SPOTTED ON SHELVES – 8/29/2014

Here are some interesting new and limited edition products found on store shelves by us and your fellow readers. If you’ve tried any of the products, share your thoughts about them in the comments.

Archer Farms Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Monster Trail Mix

So this is what happened to all the Pumpkin Spice M&M’s that didn’t sell last year. (Spotted by Steve at Target.)

Dole Shakers Red Power and Yellow Power

There’s also a Blue Power, Green Power, Black Power, Pink Power… Oh wait, I’m thinking of Power Rangers. My bad. (Spotted by Whitney at Walmart.)

Chobani Flip Clover Honey

Does it come with clover honey chips? That would be rad. (Spotted by Lindsay at Meijer.)

Lifesavers Gummies Parodise Mix

Geez, why not just go all out with the intentionally misspelled words and call it Lifesavers Gummiez Xtreme Parodise Mixx (Spotted by Sarah at Walmart.)

Duff Purple Rain Premium Cake Mix

Purple is the color of royalty and green is the color of the money Duff Goldman must be making with all these cake mixes. (Spotted by Erin at Giant.)

Thank you to all the photo contributors! If you’re out shopping and see an interesting new or limited edition product on the shelf, snap a picture of it, and send us an email (theimpulsivebuy@gmail.com) with where you found it and “Spotted” in the subject line. Or reply to us (@theimpulsivebuy) on Twitter with the photo and the hashtag #spotted. If you do so, you might see your picture in our next Spotted on Shelves post.

SPOTTED ON SHELVES: Betty Crocker Limited Edition Maple Bacon and Candy Corn Cookie Mix

Betty Crocker Limited Edition Maple Bacon and Candy Corn Cookie Mix

Betty Crocker Limited Edition Maple Bacon and Candy Corn Frosting

Pumpkin spice. Caramel apple. Candy corn. And now maple bacon is a fall flavor. I look forward to all the maple bacon products in 2015. (Spotted by Lauren at Target.)

If you’re out shopping and see an interesting new or limited edition product on the shelf, snap a picture of it, and send us an email (theimpulsivebuy@gmail.com) with where you found it and “Spotted” in the subject line. Or reply to us (@theimpulsivebuy) on Twitter with the photo and the hashtag #spotted. If you’ve tried the product, share your thoughts about it in the comments.

REVIEW: Sprite Blast

Sprite Blast

There’s a Mitch Hedberg joke from the early 2000s.

“They say the recipe for Sprite is lemon and lime. But I tried to make it at home—there’s more to it than that. ‘Want some more homemade Sprite?’ Not ‘til you figure out what the f*** else is in it!”

It’s true. Homemade Sprite sounded impossible in 2003, when that joke was recorded for Hedberg’s second stand up album. Fast forward about a decade and homemade soda machines are in all the hippest kitchens, yet if someone yelled from the other room “Hey, man, what do I put into this thing to make Sprite?” my answer would probably end up being “Let’s just go buy some Sprite,” followed up with a 20-minute conversation about the time Rufio from Hook rapped in a Sprite commercial. Bangarang.

Sprite does feature that lemon-lime logo and, if I’m remembering correctly, advertisements in the 90’s with wet, airborne lemons and limes. But for a drink so closely associated with citrus, it lacks any sour bite whatsoever. Enter Sprite Blast. This is an iteration of the drink that tastes like it was possibly made with actual sour ass fruit, or at least the sugar they sprinkle on sour worms.

The fizz is typical of Sprite, seemingly softer than actual Coke, and sets the table for a mouth puckering that never comes. Sprite Blast has a slight sour jab that stimulates the roof of the mouth and tingles the top of the throat and never overwhelms, or whelms even. The American palate is not acclimated to sour tastes, sure. The only sour-tasting foods I can name have “sour” already in the name: Sour cream, sour pickles, sweet and sour sauce, sour grapes.

The one I most engage with is sour grapes, and that’s not even a food. I’m a master rationalizer, and didn’t really want to be a stupid astronaut anyway. It just seems like a lot of work. But Sprite Blast’s flavor is a bit anemic, even for sour neophytes. And it doesn’t necessarily play with the sugar in the drink that well either. The flavor doesn’t lilt at the end in concert with the sweetness, like a Sour Patch Kid. It just sorta lays there in your mouth like a stoned roommate. The drink is buffed of any extremes, like a mass-produced, focus-grouped product and mostly serves as a reminder of how freaking sweet regular Sprite is.

