Thursday, 3 September 2015

Review: Bounty Coconut Spread

A very quick review of the new Bounty Spread. Thank you to @eveningtreats who let me know about this one a few weeks ago. My initial thought was that it looked very similar to the extremely popular, and often hard to find, Lidl Deluxe Coconut Spread.

My first tasting confirms that it's a very similar flavour with the same type of Milk Spread base and added bits of coconut flakes. As I described in my original Lidl spread review it tastes a bit like the super sweet and creamy filling from a Kinder Bueno combined with a fairly natural tasting coconut flavour (which is only found in the added coconut flakes rather than in the milk base itself). 

Whilst this was fine for the Lidl spread, I don't think it fits the 'Bounty' theme at all. I'm not actually a fan of the Bounty chocolate bar - I find the coconut flavour in those far too artificial and cloying. However I'm sure that a stronger coconut flavour of that type would be expected in this spread. Also - where's the chocolate? Wouldn't a milk chocolate based spread (rather than this plain milk one) be a better fit with the Bounty branding? 

It's interesting to note that the ingredients also look the same compared to those that I listed in my Lidl spread review, although the Bounty Spread lists rapeseed oil rather than vegetable oil (which I believe is still be the same thing). 

Grocery Gems Review:

RATING7 out of 10 (it's just not Bounty enough!).
Buy them again?: Yes.
 117 calories per 20g.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Degustabox August: Surprise Foodie Box & Discount Code!

The latest Degustabox arrived last week and once again it's packed full of interesting foodie products. Degustabox is a monthly foodie subscription service that sends out a range of specially selected new and limited products. There's always a great mix of new products that I haven't tried before, aswell as plenty of treats from more established brands. 

Discount CodeOWC2W

Each Degustabox cost £12.99 a month, which includes delivery, with no fixed contract involved. Degustabox have kindly provided my readers with the following Discount Code for £3.00 off your next Degustabox, bringing the cost to £9.99 delivered. Enter the code - OWC2W

Here's a closer look and review of the products inside this months Degustabox.

There were two packs of biscuits from Bahlsen included in the Degustabox; Choco Liebniz White and the new PICK UP! Dark Chocolate.

PICK UP! Dark Chocolate: I've tried Balhsen PICK UP! biscuits before in a previous Degustabox and really enjoyed them. The Dark Chocolate variety features the same thick slab of chocolate sandwiched between two golden biscuits. It's a lovely rich dark chocolate that has a really sweet edge. These are also great because each one is individually wrapped. Available at selected Asda stores.

Choco Leibniz White: These are biscuits that I've bought myself a few times and they're just delicious. I love the thick layer of white chocolate against the crunchy chocolate biscuit. It's a creamy and chocolaty biscuit combination that is truly indulgent and one of my favourites from the Bahlsen range. They're available at Asda, Sainsbury's, Waitrose and Ocado. 

Williamson Tea Ginger Grove: This was a very welcome addition to the Degustabox. I enjoy trying out new teas and this one reminds me of upmarket brands such as Teapigs. The silky teabags are full of fragrant leaves and ginger pieces. Williamson Tea is made from fresh, pesticide-free tea that is grown solely on their Kaimosi farm in Kenya. The Ginger Grove variety is made with real ginger pieces which gives it a deliciously warming and soothing flavour. The ginger is not too overpowering, it still tastes like a black tea, but it just has that extra bit of warmth - perfect for colder days!

Barilla: There are two Barilla products included in the Degustabox; Penne Rigate and Arrabbiata Tomato & Chilli sauce. I was delighted to see these included this month as it's always great to try out new brands of pasta (or is that just me?). The Barilla pasta is made in Italy with carefully selected durum wheat and their pasta sauce is made with 100% authentic Italian tomatoes. 

I made two meals using the box of Barilla Penne Rigate. Firstly a simple bolognese sauce for the kids which they devoured with gusto - and with pleas for me to buy this pasta again! The pasta tubes are noticeably different (to my usual supermarket brand) in their large size and gorgeous texture.

I used the Barilla Arrabbiata sauce on the rest of the pasta and just added black olives and a parsley garnish. The sauce has a kick of heat to it that is perfectly paired with the ripe tomato flavour. I don't usually buy ready-made pasta sauce but this one is surprisingly fresh-tasting and delicious.

Walkers: The Walkers biscuit brand is well-known for their finest shortbread and biscuits made using original recipes. These little snack packs are really cute and very useful for sneaky tea breaks for one!  I especially enjoyed the Fruit & Lemon which are a delicious combination of lemony biscuit and Mediterranean fruits.

