Friday, 27 April 2018

Milkybar Wowsomes Cocoa Bar

Nestlé have been on top of their NPD game recently, the first chocolate brand to use ruby chocolate in a product and also with the release of their new Wowsomes bars with world first innovation to reduce the sugar content by 30%. It's not sweetened with any sweeteners and still uses "standard" sugar but the structure has been altered to create an aerated and porous sugar that dissolves more quickly in the mouth; allowing someone to perceive the same sweetness as before whilst consuming less actual sugar.

Milkybar Wowsomes

Filled with a crispy oat/creamy centre and coated in Milkybar white chocolate they've been launched in 2 flavours - cocoa (with a milk chocolate filling) and white (with a white chocolate filling) and across 3 formats - pouch sharing bags, single bars and packs of single bars. It'll be the cocoa that I'm reviewing today in single bar format.

First things first these bars are small, weighing in at 18g and retailing at 60p it's certainly not the best value for money. Each bar contains just under 100kcal and ~7g sugar, with the bar being broken into 3 pieces. I kind of feel that making these bars tiny almost defeats the purpose of them, if you were to eat any bar of chocolate this small it would be "better" for you and "lower calorie/sugar". I know there's the technology behind it as well but at 18g it almost feels you're being cheated slightly, lower calorie ice creams etc still at least have the same volume of ice cream. Plus this doesn't massively impact the calories - standard Milkybar - 543kcal (52.6g sugar) vs Milkybar Wowsomes - 527kcal (36.6g), translate this to an 18g bar - Milkybar 98kcal (9.5g sugar) vs Milkybar Wowsomes 95kcal (6.6g sugar).

Milkybar Wowsomes Breaking the bar into the three pieces you can clearly see the slightly creamy, slightly crunchy and oaty filling. I was quite disappointed to see that the layer of white chocolate is quite small though. Also taking a bite I felt the taste was slightly different, it's weird as it doesn't actually have any sweeteners in it but it tastes like it does. Obviously I don't have a like for like product to compare to as Milkybar don't make this product in standard format so I'd be interested to see how this compared to if they hadn't made it with the sugar technology.

That's not to say it tastes bad, it's pleasant enough, just a bit different. The Milkybar is creamy with sweet dairy notes and the cocoa filling adds a bit more of a richness to it. The textural contrast is nice, it kind of reminded me of the Oreo filling in Dairy Milk with the contrast of the crispy oats replicating the Oreo pieces and the creamy cocoa filling replicating the white cream. It's quite moreish, but then you reach the end of the 3 pieces and feel a bit dissatisfied.

I think it's amazing that Nestlé have managed to use this technology but I can't help but thinking that in this format it's not necessarily going to take off. For me anything with a calorie/sugar reduction should come in the same size format - the whole point for me is same volume and less calories. Also at 60p for 18g it just doesn't scream value for money. I'll be interested to see what comes of the technology though.

Taste - 6.4/10 - Oddly enough it tastes like it has sweeteners in even though it doesn't, pleasant enough but not amazing.
Texture - 6.7/10 - Creamy with a hint of crunch from the oats.
Appearance - 6.8/10 - Looks ok, nothing special.
Price - 4.2/10 - Unfortunately I don't think it's good value for money at all.
Overall - 6.0/10 - It's an average bar in terms of taste/texture and calorie/sugarwise I kind of just don't see the point especially with the size they've done it in. It's interesting technology and a good marketing message but not sure whether it translates well enough into the end product.
It's a nice brand extension for Milkybar if you enjoy that and in terms of anyone looking for portion control it ticks the boxes there.

I think only Tesco + Morrison's have these in stock currently.