REVIEW: Heinz Kranch Saucy Sauce

Heinz Kranch Saucy Sauce

What is Heinz Kranch Saucy Sauce?

Standing proudly as Heinz’s latest crazy condiment mashup, this special saucy sauce combines two of America’s favorite condiments – ketchup and ranch dressing – and puts them into a single, convenient squeeze bottle.

How is it?

As much as I loved the taste and novelty of Mayochup, I can’t seem to get behind Kranch in the same way. On the surface, both agglomerations sound like solid, if not slightly-too-similar ideas. Mayonnaise is an integral ingredient in ranch dressing, and both spreads have long-standing reputations as all-purpose accoutrements.

The problem is that Kranch’s practical applications are much more limited than Mayochup’s. I like ketchup. I like ranch. Even so, I can’t think of many foods I would enjoy with both ketchup and ranch.

Heinz Kranch Saucy Sauce Plated

Although Kranch doesn’t taste bad, per se, I could never figure out a single food I liked it on. It was too ketchup-esque to use as a dip for fresh veggies, but also too much like salad dressing to make a good sidekick for chicken nuggets and alphabet fries. I didn’t like it as salad dressing and thought it made a terrible sandwich spread.

Heinz Kranch Saucy Sauce Chicken Nugget

Is there anything else you should know?

Since this is now Heinz’s fourth take on mixing condiments that everybody has at home and calling it something new, I’m beginning to think the company is just on a quest to dominate shelf-space in the condiment aisle. At this rate, grocery stores are going to have to carve out a special enclave for the growing saucy sauce family.

Conclusion:

Given its limited applications and simple composition, Kranch doesn’t deserve the space it’ll hog in your refrigerator. Rather than buying this, I’d recommend saving your $3.00 and mixing some ketchup and ranch at home.

Purchased Price: $2.98
Purchased at: Walmart
Size: 19 fl. oz.
Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 tablespoons) 100 calories, 10 grams of total fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 3 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 3 grams of total sugars, 2 grams of added sugars, 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Kit Kat Cones

Kit Kat Cones

What are Kit Kat Cones?

Entering into the frozen treat category just in time for the warmer weather, these Kit Kat-themed Drumsticks offer vanilla frozen dairy dessert with a chocolatey coating and a fudge core placed atop a crispy sugar cone.

Kit Kat Cones Back of Box

How are they?

Despite being as enjoyable as any other Drumstick flavor, I couldn’t help but feel a little let down by these. Although each component was good and made a tasty dessert when combined, none were able to capture the experience of eating an actual Kit Kat and translate it into a frozen dairy dessert form.

Kit Kat Cones Pristine

Putting aside the Kit Kat branding for a moment, it’s hard to find many other faults here. Between the vanilla ice cream, crisp chocolatey shell, and airy wafer bits, everything is really well balanced. Even the cones were crisp and fresh, and far exceeded my expectations. If I had to knock Nestle on anything else, it would be the fudge filling’s blandness. Although clearly present, it wasn’t flavorful enough to compete against everything else this treat has, and Nestle could have nixed it without compromising quality.

Kit Kat Cones Core

The main issue I have with these is that the box was the only aspect actually reminiscent of a real Kit Kat. The wafer bits stuck in the chocolatey coating weren’t prominent enough to simulate biting into a finger of the famous candy, and neither the sugar cone shell nor the chocolate coating tasted anything like the classic candy.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Kit Kat Cones Bite

Nestlé would have been better off by taking the lead from Snickers Ice Cream Bars and modeling the form of these after actual Kit Kat wafers. They would have been a lot more successful if they had layered vanilla ice cream in-between stacked wafer cookies and just covered the entire thing in milk chocolate.

Conclusion:

Although Nestle’s new Kit Kat Cones are a worthy entry into the Drumstick line, they aren’t similar enough to their candy inspiration to justify the branding behind them. Rather than buying these, I’d recommend eating regular Kit Kats out of the freezer.

Purchased Price: $3.00
Size: 4 cones pack
Purchased at: Kroger
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cone) 280 calories, 12 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 105 milligrams of sodium, 42 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 27 grams of sugars, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Haagen-Dazs Spirits Collection Ice Cream (U.S.)

Haagen Dazs Spirits Collection Ice Cream

Judging from the length of their corresponding aisles at the grocery store, it’s no secret that Americans love alcohol and ice cream. Despite this, mergers between the two seem rare with mainstream brands.

