In this taste test, the next-gen South Bay Foodies get UNREAL. We sample candy coated chocolates, peanut butter cups, and chocolate covered candy bars with a special twist: they’re candy, but with a healthy edge.
UNREAL is the company behind the items in this test*; they’re on a mission to “unjunk” the food we’re eating. They see candy as the worst offender and start their mission there.
They are “unjunking” food by replacing typical ingredients – corn syrup, hydrogenated fats, GMOs, artificial colors, flavors and preservatives – with these: real cane sugar, real milk, more peanuts, and more cacao.
But how do these replacements taste in candies that we’ve grown to love for a lifetime?
To answer that question, I enlisted the help of the young South Bay Foodies: Katia (13) and Shania (11), and their friend Britney (11). Without letting them know too much about the test, I casually asked them to try out some new candies and share their opinions.
Here are the UNREAL candies we tasted along with comments.
At first glance the girls were interested in the shiny, neon and black packaging and muted colors of the candy. UNREAL uses plant and natural colors that give a pastel and matte finish to the candy coated chocolates.
UNREAL 54 – Candy Coated Chocolates with Peanuts
|These are pretty good. The colors are interesting. Kind of like fall colors.||The nut is too strong; there needs to be more chocolate. The nut to chocolate ratio is unproportionate.||These taste like regular candy coated chocolates.||These taste like regular candy I eat. They’re really crunchy. Loved it!|
UNREAL 41 – Candy coated chocolate
|Tastes like cocoa from a pouch, the kind you mix the powder with water. Reminds me of the hot chocolate I had growing up.||The chocolate isn’t that sweet. It tastes like it’s not even chocolate.||These are some funny colored candies. These don’t taste as good as the peanut ones.||The yellow looks like mustard. Tastes like dark chocolate to me.|
UNREAL 77 – Peanut Butter Cup
|I think it’s OK. It’s not super sweet but the flavor is pleasing. Reminds me of peanut butter and chocolate wafers.||It’s either too nutty or the chocolate is too subtle. It’s OK.||It’s too “not melted”. What I mean is the peanut butter is not that creamy. This one was my favorite.||I love it! It’s good and yummy. Needs a bit more chocolate flavor though.|
UNREAL 5 – Chocolate Caramel Nougat bar
|I like the nougat flavor. The caramel is stronger than the chocolate flavor. Texture is on the sticky side.||I can’t eat caramel with my braces.||I’m not eating it because I don’t like nougat.||It’s too sticky! This one is more chocolately than the others.|
UNREAL is an Real Alternative
Given their finicky tastes, I was surprised that the girls like the candies as much as they did. I was also surprised they were as descriptive as they were: “The nut to chocolate ratio is unproportionate”? I mean, what teen ager says that!?
We all agreed that the flavors of the UNREAL candies were decidedly different than the ones we are used to but might be able to grow to enjoy them more if we stuck with them.
I wouldn’t offer these in large quantities – or any other candies for that matter – after all, they’re still candies. But I would feel better about the kids eating them given their higher protein and fiber contents and the fact that they are made without preservatives, hydrogenated oils, and artificial colors.
But don’t think of UNREAL as a “health” food you can only find in limited locations at high prices. They’re available at regular places like Ralph’s, Food 4 Less, and CVS and priced for what you might pay for a pack of a similar brand.
Visit the UNREAL website for more information on UNREAL candies and their mission to “unjunk” the foods we eat.
* Some items mentioned in this article were provided on a complimentary basis for the purpose of this review. This story was accurate when it was published and reflects the uninfluenced opinions of the reviewers.