25 Mar 2016

Spotted Instore: Easter at Marks & Spencer

I've been meaning to post these photos for ages but I hope they're still useful for anyone who's left their Easter shopping until the last minute. I was in my local M&S yesterday and they still had most of these products available (actually all apart from the Disney ones). I realise some people are eating Easter chocolates already but I'm a bit of a traditionalist so for me it isn't time for chocolate eggs until Easter Sunday!

Percy, Penny & Piglets - £10.00p (above): This one is so cute, from the pigs holding hands to the bright packaging! There are two medium shaped chocolate characters and a bag of Piglets sweets too. 

The Orange Carrot - £6.00p: A large carrot shaped white chocolate, orange flavoured egg. This is such a simple idea but it's still a very striking looking egg.

M&S Hen House - £10.00p: This one is really cute too - although it's a bit pricey for the size. It's a white and milk chocolate hen house with hollow milk chocolate chicks. 

M&S Eggsplosion - £6.00p: This is a fun and colourful new Easter egg from M&S. It features two of their new Crazy One chocolate bars with a matching medium egg containing popping candy and popcorn.

Star Wars R2D2 - £7.00p: The Disney tie-in Easter eggs are just perfection this year. This R2D2 is a medium sized milk chocolate figure and is fully detailed and decorated with white chocolate highlights. 

Disney Frozen Arundelle Castle - £8.00p: This white chocolate castle is so pretty. I love all the little details and the blue colouring for the turrets and door. Perfect for any fans of the Disney Frozen movie.

Spiketail The Dinosaur - £6.00p: Again, this is such a gorgeously detailed chocolate figure, even though this dinosaur is menacing rather than cute! I love the fact that it comes with speckled 'dinosaur eggs' too. 

Colin the Caterpillar, Colin's Apple - £8.00p: How cute is this? My kids are far too old for this one but it would be my number one choice for any younger kids. The large milk chocolate apple is decorated with a green leaf on top and holes for the caterpillar jelly sweets. 

Chirpy Charlie Chick - £12.00p: A large white chocolate egg. This one looks quite simple and plain so I'm not sure why it's so expensive. 

Beehive Honeycomb Egg - £8.00p: I love the fact that so many of the M&S Easter eggs are not actually egg shaped. This one features a whole beehive shaped chocolate with chocolate bees and  8 smaller eggs filled with Scottish honey. 

M&S Coffee Lovers Egg - £8.00p: Of course M&S also has a range of elegant, grown up Easter eggs too. I'll be honest I find the brighter, fun ones much more interesting! This Coffee Lovers Egg is certainly majestic looking.

M&S Single Origin Cocoa Pod - £12.00p: A distinctive chocolate that is shaped as a giant cocoa pod. It's a hand painted dark chocolate made with cocoa from the Dominican Republic. 

M&S Sculptured Column Egg: Not sure on the price for this one. It's more of a traditional looking Easter egg but with a sculptural twist. I like the gold decoration and the fact that the chocolate looks super thick!

M&S A Constellation of Assorted Eggs: M&S has an awesome range of space themed Easter eggs. This constellation set is my favourite Easter product I've seen so far and the whole reason I'm even doing this post (I couldn't find any photos of it online!). It's an assortment of hollow and filled eggs featuring milk, white and dark chocolates. I'll hopefully have a review soon. 

M&S Saturn Egg with Marc de Champagne Chocolates - £18.00p: This egg is simply stunning! I actually would have been tempted to buy this one, despite the pricetag, if it was a different flavour. I'm not a fan of dark chocolate or Marc de Champagne so I was able to resist!

M&S The Giant Cosmic Egg - £40.00p: Funnily enough, the most expensive egg in the space-themed range, is also the least impressive to me. Yes, it's very large but each one in my local store looked quite ropey with half the smaller eggs falling out of their holes in the large egg. I much prefer the look of the previous two sets above. 

If you've tried any of these M&S Easter eggs then I'd love to know whether you enjoyed them in the comments below - thank you!

24 Mar 2016

Review: Tic Tac Popcorn

It's been a while since my last Tic Tac review but I couldn't resist this new special edition Popcorn flavour. It's certainly a surprising concept/product pairing! 

The actual flavour is very strange at first because it's almost like sucking on a sugary popcorn kernel - it's a mellow and sweet popcorn taste in one small candy. The popcorn flavour is surprisingly authentic, not buttery as such, but very sweet and quite 'toasty'. They're not minty at all but I liked the fact that the popcorn taste does give way to a more refreshing sweetness towards the centre. 

Grocery Gems Review: Limited Edition Tic Tac Popcorn Flavour

RATING: 7 out of 10.
Buy them again?: Yes.
Purchased: Local newsagent.
Price: £0.50p for 18g.

21 Mar 2016

New Instore: Tesco Free From Choc Stick Ices, Twix Spread & More

Thank you to Lucy W. who sent me all these great photos of her new finds this weekend.

