Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cadbury's disregard for the Portuguese consumers


In March 18, 2009, I wrote an article about my favourite chocolate beverage and a few months later, more precisely on September 7, 2009, Kraft made a £10.2 billion takeover offer for the long-established British confectionery group Cadbury. This bid was rejected, but in January 19, 2010, Cadbury finally approved a revised offer from Kraft, valuing the confectionery business at $19.5 billion (£11.5 billion).
This takeover was partially funded by the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

 Many people around the world, including customers and Cadbury's employees were against this takeover.
A proof of this discontempt arrived in March 2011, when Kraft Foods caused a national outrage when they sold the Somerdale site in Keynsham, near Bristol (UK) for £50million, after initially publically promising the continuity of production within the UK in order to win over support for the takeover from shareholders. Instead, production was immediately outsourced to Poland. Kraft’s CEO Irene Rosenfeld refused to explain her actions.

 In October 2012, Kraft Foods Inc changed its name to Mondelēz International. Shortly thereafter it spun-off the Kraft Foods Group to its shareholders.

 With all these moves, Kraft Foods consumer service in Portugal, which does not hold a good quality service according to my personal experience, is not able to inform why the Cadbury Drinking Chocolate is no longer available in Portugal, unless through direct import.

 Mondelēz International, Inc. knows little about this situation and after contacting Cadbury in UK, which seems to be the main responsible for Cadbury Drinking Chocolate, it seems that reason may be poor sales.

 Well, we all know that the global economy is not at it's higher level, but when the product was available on the shelves of Portuguese supermarkets, it would sell.
Maybe their sales team needs to learn something from their major competitor.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Peanut Butter M&M's


 Let me start by telling you that as far as I can remember, I don't like peanut butter. As far as I can remember because the only time that I bought a jar of peanut butter it was over ten years ago or even more and when I spread it on bread, I didn't like it. It is as when you like sweets but you eat something that is too sweet. Besides I must confess that I'm not a fan of peanuts.
However I do know that peanut butter is healthy.

 On the other hand, I've eaten peanutt butter cake several times and I enjoy it. Therefore I'm willing to try things that include peanute butter, especially sweet things since I have a sweet tooth.

 But lets get into the subject of this article: Peanut butter M&M's.
I'm not a fan of M&M's. Namely because we have another brand with a similar product (I'm referring to the regular chocolate ones) that I like best and because as I already told you, I'm not a peanut lover, therefore I don't buy the peanut M&M's.

 Now, a couple of months ago I was sent a bag of peanut butter M&M's. It seems that this a sort of special edition, but I'm not sure. We don't have them here in Portugal and I don't know if it's available in Europe. I'll have to call Mars to know about it's availability in the future.

 The peanut butter M&M's have the usual coated chocolate shell and a real peanut butter interior. This combination of the chocolate with the sort of creamy and just a bit salty characteristic of the peanut butter, which obviously includes the taste of peanut, turns into an awesome result for people with a sweet tooth.

 I can tell you that once you start eating them, it's difficult to stop. Especially for someone who doesn't get fat like me. My review about the Peanut Butter M&M's sure is a positive one. I know that there's a pretzel version of M&M's and as soon as I can, I'll write a review when I try them.

 The image that I've posted here is a holiday version. The bag is empty because I couldn't resist to eat them all before writing this article.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Milka & Oreo Chocolate Bar

                            
A couple of weeks ago I bought a new Milka chocolate and had the intention of writing a review about it. But I ate it all before taking the photo, so maybe in another time.

However today - Monday is the shopping day for me since I get 5% discount - I bought the new Milka & Oreo chocolate bar.

The chocolate per se is like the other milk chocolates, so....nothing new on this department.
But lets see how the Milka and Oreo combination works. The outside is Milka chocolate and the filling is composed by Oreo cream and crunchy bits of Oreo cookie. If my memory doesn't fail me, since I seldom buy Oreo cookies, the bits are more crunchy than the cookies.

Now for the veridict.
From the experience that I have, it seems that Milka is careful about its combinations and rare were the occasions where I wasn't positively suprised. This one confirms it, offering a soft combination provided by the chocolate and the cream, together with the crunchy flavour (how do you like this one ?) of the cookie bits.
Although it's not something out of this world, I have no problems in recomending it.

