Product Type: Nestle Chocolate
Newest Review: ... it also details ingredients listings and nutritional information. The Smarties themselves are sugar coated chocolate pieces. The s... more
Was NESTLE really SMART enough to manufacture SMARTIES in HEXAGONAL TUBES?
Member Name: Blackman_Isaac
Date: 07/04/08, updated on 10/04/08 (2151 review reads)
Advantages: The taste remains exquisitely tasty, with a blend of crispiness and sweetness
Disadvantages: That damn six - sided packaging with its flimsy lid
T HE NESTLE PRODUCTS: SMARTIES HEXATUBE
The Smarties Collection - Part I
Published by Blackman_Isaac for DIJEH's Chocolate Factory / Like Water For Chocolate Productions
(Note: I originally posted this review on www.ciao.co.uk in my ID name - DJ_primo ©.)
Once upon a time in year 1937, Rowntree, a chocolate company based in York, developed a confectionery called Chocolate Niblet Beans. The confectionary itself was structurally based on round, crispy-coated chocolate pieces, chemically designed to have the property of being relatively heat-resistant to warm weather. The Chocolate Niblet Beans was first marketed on a small scale and introduced through shops to customers in 1937. Interestingly enough, the name 'Chocolate Niblet Beans', was apparently unpopular with the British nation and consequently the Rowntree company renamed its product to SMARTIES in 1938.
The product name, Smarties has survived for 71 years up to 2008 and it is inevitable that the name itself will forever remain popular amongst consumers and traders. SMARTIES is a catchy title for a chocolate and therefore highly marketable. Thus, it immediately grabs the attention of practically any buyer regardless of whether they are adults or children and male or female. The fact that Smarties has already achieved its success in currently being among United Kingdom's favourite confection, reflects the SMART decision that Rowntree made back in 1938. From this SMART theory, it therefore follows that the initial product name, 'Chocolate Niblet Beans' is very short-lived. If Rowntree's had kept 'Chocolate Niblet Beans' intact, would this business move result in the chocolate appearing in shops in our modern society, in the 2000s? Only '_....Smarties have the answer...._'!
In 1993, Smarties was modified to Nestle Smarties. This change to the product name came into effect five years after a rapidly expanding Nestle company, bought Rowntree in 1988. Under the tutelage of Nestle, the light brown chocolate spheroid was withdrawn from the Smarties product and substituted for the blue spheroid chocolate. This action enhanced the popularity and sales of Smarties. This event took place in 1998 and marked the BIRTH of blue Smarties and DEATH of light brown smarties.
As I clearly remember, the first time I crossed paths with Smarties was back in 1984, when I was a child. Rewinding my thoughts back to 1984, flying through a time machine from 2008, I was in the living room, fiddling with cylindrical tubes of SMARTIES and enjoying the crispiness of the candy. I recall seeing the attractive, brightly coloured, plastic lids of the cylindrical tubes, creatively designed in vibrant orange or yellow and visualising letters, engraved on their underside.
From the mid-1980s and onwards, I also remember that each SMARTIE appeared in eight different colours, notably red, orange, yellow, green, mauve, pink, light brown and dark brown. The colours were chemically derived from artifical dyes that were generally assigned with E codes / numbers.
Fast-forwarding my thoughts to recent years, especially 2008, Nestle now markets Smarties in hexagonal tubes, having abandoned the cylindrical tubes that they sold to the public for years on a traditional basis. In this context, it has come to my attention that Nestle has updated the packaging of its product, Nestle Smarties to recyclable containers, made available to consumers. The fate of the colourful layers on Smarties chocolates in 2006, followed suit as Nestle replaced their chemical formula of artificial dyes with natural colourings. These events mark another evolutionary change to 'NESTLE SMARTIES' in the mid-2000s, and the current, natural form of this chocolate will continue the to persist over the next years. Now that I my information is completely on the subject matter of 'NESTLE SMARTIES', this is what I will be talking about further in the next section.
So allow me to enter the TUBE and unlock the secrets of 'Nestle Smarties' hexagonal tube in the form of packaging, taste and wonderful treasure of colourful chocolates within.
WHAT I EXPERIENCED WITH THIS PRODUCT
As I lifted the 6-sided, door to the 'NESTLE SMARTIES' hexatube and peeped into the hexagonal tunnel, I discovered a hidden treasure of colourful spheroids, dyed in eight beautiful colours. The attractive, oblate spheroids looked deliciously sweet and undoubtedly tasty like chocolate candy and according to the 6-sided package, they go by the name of SMARTIES! It was now time for me to taste the rainbow. Thus, I picked up the red coloured Smarties, the first representative of the rainbows' colours and chomped, crunched, munched and HELL, tasted the DAMN smart t'ing with a sweetening experience! Then I recycled this procedure for the next treasure of seven colours ('''orange, yellow''' etc.) to follow the path of the rainbow with sweet pleasure. Although brown is not a component of the rainbow, I consumed the Smarties with brown pigment after the pink ones. Here are how my judgements of the Smarties Hexatube holding SMART candies, cleverly called Smarties, unfolded through THREE fair assessments....
