Monday, April 29, 2013

Chester Cheetah

It ain't easy bein' Cheesy....

Ain't that the truth! Today we're looking at the coolest mascot to grace the chip aisle, Chester Cheetah. Because information on the internet is totally apocryphal there are multiple origin stories for Chester's inception, but weather he came from an ingenious ad agency, or the mind of Hawley Pratt (creator of the Pink Panther) he has been  entertaining us in Cheetos ads since the 80s.


Chester is the epitome of cool. Sure he's cheesy, and honestly silly sometimes, but man is he also totally suave when he wants to be. I mean he's a cheetah in sneakers and sunglasses who just grooves along to his own beat all the time. How can you not love that?!

Don't know what Cheetos are? well they're puffed corn snacks flavored with powdered cheese of course. They are totally addictive, and a good change up from chips. Here's a classic Chester ad.


Get the picture now? So the gag with Chester is that yes he's a super cool dude, but he's also a bit crazy when it comes to Cheetos. Kind of in the way Sonny went Cuckoo over Coco Puffs, or the Trix Rabbit always lost it when he was about to eat some Trix cereal. Over the years he's varied in levels of silliness, but despite being portrayed as a bit of a buffoon sometimes, I think most people agree that this cat is pretty darn cool.


Lets look at the snack for a second though.

There have been a lot of different versions of Cheetos themselves over the years. And some of them are only available regionally. I know I was pretty disappointed when after recently moving from the States to Canada I realized that they don't seem to have either Flamin Hot Cheetos, or Honey BBQ Cheetos here :( This is the current lineup of Cheetos products that I can find easily in Canada.

Cheetos Puffs are the classic puffed corn snack you know and love. I expect these were the original Cheetos variety since I know I had these around since I was a really little kid. They are airy and light, and get cheese powder all over your fingers but man are they good.


If you want a bit more heft though. Cheetos Crunchy are the best of the best. Not as classic as the Puffs but honestly they are fantastic, and I personally prefer them to the Puffs. These things are insanely addictive too and if you haven't had them in a while I definitely recommend you go get some immediately!

Both the Puffs and the Crunchy varieties are the standards that you'll see everywhere. While there are and have been a number of other varieties over the years, here's what else I'm seeing currently on Canadian shelves.


For the health conscious out there (I suppose..) they've got Baked Cheetos Crunchy. Now I've never had these before, but I expect they're alright. What I don't understand though is that if you're actually caring about whether its baked or fried you probably should just stop eating them... right?

And Finally they've got this interesting variety that I wasn't familiar with before.

Cheese flavored popcorn is really a solid idea. I know I've always enjoyed it when I've had it before but I wasn't aware that there was a Cheetos variety out there. This is one I'd like to check out.

Back to Chester specifically though, the guy is always up to something. Even on the packaging I've shown you he's a pretty outlandish cartoon. I'm not sure exactly what flying a plane has to do with Cheese Puffs, but I don';t care: I'm going with it.

When they did a little revamping of Chester in the 90s they decided to start bringing him into the real world with some effects that honestly work very well. Kinda Space Jam-esque.

Chester had a few more great adventures through the 90s as his popularity grew. And this is where they dropped a lot of the bumbling Chester in favor of a simpler and cooler Chester.



You can see that he's a celebrity by '99 with the Daffy commercial.

From here into the 2000s Chester became even more interesting, because while they still advertized to kids, with things like this OrangeUnderground campaign, they also started making ads that appealed to adults.


The ads for adults started in the mid '00s and are more about skewing the status quo, bucking the system, and the little guy taking a small step to make their world  a bit more bearable. Its a very 00s sort of mentality. Very Fight Club. And Chester has taken on the role of the devil on your shoulder, encouraging, and nudging. Its very subversive and I have to say I love it.

Here's a classic ad that at least for me was the first time I was exposed to the beautiful Felicia Day.


A few other examples of this new and improved Chester Cheetah:


I have to say, this guy is pretty awesome. Sure a part of me wishes he still had a bit more of the fun loving 90s silliness, but I also like how much Chester is all about messing with the system. I mean who doesn't relate to this stuff?

I know I skipped over his terrible video game and a few other little things, but that's ok. If you weren't familiar with Chester Cheetah before I sure hope you are now. The guy is legendary, and the snacks are great. I'm excited to see where Chester goes next.

Chester Cheetah is of course a mascot for Frito-Lay Cheetos. For more on all things Cheetos and Chester you can visit them online http://www.cheetos.com/

Friday, April 26, 2013

Toffifee review

Today we've got an interesting one for you, lets have a look at Toffifee.


Walking the Candy Aisle rates Toffifee - 3 / 5

Toffifee (or Toffifay) is a August Storck KG company, you can find out more about it at their site - http://www.toffifee.com/ Stay tuned for more reviews here every week, and feel free to browse all of our reviews over on the Reviews Page.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Dropping the Mits... for Candy!

I'm amazed that this exists... but honestly I shouldn't be.


Only in Canada would something like this be made. It's pretty funny to see how regional changes can affect the way companies market, or distribute their products but it seems rare for a big company to make a whole new product that will only appeal to a specific demographic. This definitely reminds me of the Twizzlers Skates I reviewed a while back.


