Masterfoods, the manufacturers of Skittles have extended the range having being content with the good old Original Skittles product. Skittles Sours and Skittles Crazy Cores are new twists on a very successful product, so although Masterfoods were taking some risk it were a calculated one. The product I am concentrating on for the purposes of this review is the Skittles Crazy Cores, which were introduced to the US market way back in 2008, though they have only been available in the UK since last year. I always look forward to trying new products, and as I have enjoyed Skittles for many years I were intrigued by the new slant on a proven successful product.
The first impressions are most certainly positive. Skittles Crazy Cores are packaged in a simple pouch. The most noticeable colour is the bright orange background, which ensures the product stands out on the shelves. We are then met with the Skittles branding and the Skittles rainbow which is bright and colourful, and continues the theme of the whole look. In white text we also have the 'Crazy Cores' name, though this isn't anywhere near as big as the Skittles logo. I spot the product on the shelves due to the colour, and this is what makes it stand out against the original Skittles product. To the front of the pouch we also have illustrations of the colours in the pack, which have a contrasting colour in the centre to the outer shell of the sweet.
On the back of the pouch we have the usual information, nutritional advice and a product description, along with an explanation as to the difference between Skittles and Skittles Crazy Cores. There is plenty of information here and it doesn't look too cluttered. We also have a sticker for sealing the pouch once opened, this is quite standard on pouches these days and ensures the pouch is secure between servings.
There are a good number of different colours and flavours in the Skittles Crazy Cores pouch, and although I don't dislike any of them, they all have a distinct flavour. The flavours are as follows, with their respective colour combinations;
Mango Peach - Orange shell, clear inside.
Melon Berry - Green shell, clear inside.
Blue Raspberry Lemon - Blue shell, yellow inside.
Strawberry Watermelon - pink shell, green inside.
Cherry Lemonade - Red shell, yellow inside.
As this shows, there are five flavours and each one has a unique taste. My favourites are the Cherry Lemonade and Mango Peach.
Skittles Crazy Cores - my thoughts
Although Crazy Cores have a similar appearance as ordinary Skittles this isn't my only disappointment. I had hopes for lots more bright colours, though Masterfoods have stuck with most the same colours. There are a number of exciting new flavours to try, and I were not left disappointed with the product at all. The flavour combinations work very well together, and the taste is also very interesting. The first thing you taste is the sweetness of the crisp sugar coating. You can suck the sweets if you wish, but upon biting into them there is a slight crunch as you break through this crisp sugar coating. You are then faced with the relevant flavour depending on the colour you choose, and this is where they differ from original Skittles. The flavours have plenty of punch, and it soon becomes clear that it is best to eat them individually and enjoy their unique flavours, as opposed to just throwing a handful in your mouth and chomping away. The reward is a taste sensation! Each one has its own combination of flavours, and also they are very sweet in taste, the flavours come through powerfully. The only negative I could give is that the taste is still very artificial, and they are not quite as juicy tasting as other sweet products I have tasted in the past. The depth of flavour is a small point worth noting, but I have to say they are an improvement on the original Skittles flavour - this is a compliment for sure!
Ingredients list and nutrition
Sugar, Glucose Syrup, Vegetable Fat, Citric Acid, Dextrin, Flavourings, Maltodextrin, Modified Starch, Acidity Regulator Trisodium Citrate, Glazing Agent Carnauba Wax, Colours E171, E120, Emulsifier Polyglycerol Esters of Fatty Acids, Colours E100, E133, E160e.
It is also worth mentioning that Skittles Crazy Cores are Gluten-Free. Unfortunately they contain a few E numbers which is due to the colouring.
The following nutritional information is based on a 45g portion.
Price and availability
The 174g pouch I bought is available for £1.40 from Tesco, and is available from all good food retailers. Skittles Crazy Cores are widely available.
Overall I do enjoy the Skittles Crazy Cores. Before I tried them I thought they wouldn't be an improvement on the original Fruit Skittles, though I have since been proved wrong. Masterfoods have not simply tried to cash in and cheapen the Skittles brand, they have done the opposite. The possibilities are endless with the Skittles brand, which is reflected in the number of spin-offs they have created since the Fruit Skittles were introduced in the late 1980's. This truly is a masterstroke from Masterfoods - Skittles Crazy Cores are bursting with exciting flavour combinations!