* Prices may differ from that shown
Imagine my surprise when after buying Florida's Natural Brand healthy treats Au'some Nuggets to see that they were made in CHINA!. You understand, every FNB product I've purchased has always been manufactured in the US to this point, to my shock and horror I see these fruit nuggets manufactured in CHINA! In case you've been in a cultural time warp and haven't been tracking the number of deaths from Chinese produced food products from straight up unethical business practices as it relates to manufacturing and processing food, I'll help you catch up. They poisoned their own infants in their own country with melamine laced baby formula, melamine is a man made material used in counter tops and related items. So the idea of using it as a filler in baby formula is beyond me, albeit, we don't understand the ruthless attitude to rip people off just so we can make a short term profit. Their have been thousands of tons of grain by products that have been used in animal feeds that have wiped out countless domestic pets and cost the owners thousands in unreimbursed veterinary care. Still want to buy food products from the Chinese. I'm glad the true colors of the management at FNB has shown their colors, now I can make sure we buy our products from someone else. HEY FNB, you don't even know where the fruit is from in these nuggets, and the conditions it was grown under, and the PESTICIDES SPRAYED ON THE FRUIT. Don't put Chinese products on or in your body, you will be sorry. Laughingly, Au'some Inc, writes on the box, "Made responsibly in China", that is an oxymoron, and you'd have to be a moron to believe it, see what I mean, read this below... what's a little lead...no problem http://www.cdph.ca.gov/Pages/NR10-054.aspx Nice going FNB, way to deceive the consumer with your US based name, we'll do the end around and haul in massive profits. You had a good idea for a fruit snack product and then sabotaged it with profit lust, FAIL. CHINESE FOOD PRODUCTS ARE DANGEROUS, DON'T TOUCH THEM, YOU WILL PAY WITH YOUR HEALTH
I've always had a sweet tooth, over recent months' I've been putting the weight on a little too much. So I decided I needed to lose a bit (No I'll rephrase that "lose a lot"). The problem is I have no willpower. I need to eat more healthily. So it was like manna from heaven when I saw a new sweet line at Makro (the wholesalers). Florida's Natural Au'some (No its' not a typo that's the name) fruit nuggets. The Manufacturers have a website www.ausomesnacknaturally.com An interesting example of the global economy. An American Company, the sweets are made in china and, distributed in the UK by a British Company based in Salisbury They were on Special buy a pack of 12 get another pack free. Even on BOGOF they worked out at 25p each wholesale, their normal wholesale price is 50p a box, I haven't n seen any in the shops yet, but when they do appear, they're likely to retail a around 70p a carton, In my view that is expensive, and as I'll explain later I don't think they're worth it. A carton only contains 43g (just over an ounce - Sirloin Steak is Cheaper). So what are they. They are a range of fruit sweets (marketed as fruit snacks, makes them sound healthier) made from 66% concentrate fruit juices and purees, which was what drew my attention. The Range has three flavours, Orange, Strawberry and Blueberry that are packaged in miniature versions of the fruit juice cartons that Florida Natural fruit juice comes in. They have different coloured caps, Orange juice flavoured is green, Strawberry is Pink and Blueberry is purple. Each carton is individually shrink wrapped. Once you get the shrink wrapping off and open the top there is a foil cap that needs removing. The different types all have very juicy examples of the relevant type of fruit all over the carton. The cartons state that its' 66% juice, all natural flavours, an excellent source of vitamin C, (the website says they've got vitamins A, B1, B2, C and B3, Iron, Zinc and finally Calcium although I couldn't find out how much of these vitamins and minerals [apart from C - which is on the packet] the sweets actually contain). No Artificial colourings, No Preservatives, Its' fat free, nut free, no Gelatine (So its' OK for vegetarians) and its' Kosher. So just about anybody can eat it. It reads impressively. The whole thing is designed to give a healthy feel to it and objectively it has to be said the contents are much healthier than the vast majority of other sweets. Clearly a lot of thought has gone into the