Delicious Alchemy Oaty Cookie Mix: I really like the design and name of this brand which is part of the Degustabox Discoveries for August. Delicious Alchemy are an award-winning company dedicated to creating gluten free food from cake and bread mixes, to tasty breakfast cereals. This super easy Gluten and Dairy Free Oaty Cookie Mix makes 10 golden cookies (although I made 8 so mine were probably too big!). They reminded me a lot of my own oat cookies, without any of the fuss! 

Life Tonics Elderberry & Juniper: This Hydration Plus range is made with coconut water, natural fruit extracts, 5 vitamins and 4 minerals and are free of refined sugars, artificial sweeteners. I'm not a fan of plain coconut water but I do like the flavoured versions. Life Tonics is available in three lovely sounding flavours - Coconut & Mint, Dalandan Orange, and Elderberry & Juniper. I received the latter which was really refreshing and fruity.

Ryvita Sesame and Cracked Black Pepper: I buy Ryvita quite regularly but funnily enough I've never tried either of these flavours. The Cracked Black Pepper is destined to become a favourite from now on. It has such a wonderful peppery flavour.

I enjoyed it with some Philadelphia Light Garlic & Herbs which I already had at home. The cream cheese and peppery Ryvita was a delicious combination.

Dr. Oetker Mug Cakes: Here's a Quiz: How excited do you think I was to find all three new Dr. Oetker Mug Cakes included in the Degustabox? A) Very Excited B) Super Excited C) Jumping Up and Down Made My Day Excited. It's a toughie... A separate review of all this awesomeness to follow soon!

There were also a few extras included in my Degustabox which weren't mentioned in the leaflet. They're all products that have appeared in recent boxes. I was so pleased to see a Fru Snax Peach Slices With Vanilla Yogurt Melts as I mentioned in my last Degustabox review that I really wanted to try this one! 

Overall I was delighted with the wonderful selection in this months Degustabox. There was a great selection of useful grocery items and indulgent sweet treats. My favourites this month were the Barilla Penne Rigate and Arrabbiata sauce, Williamson Tea Ginger Grove, and Dr. Oetker Mug Cakes.

For more details on Degustabox:

Degustabox website:

I received a Degustabox in order to provide an honest review.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Review: Walkers Bring It Back Flavours: Lamb & Mint and Toasted Cheese

Carrying on from my previous post regarding the new Walkers Bring It Back flavours campaign, I also bought the Lamb & Mint and Toasted Cheese flavoured crisps to review. 

Walkers Toasted Cheese: According to the Walkers website this flavour was popular in the 1980's 'for a whole decade'. Initially I thought it seemed familiar to me but I think I must be remembering the more recent Walkers Cheesy Beans on Toast which is quite different. The flavour itself is very good, it has a mild cheddar type cheese flavour with a buttery edge which is free of any onion of chive influence. It's actually really nice to just have a plain cheese flavoured crisp. The 'toasted' part of the flavour, does not come through very strongly but it is present in the additional buttery flavour. I'm not sure if these are enough to win the overall Walkers campaign, but they're still a very tasty crisp nonetheless. 

Grocery Gems Review: Walkers Bring it Back - Toasted Cheese

RATING: 7 out of 10.

Buy them again?: Yes.
Nutrition: 169 calories per pack.
Vegetarian: Suitable for vegetarians.
Purchased: Newsagent.

Price: 2 packs for £1.00p (32.5g each).

Walkers Lamb & Mint: I'm not a fan of lamb at all but these are the only flavour from this campaign that I actually remember from their first release. I know I've definitely had these before in the past (and not liked them). The flavour is how I remember it - it's just far too lamby and meaty for me. I think I would prefer these if the lamb flavour gave way to a minty finish, but unfortunately it's the other way around; an initial burst of mint and then a strong, gamey lamb flavour that is just unpleasant. This is obviously because I don't like lamb - my husband on the other hand thought the flavour was fine. Even if I don't like this flavour, the impressive thing about the Lamb & Mint is that it tastes exactly as it should from the name, which isn't the case with all the flavours in this range.

Grocery Gems Review: Walkers Bring it Back - Lamb & Mint

RATING: 6 out of 10 (would be higher for any lamb fans).

Buy them again?: No.
Nutrition: 169 calories per pack.
Vegetarian: Suitable for vegetarians.
Purchased: Newsagent.

Price: 2 packs for £1.00p (32.5g each).