Tesco Free From Choc Sticks: It's fab news that Tesco are expanding their Free From ice cream range. They successfully launched the Tesco Free From Strawberry & Vanilla Cones last year and have now added Free From Toffee & Vanilla Cones and Choc Sticks to the range. I've also seen online that there are Free From Fruit Splits available too. I'll be tracking these down soon! £2.00p at Tesco.

Eat Natural Bars: A new Apple, Ginger & Dark Chocolate flavour which looks very tempting! £2.00p at Tesco for box of three.

The Collective Dairy Choccy Orange: A big pot of Collective Dairy yogurt which features a dark chocolate infused with orange flavour. Available at Asda and Sainsbury's - £2.00p. 

Alpro Go On Blackcurrant Soya: A new alternative to strained yogurts from Alpro Soya. The Alpro Go On range is available in three flavours; Blackcurrant, Mango or Passion Fruit. I buy a lot of Alpro Soya 'yogurts' so I was really pleased to hear about this new range. I'll try to review these soon. Spotted at Asda.

Arla Protein Snack Pot: I can't find any information about these online but from the photo these consist of a portion of thick Arla yogurt with a crunchy topping. There are two flavours; Mellow Vanilla or Warm Ginger. £1.25p each in Asda.

Twix Spread: The latest addition to the Mars range of chocolate bar themed spreads turns the Twix bar into a chocolate and caramel spread. The range already includes a Bounty Spread and a Maltesers Spread so it makes sense that Twix was next. Available at Asda.

Bioglan Raw Bites: Lucy said she usually buys this brand in Holland & Barrett but she actually spotted this new Cacoa+Coffee+Coconut flavour in Tesco. This combination really appeals to me - it sounds delicious. £1.99p at Tesco.

A massive thank you to Lucy W. for all of these great finds and photos - she's an absolute star! If you spot anything new instore and fancy sending me a photo then let me know via email: grocerygems@gmail.com or Twitter: @grocerygems.

15 Mar 2016

Review: Nestlé Cheerios Cinnamon Oat Crisp

As a cinnamon fan (and someone who loves cereal) I was ridiculously excited when I heard about the new Cheerios Cinnamon Oat Crisp. There are not nearly enough cinnamon flavoured cereals in the UK! The Cheerios Cinnamon Oat Crisp is part of a new range from Nestlé of 'helps to reduce cholesterol' cereal that also includes a plain Cheerios Oat Crisp variety too.

Even though I'm a fan of cinnamon, I don't often buy Nestlé's Curiously Cinnamon cereal, it's just too sugary and I don't like the visible sugar that coats each piece. Thankfully, the new Cheerios Cinnamon Oat Crisp has a glazed cinnamon coating instead which makes it much more appealing to me. The cereal is made up of crunchy flakes made with wholegrain oats and crispy Cheerios hoops. Both have a deliciously strong and sweet cinnamon flavour that survives being covered in milk (and it my case, with yogurt). If you're a cinnamon fan then you definitely need to give this cereal a try!

Overall, this is a great new cereal and one I'll certainly be buying again. The only downside is the box is quite small for the price. 

Grocery Gems Review: Galaxy Golden Eggs

RATING: 8 out of 10.
Buy them again?: Yes.
Nutrition: Per 40g serving with 125ml semi-skimmed milk - 214 calories.
Purchased: Tesco
Price: £2.49p for 350g.

Degustabox February Review & £6 Discount Code

Degustabox is a monthly subscription service that promises to send out a big box of surprise foodie treats. I love the fact that there's always a mix of smaller brands alongside established household names and plenty of new products too!

Discount Code: BLDEG15

Each Degustabox costs £12.99 a month, which includes delivery, with no fixed contract involved. Degustabox have kindly provided my readers with a massive £6.00 off your next Degustabox, bringing the cost to £6.99 delivered. Enter the Discount Code: BLDEG15 

Here's a quick round up of all the products I received in the February Degustabox:

Ritz Crisp & Thin: These are oven baked potato snacks that are great for snacking and dipping. They're available in several different flavours and luckily for me I received my favourite; the Sea Salt & Vinegar. Check out my previous review of Ritz Crisp & Thin

The London Crisp Company: This may just be the most hipster packet of crisps I've ever seen. Hand-cooked in the heart of the capital, each flavour features a different London scene and vibe. There's Shoreditch inspired Cheese & Onion, Greenwich inspired Prawn Cocktail, Soho inspired Sea Salt, Camden inspired Sweet Chilli and South Bank inspired Salt & Vinegar.

I received a large sharing size bag of the Sweet Chilli flavour in the Degustabox. The flavour and texture of these crisps was spot on and very tasty. The sweet and salty flavours come through nicely without being overly spicy or hot. 

J20 Spritz: The J20 Spritz range combines delicate bubbles with crisp blended fruits. It's been developed with adults in mind so it offers a light flavour with around 63 calories per bottle. There are three flavours available; Peach & Apricot, Apple & Watermelon and Pear & Raspberry. I tried out the last two and really enjoyed both fruity flavours but especially the Pear & Raspberry. 