THE SMART PACKAGING
Okay so maybe, the packaging currently used to carry Smarties candy is not precisely SMART as it is simply based on cardboard, a cheap, ordinary material. The cardboard packaging is a hexagonal prism, consisting of six rectangular facets, each measuring about 11.2cm in length and 1.5cm in width. On both ends of the tube are hexagon facets that greatly contribute to the hexagonal shape of the tube. Furthermore, the 'NESTLE SMARTIES' tube comes equipped with a hexagon-shaped cardboard lid that operates on a simple flip technology that covers a hidden access to the packets' contents. When the Nestle Smarties Hexatube is intact and sealed, prior to consumption, the cardboard flip lid is attached to two cardboard folds through perforation at two ends. The cardboard flip lid when lifted reveals a pseudo semi-circular hole. This hole is plays the role of allowing consumers to access the Smarties inside by means of tipping out the chocolates onto the palm of their hands.
Based on the measurements in cm, the overall size of the hexagonal packaging makes it considerably lighter and smaller than the original, cylindrical tubes. Although I have been far more familiar with cylindrical tubes since 1984, I don't have a clear memory of the exact size of the tubes. But I do vividly recall that the cylindrical tubes were longer and slightly heavier based on my past imagery of consuming Smarties throughout the 1990s.
There has been a lot of debate and speculation on Ciao regarding the comparisons of packaging between the new "Nestle Smarties" hexagonal tube and old Smarties cylindrical tube. So which tube is more advantageous, the cylindrical or hexagonal design? Do '_....only Smarties have the answer...._' to this question? Well I can answer that....
From my personal viewpoints, I am in favour for the older cylindrical tubes mainly for the positive contributions the plastic lids made to the older packaging. After savouring the sweet taste of Smarties, halfway down the tube, I would to place the plastic lid back on to save the rest of the candy for later. In this context, the plastic lids provide a secure way of keeping the Smarties within the tube. I used to collect plastic lids for the sake of their nice colours and use them aesthetically with other materials to make artistic three-dimensional models. Other than these, the plastic lids made the cylindrical more appealing and attractive and collecting them with respect to the letters was a privilege for me in my childhood.
The new, hexagonal design that Nestle proposed for Smarties in 2005 is not blessed with many of the advantages that the cylindrical tube have to offer. In fact, I don't even find the cardboard lid of hexagonal tubes very secure based on my own experience of handling 'NESTLE SMARTIES' hexagonal tube. Imagine if one was to hold the "Nestle Smarties" hexagonal tube upside down after having ripped through the perforated lines to open the packaging. The combined weight of the individual Smarties spheroid chocolates will cause the weak cardboard lid open out, allowing for the coloured Smarties to spill all over the place. But when one holds the cylindrical tube upside down with the plastic lid firmly fitted, the Smarties will still held within due to the durability of the plastic lids.
However, I will give the hexagonal packaging credit/props for being more stable than the cylindrical packaging on slippery, smooth surfaces, especially those of a polished table.
THE SUGAR, THE SWEETNESS, THE TASTE!
Yeah, now it's time to add THE TASTE to this review of the "Nestle Smarties". According to my experience of munching Smarties in cherised tones, all the coloured varieties with the exception of orange generally possess the standard milk chocolate taste. As I crush the Smarties chocolates between my teeth like an electric powered, grain mill, I can feel THE SUGAR present in the crispy coloured coating. The crispy shell breaks away like crushed ceramic, releasing THE SUGAR onto my sweet taste buds within my tongue, making THE TASTE of Smarties classic. THE SUGAR interacts with my sweet taste buds through some kind of biochemical reaction contributing to THE SWEETNESS of Smarties.
The chocolate centre is relatively rich in sugar and also contributes to The Sweetness of Smarties, releasing molecules of sucrose that are detected by my sweet taste buds. As well as being rather sugary, the chocolate centre also features a fine blend of buttery, chocolatey and milky taste. The buttery, chocolatey and milky taste in my opinion are due to the presence of cocoa mass, cocoa butter and dried skimmed milk respectively. Although modified starch is present in the chocolate centre of the Smarties, I found it completely undetectable as it was fully masked by the excess sugar.
Overall, these were the events that occured upon consuming the red, green, blue, yellow, pink, mauve and brown spheroid shaped chocolates. In addition, some colours, particularly, the red and green varieties left an intensely sweet aftertaste with a SHARP TANG in my mouth.
The orange Smartie was unique from the rest of the seven coloured Smarties in that it imparted a genuine orange taste on my tongue. The acquired taste of oranges blended with the luscious milky chocolate centre like Jaffa Cakes.
With regards to my experience of eating Smarties for many years even up to today, I was definitely feeling The Flavour of the rainbow, the SMART chocolates.
