* Prices may differ from that shown
Up until lately I had never seen these in the shops to buy, I think even if had I would never of bought one as I don't like dark chocolate. My Mums neighbour came to her door with a box of 48 of them and asked if she would like them for the children. I couldn't help but ask her why she was giving away so many, she said that in her office they have a vending machine n the just simply don't sell so she had boxes upon boxes to get rid of. So we took the box and kindly sad thank you. The chocolate craving kicked in as they were looking at me and I couldn't help but have one.
Mars Dark made by Mars Inc and it is a limited edition. It has a nougat bar, with layer of caramel, then covered in a lovely light coating of dark chocolate.
The wrapper for this bar looks fairly similar to a standard mars bar except it has dark in big bold letters and has some blue colour on the wrapper as well. (see picture) It also states on the front of the wrapper that it's limited edition.
When you open the wrapper you will be greeted by a lovely dark chocolate bar. The top of the bar is textured slightly from covering the bar in chocolate and almost creates waves of chocolate. It has this lovely strong but sweet smell coming from it which is lovely as it makes your mouth water before you've even tasted it.
When first bite into the chocolate bar I could feel the chocolate strong to crack. The inside of the bar is slightly lighter than a standard mars. The nougat is more of a white colour, it still has the runny caramel on top of the nougat which is then fully covered by the dark chocolate. The chocolate, nougat and caramel is a very good combination and taste's very good together. I don't find this too sweet for me but I think a few people may find this too sweet. This definitely craves any sweet cravings you may have! After eating the bar I did feel very satisfied and surprised how good it was considering how much I detest dark chocolate.
One 52g bar contains:
Calories: 236 kcal
As I said I'm not a lover of dark chocolate in fact I never eat any at all, but I really loved this chocolate bar and would highly recommend that if your not a dark chocolate lover like me then you should give this ago. Although the dark chocolate is there it is only a thin layer and if I'm honest you cant really taste it. For me the thing I could taste most was the mixture of the caramel and the nougat ohm it was soooo yummy and it defiantly sorted my craving for chocolate. I would rate this chocolate bar a surprising 5 out of 5 and would defiantly recommend that people have it ago. The are hard to find in shops as I have been looking out for them to give you a rough price for them. I found them in my local newsagents which cost 54p but couldn't find them in my local Sommerfields but that doesn't mean to say that no supermarkets will sell them. Suppose thats the fun of it being a limited edition. Be adventurous and do it in the dark:o)
I'm a massive Mars Bar fan but I don't really like dark chocolate, finding it slightly too rich for my palette. As such, I was in two minds about whether or not to try these limited edition Mars Bars. My mind was made up after seeing them on offer at my local corner shop for 5 bars for a £1. You can't really go wrong at those prices!
If you have yet to come across these bars, they are essentially the same as normal Mars Bars, except the chocolate in them is dark chocolate. The wrapper is also very similar to normal bars, except there are hints of blue here and there and the word "dark" in one corner. The limited edition bars are the same size as normal Mars Bars, weighing in it around 52g.
Biting into it, I found that my initial fears about the chocolate being very rich were accurate. However, despite this richness, the bar wasn't too sickly. I think what helps is that the nougat and caramel in the bar serve to temper the chocolate and create an overall taste of sweetness and it is this taste, rather than the richness of the chocolate, that lingers in your mouth. I've also found that this bar goes very well with a glass of cold milk; it can be quite a refreshing little snack.
It's not all good, however. As with ordinary Mars Bars, I find these bars to be very filling, sometimes a bit too filling. On occasion I have felt slightly nauseous after finishing a bar as it tends to sit heavily in your stomach and can make you feel very lethargic.
As this is a chocolate bar, it's not going be very good for those watching their weight. Each bar contains the following nutritional information:
Calories: 236 kcal
As such this product is only intended to just be a luxury indulgence every now and again. The good news is that you probably won't be tempted to eat loads of these in one go anyway, due to them being very filling. As these are limited edition Mars Bars, they may be difficult to come across. My local Asda used to stock these but no longer do. The best places I've found to look for them are independent corner shops because if they do stock them, they tend to offer them at special prices such as so many for a quid.
