“ Brand: Snack a Jacks / Type: Popcorn „
Found these suckers tucked away at the back of the cupboard after my good lady had gone to bed. Feely very hungry I thought I'd give them a go (not really relishing the prospect after previous snack-a-jack experiences). Chocolate sounded a bit lame for these kind of things, but hunger drew me in. And what a pleasant surprise. The first taste a bit like co-co pops, or chocolate crispies, and then biting into the pop-corn like centre. It all just munches down into a grainy chocolate mush. Sweet, very sweet, drawing me to the 30% by weight sugar content revealed on the label. So basically confectionery. A very pleasant surprise that has seen me eat about six (purely for the benefit of the review, I may add), and thoughts of how to conceal my indulgence... Being a long standing confectionery fan, with no interest whatsoever in dieting I give this product a resounding thumbs up. Heaven knows how much they cost though, seems to be standard to rip off people that harbour some illusion of 'being good', which this product certainly should not encourage... my guess: expensivo, I'll not be buying them, but I'll sure eat them when they get bought.
As I write this I'm actually sat waiting to tuck into a bag! I went down stairs hungry, and not sure what the plans for dinner were, and really fancied some crisps...however, I'm trying to be good and eat less rubbish, so when I saw these in the cupboard, I thought I'd try some instead, with a cup of tea just to tide me over!
These come in a gorgeous purple, shiny packet, much like a small bag of crisps. The brand (Snack A Jacks), and the fact that they are the chocolate variety of their popcorn range is clearly stated on the front, along with some pictures of the product, basic nutritional information, and the fact that they are less than 10% fat.
The back of the packet contains more comprehensive nutritional information, the best before dates, contact information, and a little jokey like section called the "Karma Snackra" with advice on improving your snack life...mine contains "Postion 19: On the train" with a suggestion to try another product. A little odd, but all in good humour, and a little something to look at on the packet I suppose.
Per Pack (23g);
Quite reasonable considering they're a chocolate snack, but when you consider that a bag of Hoola Hoops only contains around 129kcals, they'll have to be good to convince me away from crisps altogether!
~OPENING THE BAG~
So, I've opened the bag, and first impressions are that there aren't many in there! The bag is probably half full, which really, is about usual for crisp type products I suppose, so I'm not sure why I feel a bit disappointed by that when I semi-expected it!
Looking at the popcorn itself, it certainly doesn't look like the pictures on the packet. The packet photographs look covered in chocolatey-ness, and these just look a bit patchy in comparison...I'd far rather the pictures represented what is actually inside, but having said that, they do look like there is a fair bit of chocolate on them, so I'm not too disappointed.
One thing that really surprised me, was the smell...as soon as I opened the bag, I could smell the sweetness oozing out, which is really nice!!
~TEXTURE AND TASTE~
Biting into a kernel of popcorn, the texture is crispy but soft, (in my humble opinion there's nothing worse than "extreme popcorn" that's either too soggy, or so crunchy you hurt your mouth or teeth!)
They're sweet and certainly don't disappoint from the smell, and even though they're marketed as toffee chocolate popcorn rather than just toffee popcorn, I feel they have more of a syrupy taste than I was expecting.
As a snack marketed as "healthy", it's not surprising that the amount is probably a bit smaller than crisps, and that they don't look as chocolatey as they could. However, for me, a snack is less often about the amount of a food and more about the psychological experience of actually putting something in my mouth, so this doesn't really cause me a problem. And with these, I wasn't let down. I felt like I'd made a slightly healthier choice, and therefore was prepared to compromise a little. However, they were light, sweet, tastier than I was expecting and I was pleasantly surprised when a few were stuck together with a lot of coating on them, as it made me feel like I'd come across a bonus!
They were just right for a small snack, and great with a cup of tea, and while they probably won't be replacing crisps totally for me any time soon, I will happily tuck into a bag of these and look for others in the range where I can.
Following on from my review of Snack a Jacks Salt and Vinegar popcorn, we seem to have acquired a new multi-pack in our house (I blame my husband!) and this time it is the Chocolate version of the popcorn. So, I thought that to make a reasonable comparison of the two products, I would have to try out the chocolate version and then review it. As a chocoholic, the idea of chocolate-flavoured popcorn appeals to me more than the Salt and Vinegar version did - I like sweet popcorn and I never think you can go too far wrong with chocolate. After all, if it's chocolate flavour, then what's not to like?