Hartley's 10 Cal Jelly: There were four pots of jelly in this month's Degustabox. The Hartley's 10 Cal jelly pots are useful for anyone on the 5:2 diet as they (obviously!) only have 10 calories per pot. I've bought these in the past and they're a nice enough sweet treat for those less indulgent days. 

Hartley's Fruit In Jelly: I've been meaning to try the new Hartley's Fruit in Jelly range so I was pleased to see a few pots in the Degustabox. I tried out the Peach in Strawberry Jelly which was nice and fruity. I really want to try some of the other, more exotic, flavours in this range such as the Mango in Mango Jelly! 

Nutribix Gold and Grains: Nutribix is a wholebrain biscuit style cereal made with ancient grain, coconut and honey. I'm not usually a fan of Weetabix type cereals (too mushy!) but I actually enjoyed Nutribix. The texture is quite crunchy so they held their shape quite well in the milk. The flavour is wheaty with a touch of sweetness and I didn't need to add any extra sugar. 

VitHit Lean & Green: VitHit is a juice based soft drink with 100% recommeded daily allowance of 8 different vitamins, no added sugar and fewer than 35 calories per bottle. The Lean & Green flavour combines apple, elderflower and maté tea (which I've never heard of!. The flavour is light and refreshing with a lovely sweetness - a bit like a lighter version of Coppella Apple & Elderflower juice. I would definitely try more from the VitHit range in future.

James White Drinks British Carrot Juice: I've only ever had carrot juice as part of other juices, usually a combination of orange, carrot and ginger, but it's quite a different flavour on it's own! This British Carrot Juice from James White is has an earthy, almost grassy taste, but with a sweet overall flavour. I'm not sure that carrot juice will ever be a popular juice on it's own but this might be useful for adding to smoothies.

Divine Caramel: Two chocolate bars in Milk Chocolate & Caramel and Dark Chocolate & Caramel. The caramel centres have a thick, creamy texture rather than a gooey caramel. The flavours are both delicious with a super sweet caramel taste that has a buttery, vanilla edge. 

Beloved Bars: These are 100% natural bars with no added sugar - the ingredients are cold-pressed and bound together using natural date nectar. I don't think there are any other bars similar to these out there. I received the Date & Seed Bar and the Date & Berry Bar varieties. I especially liked the berry variety which had a natural tart sweetness and fruity flavour.

Mr. Kipling Cranberry, Orange and Oat Slices: These are really delicious and moist little cake slices. I really enjoyed the combination of the juicy cranberries, zest orange and oaty flavours here. I'll have to try the Chocolate & Coconut version next!

Another great selection of products in the February Degustabox! My favourites this month were the J20 Spritz, Mr. Kipling Oaty Cake Slices, and Divine Chocolates.

For more details on Degustabox:

Degustabox website: www.degustabox.com

I received a Degustabox in order to provide an honest review.

6 Mar 2016

Review: New Müller Corner Gold Edition Yogurts - Rio Olympics

And so it begins! This is the first official Olympics related product I've seen in the supermarkets but no doubt this is just the calm before the storm. But funnily enough I'm looking forward to seeing what all the big brands are going to come up with for Rio 2016. It's interesting for me as I actually started this blog in the run up to the London 2012 Olympics, and many of those first reviews were Olympic themed products (which usually just meant the Union Jack featured somewhere!). It feels like this blog has come full circle and I'm now back where I started!

Anyway, I bought the Müller Corner Gold Edition as a multipack which comes with three Vanilla Yogurts with Golden Balls and three Toffee Yogurts with Golden Hoops. The packaging is very eye-catching and attractive with it's soft gold colour and a sports stadium design in the top corner. 

I'm not going to witter on about the taste of these yogurts as the vanilla and toffee yogurts already exist in the Müller Crunch Corner range. The golden hoops and golden balls are crispy cereal pieces, covered in milk chocolate and a golden colouring, and they really do look brilliant. The gold colouring is darker than the Galaxy Golden Eggs, which I reviewed a few weeks ago, but still looks very effective. The overall flavour is pretty much the same as the Müller Corner Crunch Vanilla Chocolate Balls and Toffee Hoops yogurts which have been around for ages - they've just had a shiny makeover!

Alongside the Müller Corner Gold Edition there is also a new Olympics themed Müller Corner Rio Edition which are tropical fruity flavoured. Each Rio Edition multi pack has 3 x Coconut Yogurts with Pineapple compote and 3 x Lemon Yogurts with Mango & Passionfruit Compote.

Grocery Gems Review: Müller Corner Gold Edition

RATING: 8 out of 10.
Buy them again?: Yes.
Nutrition: Golden Hoops - 146 calories, Golden Balls - 142 calories.
Purchased: Asda.
Price: £2.00p for multi pack.

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