Then again, Canada is a pretty big place and I'm sure Hershey does alright here. Why not throw us a bone every now and again.  And hey, I know people love hockey in the States too. Just not quite as much as the Canucks. So hockey fans rejoice here is a chocolate just for you!

But guess what? that's not all. PEZ has gotten into the action too!

 

Does 'Limited Edition' mean only available in Canada? I will say that for some reason despite this display up in the Dollarama here in Toronto, the only actual pez dispensers available were for the Red Wings and the Habs.


You'd think they'd at least have the Maple Leafs ones.... unless of course they had sold out or something. Definitely interesting stuff for all those hockey nuts out there. I hope you can find these in our neck of the woods.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Kit Kat Chunky PB Spotted

So I was pretty surprised to see this limited edition (?) Kit Kat Chunky Peanut Butter staring back at me from the aisle in Shoppers Drug Mart this past weekend. I don't think I've ever heard of a Kit Kat Peanut Butter before. And while I know I haven't reviewed it yet on the Candy Aisle, I am a MASSIVE fan of the Chunky line. So needless to say this is very exciting.


To add to the interesting it looks like Nestlé Canada is (or was) having a little vote on their Facebook page - the Kit Kat Chunky Challenge page linked here. You see they actually released two variants on the Chunky bars just before Easter: Peanut Butter and a Hazlenut. Then people were challenged to vote on the best tasting one, presumably that one would stick around while the other went away. Unfortunately thats not how things worked out.

Now I know I'm late to the game on this, but seriously this isn't a candy news blog. The thing is hat there were several reports of people finding bits of plastic in their new Kit Kat Chunky bars.... I know, gross. According to reports the Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a warning to consumers, and then Nestlé voluntarily had the products recalled. I believe this affected other countries but I'm finding it hard to confirm that. According to The Grocer blog (which is a very good food and candy news blog btw)  Nestlé also recalled some Easter Eggs, and Chunky bars in Chocolate Fudge and Caramel varieties (although I don't know if those variants were sold here in Canada).

Not to worry though my intrepid Kit Kat lovers, check out the page linked here to see the affected product lines and make sure you cross check you next Kit Kat Chunky before eating. I'm pretty sure all the big chain stores would have gotten rid of the bad product by now, but better safe than sorry right.

I definitely would like to try a Kit Kat Peanut Butter, but now I'm a bit nervous. I'll have to make sure the best before dates on it are new before getting one... and even then I expect I'll be a bit squeamish. Its a shame when things like this happen, but at least Nestlé stepped up and did the right thing.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Maynards Sour Cherry Blasters review

Today I'm finally dipping into the popular world of Maynards with their a review of their Sour Cherry Blasters.


Walking the Candy Aisle rates Maynards Sour Cherry Blasters - 4 / 5

Definitely one to check out And for more reviews from me, please head on over to the Reviews Page to get the full scoop.

Maynards is a brand of Cadbury (ne Kraft Foods), you can always learn about Cadbury at http://www.cadbury.co.uk/, or Maynards specifically here in Canada at their Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/maynardscanada

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

More Desserts Please...

It was back in June and July of last year that I posted about the Extra Desserts gums. I've had some of them and the entire concept fascinates me. While I'm not so sure I want to regularly walk around chewing apple pie flavored gum, I suppose its nice to know that's an actual option.

I was surprised to see a new entry into the Desserts gum scene last week while checking out at Target.


Lemon Squares is a good idea. Not sure why they've dropped the Extra branding in favor of Juicy Fruit, but I'm sure there's some solid marketing behind that... Also hey've changed the name from "Dessert Delights" to "Desserts". Lemon Squares now adds to the already released flavors of Mint Chocolate Chip, Orange Creampop, Apple Pie, Strawberry Shortcake, and Root Beer Float. What other flavors would you like to see them take a crack at? I think Peanut Brittle, Black Forrest Cake, and (if you're Canadian you'll know this one) Nanimo Bars would all be great entries.

Monday, April 15, 2013

M&M Musings

Today I thought we'd take some time out of our bust schedule and talk shop a bit about your favorite candy mascots and mine the M&Ms.



Now why it has taken me so long to write a basic post on these iconic mascots is beyond me. Perhaps its all just a bit daunting, I mean when you're talking big league candy mascots they simply get no bigger than the M&Ms. Also the M&Ms have such a history to them, I'm not talking just academically here, I'm talking on a deep personal level I have strong emotions and memories of the M&Ms from my youth. Where do you begin when you're talking about a brand mascot, a whole series of brand mascots who so dominate the playing field that others are, I think, scared to even get out of the gate?

Well, for me I thought I'd talk a bit today about the M&Ms themselves. Why does it even work? You've got a great little chocolate and candy confection, I mean I think we all know plain, or 'milk chocolate' M&Ms as they are now called, are really fantastic,  but why do you even think to put arms and a face on them for the marketing? I know there have been a lot of food mascots over the years, heck even Wikipedia lists the Quaker Oats Man going back to 1877, But I have to think it wasn't until Mr Peanut came along in the 30s that people really got to see a mascot that was made of his own product. More often than not you had some associated person, or cuddly cartoon animal hocking your wares, think Toucan Sam, or the Jolly Green Giant. Other than a few exceptions like Twinkie the Kid, or the McNugget Buddies anthropomorphic food trying to get you to eat it (or not in some cases) is generally shied away from.

