I love my local Foodland store. Each visit turns up something new or unusual. They have the usual selection of Cadbury and Lindt, but it’s the selection of other odds and ends that I look out for.
So I was quite surprised to find what appears to be a Cherry Ripe clone. This is a “Healtheries” Simple bar, which I’ve never heard of. Perhaps that’s because the Healtheries brand comes from New Zealand. That said, the packaging says it’s made by “Aussie Bodies” – better know for the muscle man protein powder.
Which brings an interesting diversion… Aussie Bodies was founded by Steve Outtrim – one of those Internet / Dot-Com millionaires, who used to run a company called “Sausage Software”. Seems like he sold his Sausage shares at just the right time – he scored millions, the buyers of his company, like many other buyers, saw the value crash soon after. Instead of sitting on his dough, he was overweight, and found out about the high protein diets. When he found how much protein powders sell for, he decided it was a good business to be in. Seems like he’s moved on, and Healtheries and Aussie Bodies now have new, presumably common, owners.
The packaging proclaims a “fact file”: gluten free, wheat free, source of fibre, no artificial sweeteners. On the back is a rather twee statement: “Simple Chocolate bars provide an indulgent wheat and gluten free treat for any time of day”. Yerrrrsssss…. But most chocolate is wheat and gluten free, and provides an indulgent treat (that’s the point, innit?).
Seeing as I’m an ingredients freak, and health claims make me dubious at best and downright suspicious at worst, a quick check on the back reveals that the chocolate is dark (44%… not very dark), and the chocolate is about 32% of the total. Seems like less. Oh, and the no artificial sweetener claim must be true, because the sweetener is sugar. Yoiks!!! That has to be one of the first times I’ve seen sugar claimed as the healthy way to go!
Anyhow, the important part is what is tastes like.
As you can see, it’s another flat bar. Breaking it open (which I had to do for the fans of dissection out there who chastised me last time I forgot this part) the cherry insides are a vibrant striking red. It LOOKS like it should glow in the dark, and the ingredients do list “colour (129)”. Checking that shows this is “Allura Red (FD&C Red 40)”. YUM!
It sure smells good though, the cherry aroma is strong and appealing. And in spite of the brilliant red, it doesn’t taste too bad. Like the Cherry Ripe, this has some kind of cherry and coconut filling, which is not too sweet.
Is it better than a Cherry Ripe? Don’t know. They are both good. But them I am biased; I’ve been a sucker for the Cherry Ripe since about age 5.
About the only really obvious improvement is to tone down the “fact file” and the health claims. It’s dubious and easily seen through. Though, admittedly, anybody buying this for a snack will just guzzle it down without reading the fine print like I do.