Befitting of the most drunken-sounding ice cream brand, Haagen-Dazs has risen to fill this void of boozy frozen desserts with the release of its new Spirits Collection. Each pint features a different variety of popular liquor, paired alongside indulgent mix-ins, and Haagen-Dazs’ famously rich ice cream.

Bourbon Vanilla Bean Truffle

Haagen Dazs Spirits Collection Bourbon Vanilla Bean Truffle

Perhaps the most basic of the bunch, this offering blends classic vanilla ice cream with miniature chocolate truffles and a spicy bourbon swirl.

Although that description may sound unexciting when compared to this line’s other offerings, this flavor goes to show that ice cream doesn’t have to be complicated to be good. With a dense, sweet, vanilla bean-flecked base, I found it easy to appreciate this variety’s superb consistency and mouthfeel, and the tiny truffles dotted throughout helped to provide intermittent bursts of crunch and texture.

Rather than finding distinct ribbons of bourbon swirled throughout, I tasted hints of booze in each spoonful and found the alcohol’s slight edge helped to make this flavor seem like an “adult’s only” version of vanilla bean ice cream.

Purchased Price: $4.39
Purchased at: Food Lion
Size: 14 fl. oz.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 340 calories, 20 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 80 milligrams of cholesterol, 60 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 34 grams of total sugars, 29 grams of added sugars, and 4 grams of protein.

Rum Tres Leches

Haagen Dazs Spirits Collection Rum Tres Leches

This flavor swirls a trio of south-of-the-border indulgences — generous chunks of tres leches, dulce de leche, and a rum-infused base.

Don’t speak Spanish? Then I’ll translate for you – this is a white rum ice cream with chunks of cake soaked in sweetened condensed milk and ribbons of gooey caramel sauce. And, yes, it’s as tooth-achingly sweet as it sounds.

Although I like each component individually, they’re too much when together. The alcohol, although detectable, is much more muted than in the Bourbon Vanilla Truffle, and the milk-soaked cake pieces were surprisingly dry and stale. Rather than buying this, I’d recommend heading down to your local Mexican restauranté and drinking a mojito or two alongside a slice of traditionally prepared Tres Leches.

Purchased Price: $4.39
Purchased at: Food Lion
Size: 14 fl. oz.
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 360 calories, 21 grams of fat, 13 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 85 milligrams of cholesterol, 105 milligrams of sodium, 38 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 35 grams of total sugars, 25 grams of added sugars, and 5 grams of protein.

Irish Cream Brownie

Haagen Dazs Spirits Collection Irish Cream Brownie

Voyaging across the Atlantic, this St. Patrick’s Day-approved variety utilizes an Irish cream-flavored base, brownie chunks, and a fudge swirl.

Calling the brownie bits “chunks” is being pretty generous, though, because I got very few fully intact pieces in my pint. Instead, most were obliterated in a brownie crumb explosion that masked whatever pitiful amount of fudge swirl Haagen-Dazs managed to get into this flavor.

I didn’t think the Irish Cream base was anything special, either. It tasted good – all Haagen-Dazs tastes good – but I would have been just as happy to pour some Baileys on top of a scoop of its vanilla ice cream.

Purchased Price: $4.39
?Purchased at: Food Lion
Size: 14 fl. oz.
Rating: 6 out of 10
?Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 360 calories, 21 grams of total fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 80 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 37 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 25 grams of added sugars, and 5 grams of protein.

Stout Chocolate Pretzel Crunch

Haagen Dazs Spirits Collection Stout Chocolate Pretzel Crunch

Also drawing inspiration from Ireland, this pub-grub-styled dessert features stout-infused chocolate ice cream mixed with chocolate covered pretzels and a fudge swirl.

Similar to the previous flavor, this variety also suffered from having a less than impressive fudge swirl. Even so, I didn’t find myself missing the swirl’s added richness as much here, because I thought the chocolate stout base was plenty satisfying by itself. Although I had initially been concerned about its boozy infusion being covered up by cocoa, my concerns were unjustified, as the two flavors work to complement one another well.

The chocolate covered pretzels were similarly well-executed. I find that most pretzels tend to get soggy in ice cream, but these were pleasantly crunchy and added a needed pop of salt that helped to break through the dessert’s richness.

Purchased Price: $4.39
Purchased at: Food Lion
Size: 14 fl. oz.

Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 360 calories, 19 grams of total fat, 13 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 80 milligrams of cholesterol, 130 milligrams of sodium, 41 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 32 grams of total sugars, 27 grams of added sugars, and 6 grams of protein.