** Packaging **
The popcorn comes in a shiny purple foil packet with a swirly flower background in a darker purple and photographic images of floating chocolate popcorn on it. The front of the pack says 'Snack a Jacks, less than 10% fat' and has the nutritional information clearly displayed. I like the packaging as I love shiny purple things, and it does appeal to me. It's the kind of packet that I'd pick off the shelf to investigate what was in it. The word 'chocolate' is fairly large so you can see the flavour, although underneath this it says 'toffee coated popcorn' in small letters - I think this is a bit too small as you could easily not realise it is toffee-coated.
** Flavour **
There is a much more typical popcorn scent when you open the bag. Whereas the Salt and Vinegar flavour smelt more like Salt and Vinegar crisps, this definitely smells like a sweet, toffee chocolate popcorn. It has the familiar popcorn texture and manages to be essentially soft while still giving a satisfying crunch. I feel that it has a slightly sticker texture, probably due to the toffee coating, but it still feels like eating proper popcorn. The chocolate taste is reasonably apparent - it's more a generic sweet taste than a proper chocolate taste, but it is pleasant and appeals to my taste buds. I found this an enjoyable product to eat and it felt like a relatively indulgent snack with a cup of tea!
** Nutritional Information **
This 13g pack of popcorn has 83 calories, 2.3g of fat, 1.1g saturated fat, 6.9g of sugars and a trace of salt. It's relatively low in fat and calories, but I think the high sugar content stops it from really being a healthy snack. For something that is so small, I think that 8% of your recommended daily allowance of sugars is actually pretty high. It's not too bad if you're counting calories though and it does feel like a bit of a treat.
** Price **
A pack of six 13g bags of popcorn costs £1.94. You can also buy a 35g pack at 46p each.
** Alternative Flavours **
These also come in Lightly Salted, Butter Toffee and Salt and Vinegar flavours - as previously mentioned I have only tried the Salt and Vinegar version so far, but I may try the others at some point in the future.
** Conclusion **
I liked this product better than I liked the Salt and Vinegar version, but I still don't think it is anything that special. I enjoyed eating the popcorn, but I don't think it is something I would choose to buy for myself. Maybe it's the association I have in my mind between a bucket of popcorn and the cinema, but it's just not something I'd choose to snack on. If I'm trying to be healthy, I'd probably choose something like a Special K bar which would be similar in calories but feels somehow more satisfying, and on a day where the diet has already gone out the window, I'd choose crisps or chocolate. If you like popcorn, and you're counting calories, this isn't a bad choice... but there's just something very average about it. Somehow I've given both this and the Salt and Vinegar version 3 stars - but I think this is more like 3.5 whereas the Salt and Vinegar is 2.5.
On a recent food mission my other half returned from our local store with a small packet of SnackaJacks Chocolate Popcorn for each of us. As I love my snacks but am trying to cut down recently I was very pleased that he had taken the initiative to get something that was a little healthier than our normal munch and I thought it would make a nice change from a packet of crisps.
The packet is 23g in size and contains a nice big handful of the chocolate popcorn. I could smell the chocolate and the popcorn as soon as I opened the bag so I was really looking forward to trying out this product.
Once I tasted a piece of the popcorn I was a little disappointed as whilst the chocolate taste was very nice indeed and just like on a less healthy variety I felt that the popcorn itself was a little stale like and not as crisp as I'd like it to be. There was a nice even covering of chocolate on the popcorn and should be enough to satisfy any chocolate related cravings however the popcorn itself wasn't very generous in size so overall I found this snack quite disappointing.
There are 83 calories & 2.3g of fat per bag so this is definitely a lot better than eating a packet of crisps or having a chocolate bar.
In contrast to my opinion my other half really enjoyed the snack and ate both bags of the popcorn as I'd discarded mine after just a few pieces of popcorn. We paid around 50p per bag and this is quite a reasonable price when compared to crisps in our local store which are normally between 50p & 60p.