Monday, 31 August 2015

New Instore: Bounty Spread, Betty Crocker Coffee Frosting & More

Thanks to Lucy W. for the following photos!

Betty Crocker Classic Coffee Icing: According to Lucy the names of the Betty Crocker cake mixes have all been updated, for example from Victoria Sponge to Velvety Vanilla. There are also a few new products in the line including this coffee flavoured frosting. Available at Tesco.

Bounty Spread: I really need to get a move on and find this one! I'm excited to try it but it does seem a shame that it's a creamy white spread and not a milk chocolate based spread. Sainsbury's used to have an own brand milk chocolate and coconut spread which was just amazing (anyone remember that one?). This Bounty Spread looks more like the Lidl White Chocolate Coconut Spread. Available at Tesco.

Tesco Crunchy Carrot Slices: These are oven-dried sliced carrots which have been turned into a crunchy and crisp snack. It's part of a range that includes Crunchy Beetroot Slices, Crunchy Apple Slices, and Crunchy Sweet Potato Slices. 

The Snack Organisation Freeze Dried Pineapple and Apple: Staying on the healthier theme is this new range of dried fruit crisps. Lucy also spotted Strawberry and Apricot flavours in this range. Available at Tesco. 

Asda Banana Flavour Milkshake Malties: Asda released lots of new kids cereals during the summer including these banana flavoured Milkshake Malties which are also available in Chocolate or Strawberry Milkshake flavours. I took these photos a few weeks ago but if you've tried any of them then I'd love to know what you thought of them in the comments below. £1.18p at Asda.

Asda Strawberry Squares: There are also a few new strawberry flavoured cereals - Strawberry Squares, which look a bit like Krave cereal, or Strawberry Flavour Snaps, a type of puffed rice cereal. £1.18p at Asda.

Thanks again to Lucy W. for the first photos. If you've spotted any new products instore then I'd love to hear from you - email or tweet me @grocerygems.

New Instore: Meanwhile in Portugal...

Just a few items which I spotted in supermarkets in Portugal. 

Limited Edition Retro 7UP cans (above and below): I loved these limited edition 7UP cans featuring throwback designs from different decades. I couldn't resist seeking out all the different designs.

They had information on the back with details of which decade each can was inspired by. These are from (left to right) the 1930's, 1970's and 1990's. 

There was also a cool 1980's inspired can which I managed to find in the last few days of our holiday - this was my favourite!

Nestlé Lion Chocolate & Caramel Milkshake Mix: I mainly bought this for my son who likes Nesquik chocolate drinks. We haven't tried this chocolate and caramel Lion bar version yet but I'll have a review up soon. 

Cheetos Sticks: There are lots of Cheetos varieties available on the continent, but the main reason I'm mentioning thse Palitos/Sticks is because they are Ketchup & Cheese flavour. I'd never tried ketchup flavoured cheetos before so I had to get these ones! 

Savora Yogochup and Savora Ketchapple: On the subject of ketchup there were also these bizarre combinations. Available in a blend of ketchup & yogurt or ketchup & apple... I wasn't tempted by these!

Lipton Ice Tea Piña Colada: There are lots of interesting flavours of ice tea available across Europe, I especially liked this fruity pineapple and coconut flavoured version which was just delicious. I wish this was available in the UK!

Milka Splash Mint: The Milka equivalent of the dire Cadbury Puddles. Even though the packaging is a more appealing than the Cadbury one, I still wasn't interested in trying this one. In past years I would have bought it just to do a comparison with the Cadbury version but I really don't ever want to try that one again. Although I do wonder if the Milka one has the same horrible yellowish-green colour inside!

Olá Ice Cream Board 2015: Most of these ice creams from Olá (basically Walls ice cream) are known in the UK but there were a few new ones. The swirly Tornado in the bottom left hand corner is quite unique as it's Cotton Candy flavoured (and really delicious too!). I also enjoyed the Cornetto Taco which I don't think I've seen in the supermarkets here.

Nestlé Ice Cream Board 2015: The Nestlé board is slightly more exciting as it has a lot more ice creams that aren't available in the UK including Cookie Maxibon and Brownie Maxibon.

However, I was most excited to see a new flavour for the Jungly banana-shaped peelable ice lollies (see one of my favourite reviews ever HERE) - an Orange and Lime flavour. Quite why a banana shaped lolly needs to come in any other flavour other than banana is a mystery, but it was still fun to try! The watermelon ice cream was super cute and refreshing too.

If you've tried any of the above products then I'd love to hear from you in the comments below - thanks!

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