P.S. Sorry for the lousy photo, but it was taken with my cell phone.
        I promise to take a better one if you buy me a chocolate :-)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Colman's Wholegrain Mustard



Maybe I'm not the best person to advise about buying mustard, especially because I seldom use it.
However, once in a while, I like to add it to sausages, especially inside bread (I could say hot dog, but I'm Portuguese and here we say 'cachorro')

As you all know and I've said this alot of times, nowadays it's difficult to find a product without preservatives, additives and blah blah blah. So I always pay some attention to labels.

Now, we do have some mustard brands here in Portugal and well all know about the famous "de Gijon" ones, or the ones that pretend to be.
But when it's about food and drink, I like to follow my instincts or better saying, my gut.

It's a fact the Colman's jar caught my attention due to its classical aspect and so I picket it up.
I read the ingredients and really liked what I saw: Water, Mustard Seeds (27%), White Wine Vinegar, Honey, Salt Mustard Seed Husks, Garlic, Herbs and Spices.

Then I tried to remember what I knew about British people and although I think that England doesn't have the best food (sorry) ,they are famous for their pubs and if they know about pubs, they must know about mustard and other condiments. Moreover they have acquired a large experience through their colonies in what condiments are concerned, just like we have.

But lets talk about the Colman's Wholegrain Mustard.
It has a pleasantly prolonged (or maybe I should say oblong) bouquet and its taste will in my opinion make the delights of the connoisseur and will not be harsh on the taste of the one who's not the best appreciator.
The feeling of the grains crashing between the teeth is good and ads to your hot dog experience; ok I said hot dog!

My review about this wholegrain mustard made by Colman's of Norwich (est. 1814) can only be positive.
In the future I will of course try other ones, but I already bought this one more than once and will buy again.

Don't use a metal spoon to take the mustard from its jar.

Reviews on this blog are not paid or influenced in any way (except for one million Euro).

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Rice Krispies Squares Totally Chocolatey by Kellogg's



Last week I was going through the cereals aisle at the supermarket and saw this package that mentioned chocolate and rice. Well, that's one of my favourite combinations - how I miss Toffee Crisp - and since it was aside the cereal bars, I thought: Well, besides the possiblity of tasting good, it must have some healthy ingredients.

It's not cheap, but it has an accessible price, so I decided to take one home to give it a try. The bar, which is not really a square, has a nice aspect with chocolate covering it and bits of chocolate on its surface.
The bar is crispy enough and although I didn't read anything about caramel in the ingredients, it does feel a bit like it when chewed, which is good in my opinion.
As for the chocolate taste, maybe it could be a bit more pronnounced according to my taste, but even so I found it well balanced with the rest of the ingredients.

My opinion about the Kellogg's Rice Krispies Squares Totally Chocolatey is positive and will almost certainly buy it again in the future, especially if the price goes down a bit here in Portugal. Let's see if they import the other versions so I can try them.
According to your country, the product may be supplied in different looking packages and quantities.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Milka Crispy Snax: Cornflakes and Raisins



I went to the supermarket and while there, I felt like buying something sweet. However, I wanted something different and that was when I saw these small packs of Milka Crispy Snax. There were two kinds available and I decided for the Cornflakes & Raisins one. I can't remember what kind was the other one.

I got home, did some stuff and had dinner.
Still at the table, I opened the package to try one or two.
Well, let me put it this way: I had to close the bag before they were all gone.

Imagine the Toffee Crisp chocolate - I never saw that one again here in Portugal and don't know if it's still available. Now imagine it in chunks plus raisins.
Sounds good ? Well, it tastes even better.

Of course that there are differences because we're talking about different brands of chocolates, but I guess that this gives you an idea about how the Milka Crispy Snax Cornflakes & Raisins tastes and about its texture.

Without a doubt, this one gets my seal of approval.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Border Coconut Biscuits with Milk Chocolate



I like to eat pretty much anything, but if there's something that I don't quite appreciate is coconut. A few of the only things that I like related to coconut are the coconut scent on the beach or soap. When I was a small kid I really enjoyed these coconut taste cigarrets - you know how kids are with cigarrets.