I am going to rate this 3/5 as I didn't like them and my other half did, he has a more "normal" taste bud range than me so these are probably quite a reasonable snack really.
A couple of years ago I lost quite a serious amount of weight, nearly five stone to be exact. I knew I'd put a lot of it back on but I was always happy with the knowledge that I hadn't put it all back on. Even though I knew I was putting it back on I kept telling myself that it was all ok because I still was not as big as I was back then. I was in serious denial and probably would have carried on with the same bad habits until something serious happened. Part of my denial meant that I avoided looking in full length mirrors and I never weighed myself. However, sometime last week I had the urge to weigh myself out of sheer curiosity. I don't think I have ever been so shocked in my entire life, as I looked down and saw the number I'd been dreading. I had put every single pound that I previously lost back on and some. I could not believe that I had let myself get back into that position and I cried and cried at the thought of me having to go through the difficult and long journey that is losing weight all over again.
After the initial shock, I calmed down and tried to sort my head out so I could prepare myself to start watching what I eat. I decided the only way to keep the weight off for good was to go back to basics and eat as healthily as I could as well as exercising. However, I knew I wouldn't be able to completely change my diet overnight and began looking for healthier snacks to keep me going until I had got my cravings under control and gained some willpower. One of my biggest weaknesses is definitely crisps and chocolate so I began looking for a suitable replacement. Whilst browsing the range of Snack- a -Jack products I came across a multipack of chocolate flavoured popcorn. I was a bit dubious at first as I'd never tried chocolate flavoured popcorn and was not sure if the two would work together. However, I have been rather pleasantly surprised.
It seems Dooyoo have put the wrong picture up there. The picture shows the flat rice cakes, instead of the popcorn that comes in bags like crisps packets. The individual bags are smaller in size than a normal bag of crisps as they are more of a square shape. I think they look quite cute and dinky! On the front of the bag there is the newish snackajacks logo, which looks a lot more modern than it did when they were first produced. The logo is written in white and contrasts well to the lovely purple background. The background is littered with a flowery design which looks modern and is definitely geared towards a female audience. The back of the packet contains all of the nutritional information and also a section known as the 'Karma Snacker'. This is just a light hearted cartoon showing a different 'position' to enjoy your snack in. Every pack shows a different 'position', with the tagline that it 'may seriously improve your snack life'.
Inside the bag:
Opening the bag is incredibly easy, especially if you're hungry and eager to get in! The bag is made out of foil so the contents are always nice and fresh. When I opened my first bag of this I literally had to do a double take because I was not expecting the popcorn to look the way it did. The actual popcorn looks very pale and almost anaemic looking which contrasts to the darkness of the chocolate covering. I think I should point out that the chocolate does not really look anything like real chocolate and more like chocolate flavoured coating. The bag is more than half full, which looks disappointing at first, yet when you start eating the portion seems quite sufficient. Overall the popcorn looks quite disconcerting at first but you soon get over it once you start eating.
The taste test:
If you can get past the strange look and actually eat some of the popcorn then you will be rewarded with a lovely flavoursome snack. The most overwhelming flavour is definitely chocolate and I was surprised at how strong and tasty it was. On the front of the bag the flavour is described as 'chocolate flavour toffee', however I find it difficult to taste the toffee. It is very chocolately and after not having any chocolate for days it was a welcome snack. The flavour also works well with the texture of the popcorn, which I found to be not too crunchy. There were also very few unpopped bits which I was pleased about as they always get stuck in my teeth. Another minor fault is that every time I get to the end of the packet there are always a lot of small broken bits that are difficult to eat. It suggests that the popcorn can get squashed easily so it's probably best to take care if you're planning on taking a bag with you.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed everything about this snack. I would definitely recommend this product particularly if you are trying to watch your weight. They are slightly more expensive than crisps but well worth the money in my opinion. If you are not so bothered about your weight then I would say that there are better things out there, like real chocolate! My packet of with 23g contains 83 calories and 2.3g of fat. In terms of calories these are very good considering it tastes so good, however it is also has 6.9g of sugar which I feel is very high. However if you're eating a healthy diet this should do no harm as an occasional snack. It is also important to note that the packaging states that it is suitable for vegetarians and coeliacs.