? That's harder to dupe. 

There are a few exceptions, like gummy bears, which are available from tons of brands, but how often do you see a knock-off Skittles? 

I have seen a few faux Starburst over the years, but something that this closely matches Skittles is so rare. They even have 3 of the same flavors as Original Skittles, and it comes in normal and sour flavors. How will these compare? 

The bags are similar to the larger, resealable, bags of Skittles sold in stores, but we only get 4 flavors, not 5, in each mix. 

Sweet consists of: blackcurrant, lemon, strawberry and orange. So 3/5 flavors are exact Skittles dupes, with black currant replacing grape (which is actually how Skittles were sold overseas back when I was in London in 2004) and no sign of green apple or lime. Let's jump right in!

(yellow) - Does it taste the same? Actually, no. Not at all. While distinctly lemon, this is nothing like the zesty lemon flavor of classic Skittles, this is sweeter, creamier, and very similar to lemon Italian ice. It's good, but I rather have normal lemon Skittles. Still, it's a nice addition to the bag and blends nicely with the other flavors. 

Orange (orange) -  Another Skittles dupe that just isn't quite right. Again, this lacks zestiness. It's good in it's own right, and rather creamy, giving it an orange creamsicle like taste, but I miss the bright zesty flavor of original Skittles.

Strawberry (pink) - A dusty rose color, instead of Skittles classic red, and the flavoring is (again) so different. This is a creamy pudding-like strawberry. It's artificial, and a little floral, but if this was marketed as a strawberry milkshake flavor, it would probably be very successful. Strawberry is my favorite Skittle in the original mix, and I love mixing it with lemon, but doing that same combo here is rather one-note, since both flavors are so creamy and sweet. It almost ends up tasting like those foamy gummy marshmallows. 

Blackcurrant (red) - Finally something a little different. It's been so long I can't quite remember what real Black currant Skittles tasted like, but I don't think it was quite like this. This is a deep, slightly tangy, berry flavor. It teeters between lingonberry and raspberry. Kind of Swedish-Fish-y. It's the boldest, and tangiest, flavor in the mix and a really welcome change of pace as the three other flavors are so sweet and creamy. I personally like mixing this one with lemon the most.  

Next up, sour
, which has the exact same colors as sweet, but with different flavors. I really thought there would be a shade of difference, or a sandy coating, or something, but these are 100% identical. If you ever mixed the two there is absolutely no way you could ever tell them apart aside from eating them.  

Pineapple (yellow) - It's tangy, and tart, and recognizable, but also kind of...foamy? I think it's better than any Skittles take on tropical flavors I've ever had, but it just isn't something I reach for. Something about it tastes slightly off, but I can't quite put my finger on it. Maybe more-so like canned pineapple, with cream? The more you eat at once, the more sour things become, so if you like things more sour, definitely eat these 3 at a time.  

Mandarin (orange) - An odd choice for a sour mix, since I always think of Mandarin oranges as sweet. This flavor is far zestier than the Sweet mix's orange, and it has Ecto Cooler vibes for sure. This also has a fizzy foamy flavoring to it, but in this flavor, it works really well. So far this is actually my favorite flavor from both bags. It's zesty, tangy, and quite complex. An unexpected surprise. 

Raspberry (pink) - Another pleasant surprise. The flavoring is quite tangy, and a good balance of authentic with artificial. It's tanginess mixes really nicely with the Sweet mix's lemon for a raspberry lemonade. 

Cherry (red) - Wow, I somehow saved the worst for last. There is a lot going on here, a tangy sourness, a weird uncanny-valley cherry flavor that teeters on real tart cherries and throat drops, and a deeper black cherry after taste. I love cherries, especially dark ones, but this is just so...odd. Mixing it with other flavors, like lemon, almost hides all of it's more cherry-like aspects, making it taste more like a cherry Laffy Taffy. I found these to be a bit too much to eat on their own, but they paired really nicely with all the flavors from the Sweet mix. 

As far as a Skittles dupe is concerned, these have the texture spot-on, with the chewy centers and crispy sugar shells, but the flavors just aren't as successful or compatible.

The Sweet mix finds itself too creamy, and one-note, to be enjoyed on it's own, and even through the sour bag is better, neither one will truly ever replace Skittles. 

What these really offer is a unique amalgamation of sweet and sour flavors that is far better than the sweet/sour mixes Skittles has released. So they're not a direct dupe, but for what they are, they are rather enjoyable.

Suggestion: Treat yourself to a bag of sour candies and mix and match them with your normal Skittles for a new and interesting experience. 

Fans of these would also like: Sweet Heat Skittles, Zombie Skittles, Cauldron Skittles, America Mix Skittles, Skittles Desserts, or Skittles Orchards
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