packaging and marketing. The cartons weigh 43g. So you don't get a lot for your money. I dread to think how much they cost by the pound, about £11.20 retail. All three varieties have the same nutritional information, 303Kcal per hundred grams, a box is just under half that, so its' probably around 130Kcal, which isn't at all bad. This snack gets healthier as we go along. There is no fat and no protein and 75.6g carbohydrate per 100g, so its' around 35g carbohydrate. A pack provides 85% of the Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamin C. So it is appears to be a pretty healthy sweet (sorry snack) What is interesting is how long the products last. The cartons I've got have Best Before Dates of 13th November 2008. The cartons also have a Keep Kids Safe heath warning on them, warning that the snacks (note they don't use the word sweets) should only be given to children who can easily chew and swallow I have, as you might expect and in the interests of my readers, tried all three but I'm only going to Review my favourite the Strawberry. I found the Blueberry quite nice but I didn't particularly rate the orange it was a bit too sharp. So turning to the Strawberry. The Carton is covered with happy, juicy, smiling Strawberries. The ingredients are (in order of quantity) Pear Puree, Pear Juice, Strawberry Juice, Blueberry Juice, Sugar, Starch, glucose syrup, Dextrose, Citric Acid, Natural Strawberry Flavouring, Ascorbic Acid, Acidity Regulator E331, Gelling Agent E440, Colour E163, Glazing Agent E903, Maltodextrin. It's interesting that in the Strawberry flavour that the greatest single ingredient come from pears (although I suspect the pears are there to add sweetness). There is also a lot of Sugar, the natural sugar in the juices but then Sugar, glucose and dextrose. So perhaps its' not a healthy as we first thought although I have to say it is much healthier than most other fruit flavoured sweets (I must stop calling them sweets - the box says that they're snacks. A fruit snack is of course perceived as being much healthier and acceptable than fruit sweets). OK so what do they taste like. I've managed to get the shrink wrap off. I have to say its' not particularly easy to do, its' probably a little too well wrapped. In the end I had to resort to sticking a key into the wrapping. I've opened the little screw top (it really is dinky) and removed the foil inner cap. I would have expected there to be a mouth watering strawberry smell but there isn't. How disappointing. The sweets (sorry snacks) are tiny nugget shaped squares. They are a very pale pink colour, I think they're designed to look natural. Even taking a handful and putting them under my nose there is still absolutely no smell of anything, let alone Strawberry. I think that this is a missed opportunity for the makers. The absence of any smell for what is sold as a natural product makes it less appealing. So what do they taste like. If you try sucking them nothing much happens. You need to chew. Chewing one is Ok you get a clear taste of Strawberry both on the palate and also as an aftertaste. I love Strawberries, there is a real Strawberry taste which is sweet and pleasant. There isn't any tartness to it (obviously the effect of adding the pear juice). However to get the real taste you need to chew half a dozen. The Strawberry taste and the after taste of Strawberry is really there, even after swallowing the pleasant Strawberry after taste lingers. There is unfortunately also a slight chalkiness when you chew. I did a little market research test on an assortment of children, aged 3, aged 12 and aged 9. The older two loved them all, the younger one liked the strawberry and blueberry but didn't like the orange as it was too sour. Not the most scientific of samples but a useful illustration nonetheless. They have an enjoyable taste and actually taste of what they're supposed to - which is a bit of a result. That said they don't have an exceptional taste enough to justify the cost. I think that they are over priced for what they are. If I see them on Special again I might buy them but I won't go looking for them and I certainly wouldn't pay full price for them. If however you want to buy a product that is clearly one of the more healthy sweets on the market and are happy to pay a premium price then these are for you.
Florida's Natural Brand Au'some Fruit Juice Nuggets Fruit Snacks. All natural flavors. Made with real fruits and fruit juices. 100% Vitamin C. 8 Vitamins & Minerals. No preservatives. Fat free. Gelatin free. Kosher.