Conclusion:

Although each of these flavors has minor flaws, Haagen-Dazs is definitely on the right track by expanding its library of desserts to include its Spirits Collection. I only hope other brands will follow its lead because booze-infused ice cream is a trend that I can get behind!

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Limited Edition Caticorn Cereal

Kellogg s Limited Edition Caticorn Cereal

What is Kellogg’s Limited Edition Caticorn Cereal?

While the Kellogg’s R&D department has been busy cranking out new cereals like Taylor Swift churns out sappy love songs, its marketing team has recently recruited a cousin of the former internet sensation Nyan Cat to join its cast of colorful and kid-friendly characters.

Since I bet a bunch of you are about to do this anyway, I’ll give you a moment to open up a video of the famous feline earworm in another tab.

This is named for the adorable cat/unicorn hybrid plastered on each box and features berry-flavored cereal rings studded with glittery sparkles.

How is it?

Similar to how its mascot is easily overshadowed by a different rainbow-surfing cat, Caticorn cereal tastes like a less appealing version of some of Kellogg’s existing offerings. Precisely, it tastes like a less fruity version of Froot Loops, and offers a vaguely strawberry-ish flavor to excite your taste buds.

Kellogg s Limited Edition Caticorn Cereal Dry

Fittingly, a bowl of Caticorn cereal resembles a never-ending pink ocean, foreshadowing how monotonous eating it is. Despite the colorful and entertaining box (which even includes a guide to help you figure out your Caticorn name!) there’s nothing to keep your attention once you get inside. Even the sprinkles, which Kellogg’s felt were noteworthy enough to write a whole blurb about, are so easy to forget that some people may not even realize they’re there unless someone points it out first.

Kellogg s Limited Edition Caticorn Cereal Side of Box

Is there anything else you need to know?

Kellogg s Limited Edition Caticorn Cereal in Milk

Much like Rice Krispies, Caticorn cereal starts to go soggy the moment it touches any liquid. I would recommend eating it out of one of those Anti-Soggy cereal bowls so you don’t end up eating a morning meal of strawberry-flavored corn mush.

Conclusion:

Although it’s far from bad, I can’t see myself ever buying another box of Caticorn cereal. With so many other similar and tastier choices lining the breakfast aisle, there isn’t any reason to choose this over one of Kellogg’s other offerings.

Purchased Price: $5.98
Size: 2 18 oz. boxes (1 lb. 2.7 oz. total)
Purchased at: Sam’s Club
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 1 cup – 110 calories, 5 calories from fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 45 milligrams of potassium, 26 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 11 grams of total sugars, 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Orange Vanilla Coca-Cola

Orange Vanilla Coca Cola

What is Orange Vanilla Coca-Cola?

As the first new flavor of Classic Coca-Cola to be released stateside in over ten years, Orange Vanilla Coke sets itself apart by combining smooth vanilla and bright orange flavors with the cola’s nostalgic original blend.

How is it?

Let me set the record straight here: no flavor of Coca-Cola is terrible. The worst variation of Coke is still arguably better than anything Pepsi has ever put out. Even so, I can’t say this variation is unforgettable in the same way that some of Coke’s other products are.

Despite the drink’s creamsicle-like aroma, I thought the notes of orange and vanilla fell a bit flat on the flavor end of things. Although I could faintly detect both of them while downing my first bottle, they were no match against Coca-Cola’s distinct taste, and I felt they blended into the soda’s background a little too much for them to be the only thing setting this drink apart from Coke’s other offerings.

Orange Vanilla Coca Cola in Glass

The best way I can describe the flavor imbalance here is that it’s kind of like if you drank a glass of Orange Fanta and neglected to rinse out your cup before refilling it with Coke. You can still taste the Fanta, but it’s not the focus of what’s now in the cup, and it clearly tastes like something that wasn’t an original part of the soda.

Is there anything else you should know?

Although adding orange and vanilla to Coca-Cola sounds simple, the company spared no expense in testing this product before adding it into its official lineup. After being successfully test-marketed in Canada last summer, it’s been stuck in R&D to fine-tune its flavor and advertising campaign before hitting American shelves just in time for March Madness.

Conclusion:

While Orange Vanilla Coca-Cola isn’t going to rock the soda industry, it’s a decent enough addition to Coke’s family of Classics. I recommend giving it a shot if you happen to come across a bottle but don’t go out of your way to track one down.