These bars contain Milk, Soy ingredients, barley and egg and as such are not suitable for people allergic to these ingredients.
The Mars Bar hardly needs any introduction, and even if it does this particular review category is not really the place for it, so I shall confine myself to saying that it is a bar which I do like but which doesn't quite reach the absolute heights of brilliance as far as I'm concerned. What we have here, though, is a dark chocolate version of the bar, cunningly disguised under the moniker "Mars Dark". Whether or not it can do any better than its milk chocolate sibling we shall see...
The packaging for the Mars Dark is very, very similar to that for the standard Mars Bar. The main colour scheme is almost identical, with just some flashes of what is presumably intended to be (but isn't) midnight blue and the tell-tale word "Dark" in one corner. Oh, and "Limited Edition" of course. I suppose that if this thing does really well, it's likely to miraculously transform into an unlimited edition at some point! Tesco sell them for 45p, but I managed to pick up some from my local B&M discount store for a measly 15p each!
One side of the pack is taken up with a big advert for the dedicated website at marsdark.com - which, oddly, you have to be 16 or over to enter. (This can't be a simple "sugary foods" thing, as the standard Mars website has no such limitation.) All the site actually consists of is a list of events which you can "do in the dark", which - perhaps rather disappointingly to some! - is considerably less risqué than it sounds and mostly means things like ghost walks and nature watches. Most are now long consigned to the past in any case: the site is really barely worth one visit, let alone two.
A single bar of Mars Dark weighs 52 grams, which is identical to the ordinary bar. As far as that all-important nutritional information goes, you get 236 kcal in one bar, which is as close as makes no difference the same as the milk chocolate bar provides. Those with lactose intolerance should be aware that despite being made with dark chocolate (well, sort of: it's only 35% cocoa), this bar *does* contain milk, as well as soy, barley, egg and (potentially) nuts.
The wrapper is just as crinkly and cheap-feeling as with the ordinary bar, and once unwrapped the bar looks pretty much identical too, but the smell is very different. It's a rather odd smell, actually, though in no way unpleasant: there's still a strong hint of the sweetness and nougatiness (is that a word?) of the milk chocolate bar, but despite that low cocoa content it does successfully put across a "dark" feel as well.
I wasn't entirely impressed with the flavour of the Mars Dark. The worst element of its taste was that slightly off-putting, almost varnishy, overtone you sometimes get from very cheap dark chocolate bars, though this was only fleeting and disappeared soon after first biting into it. The filling of nougat and caramel seemed to be identical to that in the milk bar, and tasted fine, but I wasn't entirely sure that it went all that well with the chocolate coating. As with the milk bar, it's a little too soft in texture.
Overall, this bar is neither a stunning success nor a disastrous failure. It's really too sweet to work as a proper "dark" bar, especially given the very sweet aftertaste lent by the filling. On the other hand, it's not quite simple enough to work as something to wolf down in a hurry. It's close, and I'm giving this three stars as I did the milk version, but on balance - and assuming the aforementioned B&M bargain was not being offered - I'd prefer a standard Mars Bar.
