“ Brand: Mars / Type: Yoghurts „
Launched in November 2009, this is the first chocolate flavoured probiotic drink on the UK market. It's a bold but clever move by confectionary giants Mars Ltd. to step into the field of these health promoting yogurt style drinks. Up until now the flavours of probiotic drinks made by dominant brands like Danone, Yakult and Muller include the slightly bland and milky tasting 'original' in addition to vanilla and a multitude of fruit flavours. The new Galaxy drink offers all the health benefits that other probiotics boast of but also offers us a bit of indulgence and the novelty of a rich chocolatey flavour.
Probiotic drinks have been popular since the 1990's. The general idea is that a probiotic drink contains a 'healthy' bacteria which are supposed to aid your digestive health. I have read that Girls Aloud Cheryl Cole is partial to downing a probiotic when shes on tour to ensure that her stage nerves don't affect her digestive system. I've heard too, from friends and relatives, that probiotics can help ease a niggly stomach, can help with indigestion problems and can help keep constipation at bay(!) It's also been suggested in the media that these drinks can have an effect on lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol and boosting the immune system.
I started to occaisonally drink a probiotic as an accompaniment to taking a vitamin supplement, as I found that the tablet often disagreed with me. The probiotic seemed to negate this problem. After that I sometimes drank probiotics just for the flavour and anytime I liked. I gave them up after a while because I thought they were quite expensive and I also got a little bored with the flavours and textures. Across the market I found that the most interesting probiotic was Flora's range which has the consistency of a thick, frothy, creamy milkshake. Other probiotics seem a little bit like medicinal cures and tonics. Yakult, for instance, seems like it's designed to look like a miniature bottle of medicine! I think that a lot of these probiotics are in need of a makeover as they seem very old fashioned and aimed at the older generation.
I first saw Galaxy probiotics advertised in Tesco's magazine. The drinks are available at larger Tescos as well as Sainsburys and Waitrose. They come in a six pack of mini 90 gram bottles - standard size in the probiotic world though. In Sainsburys they are priced at £3.01. The packaging design looks just like the chocolate bar wrapper - a swirl of browns and fawns. It also has a picture of chunks of chocolate melting into a sea of amber coloured milk. It's a ultra feminine design and makes these seemed more aimed at women than men.
All information about the product is listed on the back of the cardboard wrapper which holds the six bottles in place. The drink is described by the company as "thick and creamy". It is stamped with a few statements written in pink love hearts which claim that the drink helps to "top up...good bacteria" and that it "supports a healthy digestive system".
The drink contains 3% chocolate and 65% milk as well as other ingredients including sugar, whey powder, soya lecithin, E476, E460, E415, E407, E471, malt extract, cocoa powder, vegetable fat, and heat treated wheat flour. A bolder font explains that the drink contains a "culture of Bifidobacterium BB-12. It also is marked suitable for vegetarians.
Nutritional information states that each 90g bottle contains only 68 calories and 1.3 grams of fat which to my mind is quite pleasing and acceptable. They also contain 0.8 grams of fibre and 2.8 grams of protein.
Each bottle is wrapped with a plastic label which is detachable after use so you can recycle the bottle. The lids are foil peel offs and are stamped with the use by date. This is usually within a month of the purchase date as they are not long life drinks and should be treated like fresh milk. The bottles have an indent in the middle for an easy finger grip.
I was really looking forward to the Galaxy chocolate flavour of these probiotics as they look so yummy in the advertising campaign. When I tasted the drink I was quite disappointed. I'd tasted that flavour before! Yes, they are uncannily like the company's milkshake 'Mars Refuel' drink. The whey flavour is very noticable but a little too much so and this means the drink ends up tasting like melted down Mars Bars! I thought the flavour would be a bit more like the plain Galaxy chocolate and not just a copycat of another porduct (Mars Milkshake) made by the same company! It just feels like the company have been lazy here. The flavour is undeniably sweet and very chocolatey however, although if you are expecting the plain Galaxy chocolate flavour to be replicated you may be dissapointed.
The texture of the drink is thick and smooth and is a lot like the Flora probiotics in that it is more like a gloopy milkshake than a watery medicinal tonic. I love the texture and the coolness of the liquid as it glides down my throat. It's a real treat and it feels like it's a lot more fattening than it really is! It also has a yummy chocolate sponge pudding aroma which is mouth watering! When you drain the bottle there is no powdery residue left over. These are definately a chocoholics dream and they are a big change to every other probiotic on the market.
I think these might become a little sickly if drank every day like probiotics are supposed to be consumed. Unless you are a rampant chocolate lover with an insatiable sweet tooth I think the rich flavour and texture might be too much to face every day! I bought two packs of these and have tried them every day. I can't say I've noticed any immediate health benefits but nor have I had any health problems during my consumption of the drinks either! The drink is suitable for swallowing down with medicine or supplements, and sort of soothes the stomache in this instance.
I don't think I'll be buying this regularly but perhaps only if needed during periods of stress etc. I think the idea of the product was a good one but is let down by the fact that they taste so much like the company's Mars Refuel Drink. That alone would make me think twice about buying these as purely a treat, which I might have done if they'd tasted nicer/more original!