Purchased Price: $3.33
Size: 6 16.9 oz. bottles
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (16.9 oz) 200 calories, 0 calories from fat, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 45 milligrams of sodium, 55 grams of total carbohydrates, 55 grams of total sugars, 55 grams of added sugars, 0 grams of protein, and 0 grams of dietary fiber.

REVIEW: Yoplait Dunkin’ Inspired Yogurt Flavors

Yoplait Dunkin Inspired Yogurt Flavors

What are Yoplait Dunkin’ Inspired Yogurts?

While Dunkin’ is busy trying to make its coffees taste like Girl Scout Cookies, Yoplait has decided to translate the popular breakfast chain’s signature flavors into its perfectly portable 6-ounce yogurt cups. Released as a pair of both Original and Whips varieties, Yoplait’s Limited Edition Dunkin’ Inspired Yogurts aim to keep America running without making a run to their nearest coffee shop.

How are they?

Boston Kreme Donut

Starting with the two entries into their Original line, Boston Kreme Donut was the flavor I dove into first. Yoplait was apparently trying to recreate the treat’s filling as this flavor tasted closest to the sweet custard innards of the famous pastry. Even so, the slight tartness at play here continually reminded me that I was eating a cup of yogurt rather than a delicious, fresh-out-of-the-fryer donut, and its total lack of a chocolate element left my donut desires feeling unfulfilled.

Yoplait Original Dunkin Boston Kreme Donut Yogurt

Purchased Price: 77 cents
Size: 6 oz. container
Purchased at: Food Lion
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 container) 160 calories, 15 calories from fat, 2 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 30 grams of total carbohydrates, 24 grams of total sugars, and 6 grams of protein.

Apple Fritter

Standing as the second newly-inducted member into Yoplait’s Original lineup, Apple Fritter also fell a bit short of my expectations. With a vanilla yogurt base with apple chunks and cinnamon spice mixed in, this flavor more closely resembled Chobani’s Apple Cinnamon Greek Yogurt than it did any pastry. Although I found it tasty enough, I didn’t think this flavor was anything unique, and you could easily recreate it at home by mixing some apple pie filling into a cup of vanilla yogurt.

Yoplait Original Dunkin Apple Fritter Yogurt

Purchased Price: 77 cents
Size: 6 oz. container
Purchased at: Food Lion
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 container) 150 calories, 15 calories from fat, 2 gram of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligram of cholesterol, 95 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of total carbohydrates, 20 grams of total sugars, and 6 grams of protein.

Coffee Cinnamon Roll

As the first of their Whips additions, Coffee Cinnamon Roll immediately piqued my interest. I like drinking coffee while I eat cinnamon rolls, but I don’t necessarily associate the two flavors together in one food. After trying this, I realized why. While coffee and cinnamon buns generally complement each other, they canceled each other out in this case, which resulted in a bland, unappetizing flavor that can only be described as cloying. The whipped texture didn’t do this variety any favors either and just made it even harder to notice this yogurt’s resemblance to its indulgent inspiration.

Yoplait Whips Dunkin Cinnamon Coffee Roll Yogurt

Purchased Price: 77 cents
Size: 6 oz. container
Purchased at: Food Lion
Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 container) 160 calories, 35 calories from fat, 4 grams of total fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 60 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of total carbohydrates, 23 grams of total sugars, and 5 grams of protein.

French Vanilla Latte

Also joining into Yoplait’s Whips collection, French Vanilla Latte was perhaps the flavor I was anticipating the most, especially after my spectacular experience last year with Baskin Robbin’s take on Dunkin’s French Vanilla Coffee. Just as I had hoped, this variety ended up being my favorite out of the bunch. The whipped, mousse-like texture worked well here and made the yogurt seem reminiscent of the frothed milk on top of an actual vanilla latte.

Yoplait Whips Dunkin French Vanilla Latte Yogurt

Purchased Price: 77 cents
Size: 6 oz. container
Purchased at: Food Lion
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 container) 160 calories, 35 calories from fat, 4 grams of total fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of total carbohydrates, 21 grams of total sugars, and 5 grams of protein.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Although yogurt may seem like a healthy way to start the day, buyer beware, because some of these have more or about the same amount of sugar as the breakfast items that inspired them. For example, the Boston Kreme yogurt contains seven more grams of sugar than Dunkin’s actual Boston Kreme Donut.

Conclusion:

Despite most of these yogurts being good enough, they aren’t going to take the place of stopping by Dunkin’ on the way to work. Instead, I see them as a being a handy way to ward off the 3 P.M. snack slump without making you leave your office.