Now the M&M characters first appeared in the 60s, and I know that this reference wasn't written until 1980 but doesn't the whole thing smack  a bit too much like that great scene in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe where they Meet the Meat (watch the clip on YouTube here). This is either some very clever or some very morbid marketing at work. But what really amazes me most is that no one seems to notice it?!


Although there is definitely a weird morbidity to the entire prospect, the awesome thing is that there's no denying how effective these little guys are! I'm not here to regurgitate Wikipedia to you, there is more than enough info there to keep you occupied, but I do want to say that the very fact that these guys exist, and that they are so great at keeping me interested in M&Ms is a real testament to an enduring concept, and some great marketing execution.

And since the late mid 90s these characters have also really evolved into something fascinating that no other candy company can claim. They are unique as candy mascots that are recognized all over the world. they also have distinct personalities, an basic character plot lines in their specific ads. And because (basically) each one is associated with a specific flavor of the candy, fans can have their favorites. People connect with them, and care about them. That is branding gold and something you have to commend.


Some of my fondest memories from being a kid are browsing through my comic books, or flipping the tv on and watching the great advertising.  Seriously, I really have always loved good advertizing. And M&M ads were, and still are always a ton of fun.

Next time we'll get more into the advertizing specifically, but I thought it best to start with the real heart of the ads first. These guys are what makes the M&M ads tick, and I'm very glad they're around.


Check out even more on the M&Ms with these reviews:
M&Ms Peanut review
M&Ms Coconut review
M&Ms Mint review
M&Ms White Chocolate Peppermint review

Friday, April 12, 2013

Crunch Crisp review

We've got a bit of a weird one for you today, have a look at Nestlé's elusive Crunch Crisp.


Walking the Candy Aisle rates the Crunch Crisp - 4 / 5

For more on all things Nestlé and specifically Crunch please check out their online presence at http://www.nestlecrunch.com/. And for more reviews covering the gamut of chocolates and candy, please visit our Reviews Page for a list of everything we've covered here on the Candy Aisle.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Easter reviews 2013 wrap

Thanks again for joining Walking the Candy Aisle this year for all of our Easter reviews. I started this blog last year just before Easter time mainly because of all the great candy I was seeing down the aisle and I'm glad to be able to continue bringing my thoughts on these delicious treats to you.

In case you missed any of the 2013 coverage here are links through to all of this years Easter reviews!

Cadbury Lil Scoops Chocolatey Mousse
Rolo Egg
Caramilk Egg
Hershey's Marshmallow Egg
Falize Caramel Egg
Dare Marshmallow Eggs
Palmer Fudge Filled Big Ears
EggSquisites Creme Egg
Kinder Mini Eggs
Ferrero Rocher Easter Bunny
Kinder Surprise
Falize Milk Chocolate

And if that's not enough, just head over to our YouTube Page for the Easter Playlist to get all of this year and last years reviews in one handy place. Regular new candy and chocolate reviews continue here posting every Friday. Additionally I'll be trying my best to get you at least one other blog post every Tuesday. Stay with us here at WTCA, there's a lot more fun to come :)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Skittles Darkside review

I've got something really fun today. We're looking at the brand new Skittles Darkside!


Walking the Candy Aisle rates Skittles Darkside - 4 / 5

Skittles is a Wrigley (ne Mars) product, please find out more about them and Darkside specifically at http://www.skittles.com/ For more Skittles reviews or any others, please check out our Reviews page

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Falize Milk Chocolate review

Ok, so I know I said I was done, but today I've got one last Easter review for you, lets look at this bar of Falize Milk Chocolate.


Walking the Candy Aisle rates Falize Milk Chocolate - 1 / 5

This is definitely one to pass on, it just got more and more plastic tasting as I ate it. 

For more on Falize you can check out my previous review for the Falize Caramel Egg.As I've mentioned before this company just does not seem to have an online presence. As always for more reviews feel free to check out the Reviews Page. I'll be back tomorrow with the standard Friday review.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Kinder Surprise review

Well, Easter may be over but we've got one more bonus Easter review for you today. We're actually going to have a look at the one and only Kinder Surprise.



and part 2 showing the toy!


Walking the Candy Aisle rates Kinder Surprise - 4 / 5

Now I should make it clear, I am really no huge Kinder expert, but I like the egg, and this review was really based for the most part on the chocolate, and the presentation / packaging etc; but NOT on the specific toy included. The fact that they are pretty much uniformly cool toys is a bonus though.

Kinder as I said, is a Ferrero product, but you can find more about them at their online presence - . And for more reviews please head on over to our Reviews Page, or feel freel to just browse the Easter Candy Playlist on YouTube. Expect an Easter wrap up post later this week. until then, don;t forget to check the aisle for some remainders :)