Despite knowing that pretty much every chocolate bar I consume is bad for me in one way or another, I keep on coming back for more. I unashamedly have a sweet tooth and I like eating my old favourites such as a Twirl or a Twix. I also like trying out new chocolate products that appear in our shops from time to time. However, one thing I have noticed of late is that the corporate giants in the world of chocolate seem to be lacking a bit of imagination in the research and development department. I wonder if the chocolate manufacturers make slight tweaks to existing popular brands as these products have an existing fanbase that would be prepared to try the "new" products out. I would also imagine it must cost much more money to launch a brand new product in terms of development, marketing and advertising and there is therefore potentially more to lose. From what I have observed, the variations tend to be a change in flavour (e.g. orange KitKat), a change in product format (Cadbury's Creme Egg Twisted) or a change in the type of chocolate (e.g. White Maltesers). This brings to me to the subject of this review, Mars Dark. As the name suggests, this is a variation on the traditional Mars Bar except that.... shock horror, it is coated in dark chocolate! The Mars Dark is also a limited edition product, which also tends to be a common feature of these "new" chocolate bars. Perhaps this is a way of saving face if the product proves to be unpopular, and a chance to maximise sales as consumers may fear that they might miss out if they don't buy, buy, buy. I bought a 4 bar multipack of the Mars Dark at my local Co-Op for £1.
On the outer plastic wrapping of the chocolate bars, I found that there is a dedicated website for this product (www.marsdark.com). To satisfy my curiosity, I decided to visit the link, and found that I must be over 16 to enter the website - I wasn't aware that there was an age of consent to view chocolate related websites! The age limit question was explained when I saw the amusingly risqué slogan for the chocolate bar - "Do it in the dark". I guess Mars company have decided to follow the "sex sells" motto. Asides from the funny slogan, there wasn't much more detail on the product that isn't already on the packaging. On the website, Mars Dark is described as being "made of delicious golden caramel with a white nougat centre and smothered in smooth, dark chocolate". Further promotional buzz words are also provided, "Mars Dark is the new limited edition, delicious treat from Mars. Mars Dark is available nationwide, but not for long, so make sure you get out and grab a bar before it's too late!"
In terms of the outer multipack plastic packaging, the colour is a expected dark black background. There is an impressive looking eclipse on the main display panel with projecting white rays. The red Mars logo is dominant, with the "Dark" word quite noticeable. The main panel also has the phrase (4 for £1) in bright red text on a yellow background. Ingredients and nutritional information are contained on the back of the multipack packaging. Each individual bar continues the eclipse theme, with the Mars Dark logo dominant on each bar. Summarised nutritional information and a full ingredients list are contained on each bar so there is no escape from knowing what you are consuming. Each individual bar weighs 52g, giving an overall multipack weight of 208 g. Each of the bars are perforated at either end for easy opening.
Ah, the best part of a chocolate review. This is when I actually get to open up the bar and see what is inside! As it is a multipack bar, it is slightly smaller than a standard Mars Bar (52g vs 58g). This is not necessarily a bad thing as chocolate bars are not exactly renowned for their nutritional benefits - but they usually taste good! The outer chocolate is certainly darker in appearance compared to a usual Mars. The bar is oblong shaped, slightly ridged on the top layer and flat on the bottom layer.
The dark chocolate is very potent smelling and really hits the nasal senses. It is a mouth watering and enticing smell, and it really whets the appetite.
The taste is superb, and in my opinion is far superior to a standard Mars Bar. The dark chocolate blends very well with the sticky golden caramel and white nougat. The dark chocolate gives a more slightly bitter aftertaste which nicely compliments the sweet caramel flavour. I found this bar less stodgy, sickly and sleep inducing than a standard Mars Bar, and I don't feel that my stomach is full of lead! The caramel and nougat slightly sticks to the teeth, but this is a small price to pay for a superb chocolate experience. As a serving recommendation, it is worth having a nice warm cup of tea nearby - you won't be disappointed!
One 52g bar contains:
Calories: 236 kcal (12% of an adults guideline daily amount)
Sugars: 29.7g (33% of an adults guideline daily amount)
Fat: 9.9g (14% of an adults guideline daily amount)
Saturates: 5.7g (29% an adults guideline daily amount)
Salt: 0.25g (4% of an adults guideline daily amount)
As would be expected, the sugar content was fairly high, but this is expected when considering the dark chocolate and caramel content. However, the fat content is not as high as other popular chocolate bars. As an example, in a Biscuit Boost Bar, each bar contains (in terms of fat content):
Fat: 17.2g (24.6% of your Guideline Daily Amount)
Saturates: 12.8g (64% of your Guideline Daily Amount)
So it could be worse folks. Predictably enough, the nutritional information has the phrase (in barely legible small font text), "To be enjoyed as part of a healthy, active lifestyle". So make sure you enjoy this product in moderation, although it is of course very difficult when considering it tastes this good.
