There are times when I sit down to review a new product and have a solid framework for writing the piece. A primary analogy is established, jokes tie along the way, and the central conceit is stretched beyond the readersâ€™ willingness to suspend their disbelief. (“We get it, Jasper, every junk food item somehow relates to the angst of your mid-20s.”) Other times, I get sent a package the size of a refrigerator box filled with samples for a whole hodgepodge of new products, and I struggle to develop any cohesive theme for the review. Guess which kind of review this will be?
The folks over at Popsicle are rolling out a new line of products (and a new portmanteau!) called Yosicles, These “Popsicle pops and yogurt together” come in three forms: Torpedo!, Layerz!, and Duos!. Additionally, theyâ€™re introducing Popsicle Sour Patch Kids, the latest item in the proud tradition of Popsicles with candy tie-ins. Layerz!, Duos!, and the Popsicle Sour Patch Kids all come in multiple flavors.
For the sake of simplicity, I am going to offer just four separate scores (Layerz, Torpedo, Duos, and Sour Patch Kids). For the sake of readability and my own sanity, I am going to stop using the exclamation points at the end of the product names.
Shaped exactly like the classic Firecracker Popsicles, the Torpedo Yosicles had three flavor segments (all yogurt-based) of Purple Berry, Watermelon, and Vanilla. The yogurt component clearly wasnâ€™t meant to have the tartness of Pinkberry-style frozen yogurt; I would say its taste profile was much closer to soft-serve. The vanilla flavor was perfectly fine â€“ the skim milk muted the richness, but at least I understood that itâ€™s supposed to taste somewhat like vanilla ice cream.
For the other two segments, I tasted lots of mild and artificial flavors without really tasting any “purple berry” or watermelon. Even if they had executed the flavors perfectly, I mightâ€™ve still found the choices to be strange, as I feel like a number of other flavors are generally a better fit with any cream-based treats. On the plus side (and this goes for all the Yosicles), they melted much more slowly than I had expected. Also, every Yosicle is a good source of calcium, so Iâ€™ve pretty much ingested a kidney stoneâ€™s worth of calcium in the process of reviewing these products.
The Layerz Yosicles were very similar to the Torpedos, but with just two segments instead of three. The bottom segment was always vanilla, while the top segment was either cotton candy or orange. Again, I liked the vanilla fine, so I preferred the Layerz (50% vanilla) to the Torpedos (33% vanilla). The orange flavor was reasonably reminiscent of an orange Creamsicle, but the cotton candy flavor managed to taste extremely artificial while not capturing what cotton candy actually tastes like. (Isnâ€™t cotton candy just sugar with food coloring? And isnâ€™t “sugar with food coloring” the primary description for a lot of things we consume â€“ frosting, cereal, purple drank? I donâ€™t know how that was meant to be a differentiated flavor that I should have recognized.)
Differing from the other two Yosicle varieties and instead emulating the structure of a Creamsicle, the Duos Yosicle had a creamy vanilla center that was surrounded by a flavored ice shell of either purple berry or cherry. I liked the Duos much more than the Torpedos and Layerz, as the yogurt was limited to the vanilla flavor, and the flavored ice shell provided a contrast in texture and offered the familiar tastes of a classic cherry Popsicle.
Although theyâ€™re unrelated to the Yosicle product line, I thought the Popsicle Sour Patch Kids were the stars among the new product releases. The idea was simple but well-executed: take three single-fruit, tried-and-true Popsicle flavors (orange, lime, and raspberry) and coat them in sour sugar. The sour sugar on actual Sour Patch Kids is granulated and sandy, while the Popsicle versions I tried had a smooth, solid sour sugar shell.
Still, the satisfying sensation of sour subsequent to sweet stayed the same. (Sorry for all the alliteration â€“ I was really on a roll there.) I thought these Popsicles wouldâ€™ve been even better with a sourer coating, but they were still far and away my favorite new offering. Next time you hear the ice cream truck drive by this summer, definitely run outside and pick up a Popsicle Sour Patch Kid, and maybe consider trying a Duos! Yosicle, too.
(Editor’s Note/Disclosure: Jasper received all this frozen goodness from the wonderful folks at Popsicle for free, so right now I imagine his freezer looks like a treasure chest to eight-year-olds.)
(Nutrition Facts – Torpedo – 2 bars – 90 calories, 2 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein, and 25% calcium. Layerz – 2 pops – 90 calories, 2 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 50 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein, and 25% calcium. Duos – 2 pops – 110 calories, 2 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 45 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 17 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, and 20% calcium. Sour Patch Kids – 1 pop – 40 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of sodium, 10 grams of carbohydrates, 8 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein, and 10% vitamin C.)
Item: Popsicle Yosicle (Torpedo!, Layerz!, and Duos!) and Popsicle Sour Patch Kids
Size: 12 pack (Yosicles)
Size: 18 pack (Sour Patch Kids))
Purchased at: Received for free from Popsicle
Rating: 4 out of 10 (Yosicle Torpedo)
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Yosicle Layerz)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Yosicle Duos)
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Popsicle Sour Patch Kids)
Pros: Yosicle vanilla segments were perfectly fine and appropriately vanilla ice cream-like. Orange Layerz tasted somewhat like an orange Creamsicle. Duos had only the vanilla flavor as its yogurt component. Duos followed the Creamsicle structure, so ice shell had classic flavor and added textural contrast. Yosicles melted slowly and are good sources of calcium. Popsicle Sour Patch Kids had sour sugar shells that were awesome. Free samples. Alliteration. Purple drank. Looking for one Simpsons clip and spending 2 hours watching old highlights.
Cons: Vanilla flavor was pretty mild. Non-vanilla Yosicle yogurt flavors were weird and artificial. Cotton candy flavor was particularly bad. Isnâ€™t cotton candy just sugar and food coloring? Popsicle Sour Patch Kids could use a little more sourness. Exclamation marks at the end of product names. Not having any thematic cohesion in a review. Kidney stones.