But when I saw these biscuits at the supermarket, I liked their aspect and thought that if the coconut part was not too influent on the taste, maybe a mix of chocolate and coconut could work well for my personal taste, moreover they had a really good sort of homemade aspect. So I decided to give them a try.

The coconut taste is not too pronnounced and has a good crunchy feeling. As for the chocolate, it has a good flavour and is added in good measure as not to make the biscuit too sweet.

My conclusion is of a well balanced combination between coconut and chocolate with a pleasant crushing sensation that will almost for sure get really positive reviews by coconut appreciators with a sweet tooth.
The Border milk chocolate coconut biscuits are baked in Scotland.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Clipper Tea



Recently I came across with a tea brand that I didn't know of.
It's name is Clipper and for now it has proved itself to be a good surprise.

The first variety that I tried was the Organic White Tea. This is a chinese organically grown white tea bearing the GB Organic Certification 5 and packed in the UK by Clipper Teas Ltd.

I found its scent pleasant and its flavour surprisingly oblong, which leads me to conclude that this tea should now make part of my favourite ones.

So, if you like tea and especially white tea, this Organic White Tea should be on your soon to try list.

After the positive result of my first experience with this brand, I decided to try the Green Tea With Ginseng Enhanced With Raspberry.
This tea, bearing the Fairtrade certification, contains 90% of fairtrade green tea, 5% of natural flavour and 5% of Siberian ginseng root.

Again my opinion is remarkably positive and I can only advise the appreciators of green tea to try this one.

You can learn more about their line of green teas on this page.

I bought these at the supermarket and the price if not among the most accessible ones, it's plenty justified by the quality.

Note that the packaging layout may change from time to time, or even be influenced by the photo or by your screen, so you better read the labels carefuly to make sure that you're getting what you want.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Copa Natural Juices by Frubaça



Influenced by its XII century Monastary, the portuguese region of Alcobaça is known for its tradition in pastries and orchards.

Developed by Frubaça agricultural cooperative and recurring to the High Pressure Processing (HPP), the Copa juices retain the taste and freshness of their 100% natural ingredients.
The juices are available in several tastes, including some combinations, such as: apple; orange; apple and orange; apple and strawberry; apple and pineapple.

From all the brands that I've tried until today, this is the one that approximates the most of a freshly squeezed natural juice - and I'm not seeing you squeezing an apple.

Its price is of course higher than those from most soft drinks or juices made from concentrate, but its taste and benefits for your health make it worth the expense.
The Copa juices are sold in several supermarkets in 750ml plastic bottles, without a set price, so you better look where it's cheaper.

My opinion about these natural juices is as positive as it can be, moreover they even carry the Portuguese Cardiology Foundation logo.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wishes of a Merry Christmas 2010

video

To all the readers of this blog and their families, I wish a Merry Christmas 2010 with lots of good things.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Anthon Berg Strawberry in Champagne



I could start by saying that marzipan is not one of my favourite things, but years ago I bumped into this box that had written "Strawberry in Champagne" and I thought: mmmm this must be good. Moreover it got chocolate, which is obviously a plus.

Maybe the marzipan wasn't that much, I thought, and decided to give it a try. Afterall a product from Danmark and from a company establish in 1884 and still going on could not be bad.

First bite: the chocolate is good and the combination of the strawberry (11%) with the champagne (2%) contributes to enhance the taste. The marzipan taste (10% of almonds) is noticeable, which is a good thing for its appreciators, while for those like me who don't like it much is greatly compensated by the other elements.

The chocolate and marzipan count for 38% and the filling counts for 30%, the rest goes for the usual ingredients in these kind of products.

The fact that the brand has been appointed as purveyor to the Royal Danish Court confirms its quality, evident in these Anthon Berg Strawberry in Champagne from their Fruit & Marzipan line.
My opinion is obviously positive.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Twinings Infusions Selection (Fruit Flavour and Herbal Infusions)



Among the brands of tea and infusions that I've tried, which aren't many, Twinings is one of my favourites, not only for its quality but also for its variety.
For people who don't get along well with caffeine, infusions are a good option.

