It's been another enjoyable year of reviewing new and limited edition products with quite a few gaining my highest rating of 10 out of 10. So it's time to look back and choose my favourite products, and reviews, from the past 12 months.
Let me know in the comments below what you would choose as your top picks of 2014! Click on the product name to view the original review.
It was actually quite hard to choose the overall winner here as I don't feel I found any lasting favourite chocolate this year. The Lindt Hello My Name is Salted Caramel, however, is an extremely tasty chocolate and easily got a 10 out of 10 rating from me, just by being so delicious. Other chocolates I enjoyed this year were the new Beech's Fine Chocolate Bars and the awesome Milka Champiolada (see below).
If it was purely based on the popularity of the review, I would be awarding this to the Tesco Custard Cream Spread. However, that wasn't my favourite spread of the year, and the only one to get a 10 out of 10 rating was this spiced treat from Hotel Chocolat. It has such a gorgeous combination of rich chocolate and warming spices. For a more budget friendly choice, I also have to mention the gorgeous Lidl Deluxe Coconut Spread. I reviewed it for the first time this year but it's not actually a new product for 2014 - otherwise it would have won this category for sure!
BEST HEALTHY SNACK:
This was an easy winner to choose and I just had to mention this new Nakd Christmas Pud bar in my best of 2014 round up. I've always been a fan of the Nakd raw fruits and nuts bars, and the Christmas Pud variety just has an added hint of cinnamon and spices that makes it absolutely delicious. Special mention also goes to the Creative Nature range of superfood snack bars.
Apologies for choosing an international product for this category but this German limited edition Haribo Happy Cola Cherry Edition were by far my favourite sweets of 2014. I hope they release these in the UK in the future.
I wasn't totally sold on the idea of Coke Life when I first reviewed it back in August. However, I have to admit that since then it's become one of our favourite types of soft drink. It's lighter than regular Coke and more refreshing than the diet stuff. Even though I don't often buy fizzy drinks this is the one I would choose if it's available. Other new drinks I've enjoyed this year are the gorgeous Cawston Press Sparkling Drinks and the Starbucks Mocha Coconut Frappuccino.
Tesco had a great new range of instore bakery cookies, especially in their popular chocolate bar inspired biscuits! I also enjoyed their recent Mince Pie Cookies too. I must also mention these Pocky Bear Milk Cocoa biscuit sticks, just because this was one of my favourite reviews to write this year - I just love how cute they are!
Many of you will know that I'm a coconut fanatic so I couldn't resist including this limited edition World Cup chocolate from Germany here. It had a creamy milk chocoolate base with a gorgeous coconut flaovur and added coconut flakes. I'm still dreaming about this one! A very close favourite for Best International was the Sakura Matcha Kit Kat from Japan. Other international products that I enjoyed were the Japanese Meiji 70% Banana Bar and the Bakeable Kit Kat chocolate bars!
Not so much for the flavour, even though it was very tasty, but mainly because of how awesome it looked, especially for the price. A few of my favourite cakes in terms of flavour were the M&S Pineapple & Coconut Cake and the Mr Kipling Gingerbread Whirls. By the way, I'm not including any category for "BEST DESSERT" as I realised I've only actually reviewed ONE dessert this year (the M&S Salted Caramel Cheesecake). Note to self: eat more desserts in 2015!
I reviewed this all the way back in January. The Müller Light Greek Style range of yogurts are the brand I buy the most and the Mango variety is my favourite flavour. I also enjoyed the new Danio Mini sizes and the Liberté Strained Greek Style Peach Yogurts.
Overall I think 2014 was quite a weak year for new crisps, I actually struggled to find anything to win this category, so in the end I had to pick a flavour I've only tried once but really enjoyed - the Walkers Deli Flame Grilled Spanish Chorizo with Roasted Onions. The promotion earlier in the year for the Walkers Do Us A Flavour competition, with six new crisp flavours, certainly didn't yield any favourites for me, although I did quite like the Hot Dog with Ketchup flavour. If you have any suggestions for best crisps this year then let me know in the comments below!
BEST ICE CREAM:
It might seem like a strange choice but this has been our favourite family ice cream by far and the one that I've bought the most this year. Other ice cream favourites in 2014 were the Cornetto Chocolate Intense from earlier in the year, and also the more recent Asda Loaded Gingerbread Fudge. Also worth a mention is the Ben & Jerry's Satisfy My Bowl - it was great to see a new banana flavoured ice cream from Ben & Jerry's.
I hope you've enjoyed this round up of 2014 reviews. I'll be back tomorrow with the TOP TEN Grocery Gems Reviews of 2014 - a run down of my most viewed posts of the year. All the best to everyone for 2015 :)