Sprite Blast 2

Sprite Blast comes in tiny 7.5-ounce cans for some reason, and I can’t figure out why. Maybe it costs that much more to produce the drink, or Coca-Cola wanted to visually differentiate it from other sodas on the shelf, but I keep searching for the “real” reason, like the can makes a particularly good bong or it can be easily fashioned into fireworks. Maybe 7.5 ounces of liquid is the perfect amount for some sort of alcoholic mixed drink, or codeine-cocktail krokodil. Maybe it fits easily into a regulation muffler, or into a body cavity.

Whatever the reason, the amount is about three-fourths a regulation soda but goes down like a shot. It’s so tempting to go “Woo!” right after and then huck the can across the room, like I just pledged some sort of dumb lemon-lime frat. Guys, tomorrow night we kidnap Sierra Mist’s mascot, which is actually a lonely guy wandering around Albertsons buying discount snacks for an ill-attended poker night.

The other thing about Sprite Blast is that it’s a 7-Eleven exclusive. Know this: Nobody is going to 7-Eleven just for Sprite Blast, which makes me think it’s there to pair well with something else. To be honest, I do think it would complement some 7-Eleven delicacies. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Pork rinds. Those gross-looking Doritos nuggets. Machine-rolled taquitos. Day-old hot dog. Lowrider magazine. A tin of Skoal Snus Mint. Sprite Blast would not go well with the Sausage McMuffin knockoff, Simpsons pink sprinkles donut or prophylactics.

Sprite Blast costs a buck at most 7-Elevens and is a low investment for a pretty low payoff. So no need for a homemade version, just spring for the real thing. And for those who still want to recreate it in the house, I think after reading the label, the secret ingredient is sodium benzoate.

(Nutrition Facts – 90 calories, 0 grams of fat, 115 milligrams of sodium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 22 grams of sugar,and 0 grams of protein.)

Item: Sprite Blast
Purchased Price: 99 cents
Size: 7.5 ounce can
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Actual sour flavors from Sprite. Could pair well with other 7-Eleven items, flavorwise.
Cons: Unremarkable. Comes in a teeny tiny can.

SPOTTED ON SHELVES – 8/28/2014

Here are some interesting new and limited edition products found on store shelves by us and your fellow readers. If you’ve tried any of the products, share your thoughts about them in the comments.

Nestle Toll House Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Morsels

Stick these in your pumpkin-shaped pumpkin spice cookies and then dip those cookies into pumpkin spice milk. (Spotted by Lauren at Target.)

McCormick Skillet Sauce

Oh, skillet sauces. You’ve made it possible for me to outgrow instant ramen and breakfast cereals for dinner. (Spotted by Jason at Publix.)

Cafe Escapes Limited Edition Cafe Pumpkin Spice Keurig K-Cup

Two pumpkin spice products in one Spotted on Shelves post. Ah…ah…ah! (Spotted by Amanda at Target.)

Upstate Farms Intense Caramel Apple Milk

I think someone needs to keep track of the new pumpkin spice and caramel apple products this year. If only I knew someone who ran a website that kept track of new products on store shelves. (Spotted by Upahua at Tops.)

Thank you to all the photo contributors! If you’re out shopping and see an interesting new or limited edition product on the shelf, snap a picture of it, and send us an email (theimpulsivebuy@gmail.com) with where you found it and “Spotted” in the subject line. Or reply to us (@theimpulsivebuy) on Twitter with the photo and the hashtag #spotted. If you do so, you might see your picture in our next Spotted on Shelves post.

SPOTTED ON SHELVES: Welch’s Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice and Caramel Apple Sparkling

Welch's Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice and Caramel Apple Sparkling

Oh yeah! It’s time to break out your finest champagne flutes for the finest pumpkin spice and caramel apple flavored sparkling juice cocktails in the world. Wait…did I say, “finest”? I meant “only.” (Spotted by Jason at BJ’s Wholesale Club.)

If you’re out shopping and see an interesting new or limited edition product on the shelf, snap a picture of it, and send us an email (theimpulsivebuy@gmail.com) with where you found it and “Spotted” in the subject line. Or reply to us (@theimpulsivebuy) on Twitter with the photo and the hashtag #spotted. If you’ve tried the product, share your thoughts about it in the comments.