Friday, February 3, 2023

Coca-Cola Tic Tacs

Six years. That's how long it's been since I posted a Tic-Tac review. It was the 2017 Minions re-release, because they were finally banana-flavored. (The 2015 version was passion fruit for reasons I will never understand.) So to say, "It's been a minute," would be an understatement. 

Like most millennials I grew up with a pack in my pocket, and pretended they were medicine, a totally normal and healthy thing for a child to do. But as the early 2000's obsession with all things minty-fresh ended, I found myself reaching for them less and less. It's time to check in and see what they're up to. 

Apparently, their latest offering is this collaboration with Coca-Cola. A new flavor for the States, but it's actually old-news. Germany and most of Europe had this back in 2019. I've heard good things, so I'm excited to try it firsthand. 

There are two sizes available, the small classic packs (rectangular with 60 candies) and these large pill-shaped ones (with 200.) I'd really hoped to get the smaller pack, but it was no where to be found. Only these big boys, so, I committed. Hopefully that doesn't burn me later. 

Size-wise, I can see the appeal. Bigger pack means more candy. And the fact that it's shaped like a giant Tic-Tac is not lost on me, but 200 seems like a lot. Unlike normal Tic-Tacs, with their minty breath-saving properties, these are just candies without a second purpose. It feels weird to walk around with so many of them. It's like, walking around with the large sack-style-bags of Skittles or m&m's. It makes it sound like I have a full pharmacy in my purse. Or a pair of maracas. (Not sure which one would be weirder.) 

I'm also not a fan of the plastic labeling. I understand it's for safety reasons but, to open it, you need to peel away half the artwork, and it looks messy. I prefer the sticker/tape of the classic boxes. Though torn, it always maintained all the packaging info. ("Back in my day, Tic-Tacs were only sold rectangles!" I screech at the clouds, like the old woman I am inside.)

Opened, the candies are white with little red imprints. There are three variations, the classic "Coca-Cola"-logo, a simple, "Coke," and a red silhouette of the iconic bottle shape. Cute, and well branded. 

Not much of a smell, so nothing to report there. I popped a few into my mouth (can anyone eat just one?) and the flavoring is both what I expected, while still being surprising.

I assumed these would taste like Haribo's Happy Cola gummies: citrus-forward, slightly flat, not-quite-cola, but cola-like. And I was right. There is a bright lemony start, with some caramel flavoring following soon after, but it's also minty. It's the minty-ness that is throwing me off. 

Not quite candy-cane mint, more-so the artificial sweetener kind of mint. The same aftertaste that pops up with fruity Tic-Tac flavors, like classic orange. 

Looking at the ingredients, this is made with actual Coca-Cola, or more likely, the concentrated syrup, but due to the lack of carbonation in candy, and the added artificial sweeteners, it comes across a bit different than other cola flavored sweets. I would liken this more-so to Diet Coke than anything else, but my Diet Coke drinking coworker said it tasted more like lemon and not coke-like at all. 

I would say it's recognizable, but off. Like a flat, house-brand, diet-cola. I've eaten a dozen while typing up this post, and I still don't know how I feel about it. After so many candies, my tongue is slightly tingly, an interesting sensation, and the more I ate, the more that minty aftertaste built up. Can't say I love that. But I don't dislike these either. 

It's certainly interesting, but I don't think I would repurchase this flavor. (Especially not in the large pill-size.) Sorry Tic-Tacs, I guess these aren't for me. But I'm still excited to see what comes next. 

Fans of this would also like:
 Banana Minion Tic-Tacs, Passion Fruit Minion Tic-Tacs, Scary Sweet Tic-Tacs, Tic-Tac Mixers, or Bomb Pop Tic-Tacs (one of my favs!) 

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