THE SMART APPEARANCE & HEALTH
In 2006, Nestle Rowntree abandoned the use of synthetic dyes as colourful layers for the shells of Smarties, after the Nestle Smarties Hexatube made its debut in 2005. The artificial dyes have since been substituted with natural dyes in a bid to make Smarties healthier towards children with hyperactive disorders. I think this is a SMART decision and business move by the Nestle company itself. But it doesn't justify the fact that the level of saturated fat and sugar remains high. Therefore, although the Smarties is very tasty and enjoyable, it is admittedly not very healthy and beneficial for extending peoples' lifespan/survival.
The established use of natural colourings to the Smarties have induced a noticeable change to the tone of the colours of each variety. For instance, the Smarties clad in artificial green and blue shells possess a more delightful and pulsating APPEARANCE that their natural counterparts. By contrast, the APPEARANCE of the natural colourings representing the shells of orange and yellow Smarties are comparatively more vibrant than the corresponding artificial colourings. Similarly, based on my observations, the mauve and pink Smarties with natural colourings have a warmer tone and are thus vibrant, rendering the artificial mauve and pink forms dull. For the transition from articial dyes to natural dyes in the recreation of brown and red Smarties there is no overall change in appearance based on my observations.
Overall the "Nestle Smarties" are visually pleasing than ever before with respect to the natural colourings.
The hexagonal prism as the representative package, is likely to have a slightly negative effect on sales of 'NESTLE SMARTIES', particularly towards adults who grew up loving the Smarties cylinders. The main setback of the "Nestle Smarties" is the reduction in the overall attraction of the packaging brought about by the flimsy construction of the lid. The cardboard lid in place of the plastic lid, also reduces the security of the sealing features of the tube.
However the proposal of the hexagonal Smarties tubes in favour of the cylindrical form will be of no concern to the young generation of people emerging this decade. This is probably because small kids will automatically become accustomed with this new hexagonal design, given that they weren't around before 1990 to witness the cylindrical tubes. This would mean that sales of Nestle Smarties in the new packaging will be more positive amongst kids in this millenium.
The hexagonal packaging has no overall bearing on the appearance and satisying flavour of Smarties. The Smarties have therefore always been exquisite for my tastes and with this experience at hand, the advantages of Nestle Smarties Hexatube outweigh the disadvantages.
So this SWEET message goes out to the adult consumers out there, who miss the beautiful and delightful plastic lids. If y'all still craving for some SMART chocolate, ignore the package and focus your hungry thoughts on the contents that reside within the HEXATUBE!
Yo... peace. I'm out! Respect!
THE SMART PRICING
The price of NESTLE SMARTIES in hexagon shaped tubes varies depending on the retailer or supermarket vending the item. In Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Tesco, the Smarties chocolates are priced at 39 pence, 36 pence and 30 pence respectively.
Needless to say, I would recommend purchasing the Nestle Smarties hexagonal tubes from Tesco in interests of consumers who prefer the cheapest pricing.
Before I wrote this review, I went to my local Tesco store to purchase two hexagonal tubes of Nestle Smarties at a total price of 60 pence. In doing so, I handed over 60 colourful, magical beans in exchange for two Nestle Smarties tubes each costing 30p.
~~~~Energy and nutrition values~~~~
Typical values per 100g of Smarties:
Energy - 1937kJ 461kcal
Protein - 4.0g
Carbohydrate - 73.6g
Fat - 16.7g; of which saturates - 10.8g
Fibre - 0.6g
Sodium - 0.1g
Typical values per 40g of Smarties (a single hexagonal tube):
Energy - 775kJ 184kcal
Protein - 1.6g
Carbohydrate - 29.4g
Fat - 6.7g; of which saturates - 4.3g
Fibre - 0.3g
Sodium - Trace
~~~~Chemical constituents of Smarties coating~~~~
Red Smarties: Carminic acid
Green Smarties: Copper complexes of chlorophyllins
Blue Smarties: Spirulina seaweed dye
Yellow Smarties: Riboflavin
Orange Smarties: Mixed carotenes
Pink Smarties: Carminic acid + Titanium dioxide
Mauve Smarties: Cochineal insect dye
Brown Smarties: Vegetable carbon
Beetroot juice concentrate
Colours (Titanium dioxide, Mixed carotenes, Carminic acid, Vegetable carbon, Riboflavin, Copper complexes of chlorophyllins)
Emulsifiers (Soya lecithin, Polyglycerol polyricinoleate)
Glazing agents (Carnauba wax, Beeswax)
Skimmed milk powder
Best properties: THE SWEETNESS and THE TASTE
Worst properties: THE PACKAGING
Overall rating for Smarties chocolate = 8/10
Total marks = 26, 3 rated assessments / features of the confectionery * 10 = 30
26/30 = 8.7/10 = 4.35/5 = 4 stars
Summary: The beautiful cylindrical tubes are dead, but the wonderful taste of NESTLE SMARTIES stays alive!