Here we go with another choccy challenge. This time the contenders are both Swedish and both milk chocolate. The only difference is their pedigree and price.
In the blue corner, the established contender – Marabou Milk Chocolate.
Weighing in at 250g and costing £2.10
I remember my first Marabou purchase being one of those tubes of milk chocolate discs which always looked as though they were going to last forever, but somehow never managed to stay in my pocket for more than half an hour or so.
In the red corner, the newcomer – Ikea Milk Chocolate.
Weighing in at 100g and costing 40p (!!)
Yes, I was in Ikea, returning an unsuitable light fitting, and I happened to notice that their shop was selling their own branded chocolate (yes, it’s in a flat pack, thank you Dom). Naturally, I saw an opportunity for another one of my face-offs. Would the cheaper newcomer manage to outdo the established brand? Indeed, is it possible that the two bars are made of the same stuff? (We all know that some companies make one product for a number of labels, after all). A glance at the ingredients shows that both bars contain the same amount of cocoa (30%) and roughly the same ingredients, so it looked like a good match was in the offing.
My purchase was fairly well-timed as it goes. I had the pleasure of a birthday sleepover, and consequently four of my son’s friends joined us for an evening of Playstation, pizza and piggery. The perfect chance to do some serious testing. Eight of us sat down together to taste the two bars side by side, one group of four trying the Marabou bar first while the others were offered the (somewhat smaller) squares of Ikea chocolate. Naturally, once the first square had been eaten we ‘changed ends’ for the second taste.
And the verdict?
Unanimous – the Ikea chocolate had about as much taste as one of their cardboard boxes. The chocolate is plasticky, lacking in either cocoa or milk flavours, and leaves an unpleasant aftertaste. The Marabou bar, on the other hand, was creamy, smooth, and well, it tasted like chocolate. No contest.
So while Ikea may have sold the UK most of its bedroom and kitchen furniture (apparently something like 1 in 5 British children are conceived in Ikea beds, so I read) they definitely have a great deal to learn about making decent quality confectionery. This is one to avoid, folks. Awful, low quality, tasteless nastiness. It might be less than half the price of the Marabou bar, but you’d be hard pressed to eat a whole one.