VALUE FOR MONEY
The multipack offer of 4 Mars Dark bars for £1 is good value for chocolate bars (although the bars are slightly smaller than a standard Mars). A standard chocolate bar would usually retail over 50p depending on the shop or supermarket.
In the words of Emperor Palpatine from the Star Wars franchise my advice would be for you to "come to the dark side". Despite my reservations about the lack of imagination of "new" chocolate bars, in some instances the new variation is better than the original. This is certainly the case with Mars Dark. The multipack of 4 Mars Dark bars for £1 is great value, and they taste excellent. The dark chocolate nicely compliments the sweet caramel flavour and these bars are less sickly and stodgy than the standard Mars bar. In terms of nutrition, these products contain a large amount of sugar (to be expected for considering the dark chocolate and caramel content) but are not as high in fat content compared to other chocolate bars such as a Biscuit Boost Bar. Enjoy (in moderation of course)!
© CJG, 2009
Mars is made by Mars Inc and is a yummy nougat bar with c layer of caramel and then covered in a lovely coating of dark chocolate. I remember when they first released Mars Dark, but they named it Mars Midnight. These were on our shelves for a limited edition time and soon disappeared. Mars Inc decided to bring out Mars Dark for the autumn for a limited period only, so once these have gone that's it!
These are available from newsagents and some supermarkets; how-ever I only seemed to get one of these down my local shop which cost me approx 54p. When I was in my local Sainsbury's I couldn't see these anywhere in here and my sister has also had trouble trying to find some-where local to her that stocks them as well.
I'm just going to stick to the most important information!
Each bar (52g) contains the following:
Calories - 236kcal - 12% RDA
Fat - 9.9g - 14% RDA
Chocolate contains cocoa solids.
Contains: Milk and Soy ingredients, Barley and Egg.
May also contain Peanuts.
The wrapper for this bar is fairly similar to a standard mars bar except it has dark in big bold letters and has some blue colour on the wrapper as well. It also says on the front of the wrapper that it's limited edition.
When you open the wrapper you will be greeted by a lovely dark chocolate bar. The top of the bar is textured slightly from covering the bar in chocolate and almost creates waves of chocolate. You can smell the dark chocolate which smells very strong and quite sweet as well.
When first biting into the bar I could feel the chocolate crack beneath my teeth and I could immediately taste the dark chocolate which I thought was very rich. The inside of the bar is slightly lighter than a standard mars. The nougat is more of a white colour and it still has the runny caramel on top of the nougat which is then fully covered by the dark chocolate. The chocolate, nougat and caramel taste's very good together and I don't find this too sweet for me but I can see how some other people may find this too sweet and the dark chocolate far to sickly for them. This definitely craves any sweet cravings you may be feeling as after eating one of these I don't think you will crave anything else for the rest of the day!
After eating the bar I did feel very satisfied and very thirsty as well. I would not be able to eat 2 of these in a row as I think it would make me feel quite sick and would be way to filling as well.
I am a lover of dark chocolate so love mars dark, but if you hate dark chocolate then it's very doubtful you will like this. It is very sickly and very filling and I would not be able to eat more than 1 in a day, I wouldn't even chance eating 2 in one week as this is so sweet I don't crave anything for the rest of the week.
I'm wondering if Mars decided to bring this out for a limited period due to Cadbury's re-launching Wispa Gold for a limited period and other companies bringing back our favourite foods such as Monster Munch in the original flavours. This is a yummy treat but it won't bother me when these eventually disappear off of our shelves. . I just hope Wispa Gold's stay!!
(review also on ciao)