I'm one of these types of people that's a bit of a volume eater; therefore if I can save calories and eat more of something without feeling I'm massively comproomisnig on taste then I will. I prefer diet drinks to full sugar and I'm a bit of a fiend for full tubbing "healthier" ice cream. However chocolate is one of those areas where I feel has yet to create a lower calorie product without compromising on flavour.
Enter RED chocolate, a fairly new brand, who've used Stevia, malitol and erythritol, to sweeten their chocolate, thus reducing calories, in this bar by 35% to the market equivalent - 378 vs ~580 and 23kcal per piece.The branding is quite sleek, with a diamond shaped logo and pieces and with a minimum of 25% cocoa solids, hazelnut paste and hazelnut + macadamia pieces I hoped it was going to be tasty.
The chocolate has a smooth, crisp, clean snap to it and looked like it had a decent amount of filling. Tick, tick. However when I popped a piece into my mouth and began eating you could immediately tell that this wasn't a rich, indulgent, "regular" chocolate.
Firstly, the chocolate doesn't have as rich, indulgent melt to it. It feels a bit waxy. Secondly you most definitely pick up on that Stevia backnote and sweetener flavour. It's not horrendously unpleasant but it's not a match to regular chocolate, I've had better products where the Stevia flavour has been masked a lot more. There's a pleasant nuttiness flavour to the filling but again, being the huge lover of praline chocolates that I am this was no comparison.
There may be some people who are happy to compromise on this for the sake of the sugar/calories, in the same way that I'm happy to compromise on things like soft drinks but others are not. However it's not one for me, it's a bit of a step too far. I happily ate the rest of the bar as it's not unpleasant in it's flavour but would I go out and buy it, most likely not.
Taste - 5.7/10 - Definitely picked upon that sweetener aftertaste, not a rich/creamy chocolate.
Texture - 6.2/10 - A bit waxy/dry in its melt.
Appearance - 7.4/10 - Branding is quite sleek/neat.
Price - 3.6/10 - At €5.79 I don't think it's good value for money at all. Normally you do pay a premium for "health" products but in this instance I don't think it's worth it.
Overall - 5.7/10 - May be suitable if you're really after a lower calorie/sugar alternative but unfortunately not one for me.
Someone looking for a reduced sugar/calorie alternative and is willing to compromise slightly on taste/price.
WHERE TO BUY?
RED are a fairly new company so aren't widely available as of yet, you can buy from Memory Sweets here or find out more information on RED's website here.