Twinings offers different infusion selections and the one that I've chosen to review today is Fruit Flavour and Herbal Infusions.
The box contains 25 bags equally devided in 5 flavours: Lemon Twist; Strawberry & Mango; Peach & Passion Fruit; Raspberry & Echinacea; Blackcurrant, Ginseng & Vanilla.

I can tell you that I'm the kind of person who will eat anything, but I'm a bit more selective with what I drink, and one of the worst things that can happen is when a food or drink has a noticeable artificial taste.
Until now Twinings has proved itself worthy of my purchases and this Infusions Selection (Fruit Flavour and Herbal Infusions) has confirmed my trust, with all the flavours being tasteful, although I keep thinking that no boxed lemon infusion can beat a natural lemon one made directly from lemon peel.

If like me you like to drink a cup of tea or enjoy a new infusion, this selection should be on your list of things to try.
There's no link on this article to the product because I could not find it on Twinings official websites; of course that I didn't try all the countries.

Monday, October 18, 2010

NewTree Eternity Chocolate: Cassis (Blackcurrant)



Created by Benoît de Bruyn and made in Belgium by Newtree S.A. this blackcurrant natural flavoured chocolate contains quality ingredients that include pure cocoa butter ( this one is for me a real plus in comparison to vegetable fats) natural grape extract and sugar - yes I prefer sugar - besides other ones that include of course the obvious.

The NewTree Eternity is a dark chocolate with 73% of cocoa and therefore rich in antioxidants and flavonoids.

With a pleasant blackcurrant bouquet and smooth degustation, it's a chocolate to eat parsimoniously and not like a chocolate bar that you eat in five or six bites. Besides in my opinion any dark chocolate is to be consumed moderately.

This chocolate is a good one, but for now it stays out of the group of my favourites, mostly because I'm not a huge fan of dark chocolate, however its quality has convinced me and it's more that likely that I'll try another of the several flavours from this brand that has already conquered some awards.
I cannot recomend a flavour, since I've only tried one, but it's a chocolate brand that I can recomend you to try, especially if you are an appreciator of flavoured dark chocolate.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pur Natur Bio Blueberry Yogurt



If you are a usual reader of this blog, you've already noticed that I like yogurt and buy it often.
One of my latest try outs are these organic yogurts from Pur Natur.
Today I'll let you know my opinion about the blueberry one (referred as billberry on their website)
Creamy towards solid, the consistency of the Pur Natur organic blueberry yogurt is similar to others of the same kind and quality.
Its taste, before reaching the fruit and if you don't stirr it, is a bit more sour than usual, which for me is a good thing since I'm of the opinion that nowadays yogurts have too much sugar.
When getting to the bottom of the glass pot where the fruits are, my opinion turns quite positive, influenced by the great flavour of the juicy blueberries.
I can't remember eating fresh blueberries, but I believe that these compare quite well with other fruits found inside other quality yogurts.
I haven't tried it stirred from the begining, but I'll do it soon since I have a unit inside my refrigerator.
The Pur Natur Blueberry Yogurt is a must try for any appreciator, even if the price tag is somewhat expensive in my opinion.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Milka Champiolade - For a Limited Time Only



With the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, many are the companies bringing related products into the market.
Milka (a Kraft Foods company) has released a limited in time edition named "Champiolade".
Featuring a football (soccer) ball over each square, this alpine milk chocolate contains a creamy milk filling with butter caramel taste and rice crisps.
In the center of each square, one finds a crispy cocoa rice ball.
The chocolate keeps itself faithful to the quality of the other Milka chocolates, which is something that is up for you to decide about.
As for what I think and considering that I find the brand a good one taking into account the price/quality ratio, this Milka Champiolade doesn't have a noticeable chocolate taste, which is not caused for a lack of quality but only due to its characteristics (45% is filling), however it has a pleasant buttery taste and a good crispy feel to it.
I found it just a bit too sweet for my taste, but I've already received positive comments from other people who are picky about chocolates and even prefer dark ones.
Even if not among my favourites, this chocolate deserves a positive score and I think that will please to most people with a sweet tooth.
We're looking forward to read your opinion about it.