Swedish Milk Chocolate Face-Off

Posted by in Chocolate Reviews on May 24 2007 | Leave A Comment

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

Marabou Milk Chocolate

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 (!!)

Ikea Milk Chocolate

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.

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Comments On This Post

  1. That review is extremely bias, you’ve listed very few decent taste specific reviews about your verdict and there is little reason to believe you know how to sample food in a way worthy of such conduct.

    Humerously enough, the IKEA brand chocolate you have reviewed here is becoming quite the sensation on most of the prime taste-testing and food blog websites, and has rated over Milka and Ferraro in texture quality.

    I’d be either inclined to think your an IKEA hater or simply bought a stale block.

  2. Lauren

    I completey disagree! I haven’t tried the expensive chocolate, but i have tried the cheap one and it was SO NICE. It tasted just like galaxy to me. So yours must have been off or something… :)

  3. okey

    its Norwegian chocolate

  4. I was also delighted about the IKEA chocolate brand!!

  5. Blake

    I don’t know where you got your chocolate. All of the Ikea chocolate I’ve eaten has been quite good, preferable to other mainstream chocolates found everywhere.

  6. lamb

    I bought the dark chocolate and the one with hazelnut. Golly, I was surprised! They both were very good. They cost only 99 cents each. Cheap & yummy. However, I do miss Marabou, although it is quite expensive.

  7. Katy

    My only hesitancy in raving about the Ikea dark chocolate (which I bought a huge supply of last week and am quickly working my way through!) is that if too many people buy it, Ikea may up the price!

    But anyway. I LOVE it. Delicious. And dark chocolate is better for us than any other chocolate apparently.

  8. Bernas

    Funny you should say that, I just ate a whole bar and it did certainly not taste like cardboard.

  9. stephen

    mmmm ate my way through a Marabou like 10 minutes ago nicest chocolate ever but had a sample of the ikea stuff and it tasted good i think it will be my next buy

  10. Linda

    I haven’t tasted the IKEA yet, but I will try it, although i can’t imagine liking anthing better than the Marabou, although I don’t know where to get it here in the U.S. If anybody knows, please post as i won’t be returning to Sweden for at least a year and my supply is now all gone :(

  11. Trace

    The Ikea dark chocolate is actually made in Germany… anyway, I absolutely love them! I’m probably in part persuaded by the price tag, but I’m of the opinion that they’re superior in taste to some other more expensive dark chocolate varieties (think Cadbury?).

  12. Peter Hawtrey

    The IKEA branded chocolate bar, which is made in Germany, does not compare to the Marabou Swedish chocolate bar that IKEA used to sell. The German bar tastes like it was made by Hershey. It has too much sugar and very little chocolate. It tastes like it was made of sugar-dipped wax infused with stale cocoa dust.

  13. Reese

    I agree tottally with this comment, me and a couple of friends drove 20 miles late at night to the nearest ikea to purchase some marabou chocolate and when we got there we found they only had cheap chocolate.. so naturally we assumed the chocolate was going to be nice and purchased like 50 bars each, got home and have only eaten one or two bars in a week. Marabou is no competition for it, maybe it should be compared with cheap easter chocolate or christmas calendar chocolate.

  14. I am gutted IKEA are now only selling their ‘Branded IKEA’ food in stores, no wonder I could not get hold of any Mazarins for months! I took the plunge and bought their own milk chocolate disappointed to see it was made in Germany! Whilst it is not a patch on the Swedish make Marabou it is okay for the price, although personally I think it would be better to use for cooking rather than eating as a treat i.e. I would rather go without!

    Marabou is the Cadbury of Sweden and as in the UK they make all kinds of chocolate bars including ‘Plop’ (yes don’t ask!) although my favourite is the Kex (the Kit Kat wanna be) and Japp (like a Mars Bar) bar. I use to be thankfully to get my hands on Swedish goodies at IKEA but now I feel they will lose out a lot by not importing there famous Swedish brands.

    Perhaps now is the time to open that Swedish Food Shop I want to open in Manchester!

  15. KHX

    Pretty sad that Ikea is thinking more about cost than customer satisfaction. They might fool non-Scandinavians with their generic brands but it’s nothing like Marabou.

  16. Marabou chocolate is awesome, I just discovered it when I was in Sweden a week ago. Actually I haven’t tried the plain milk chocolate, but let me recommend you Marabou Apelsinkrokant.
    I’ve made a short review on my new blog: http://www.mandatorytidbits.net/2012/06/marabou-apelsinkrokant.html
    It’s a must buy when you happen to be in Sweden, but unfortunately I haven’t seen it abroad. Too bad I haven’t known it when it was available in IKEA.

  17. I grew up eating Marabou as my Mother was born and raised in Sweden and we occasionally visited there or had guests visit us from there. Marabou candies were always an important part of these visits. Only when IKEA brought this candy to the U.S. were we able to get so much of it. Now that had been taken away. I do not understand why Marabou does not market their product more. Possibly they are happy with the business they have by selling only around Scandinavia. Unless they show an interest in exporting these candy bars I have little faith in being able to eat one any time soon. My vote goes out to Marabou as the best chocolate I have ever eaten. I have little use for most of the competition. So I rarely consume chocolate – Which I suppose is fine.

  18. Fathima Hamid

    Ikea opened a much awaited store in Qatar recently, so I was finally able to get my hands on a few of their acclaimed goodies. And a part of my weekend haul was two of their dark chocolate bars. A 60% bar that quite resembles the milk chocolate in this review and a somewhat more classier looking 70% bar. Both were pretty decent and very well priced. The 70% one, though slightly grainy, still tasted pretty good. Will surely buy them again and maybe even try a milk chocolate next time.

  19. Leslie

    I’m surprised you don’t like the ikea chocolate. Although its not top of the line stuff but it still is very creamy and has a great taste. The hazelnut if particularily good with enough nuts throughout the bar for nut in each bite. I enjoyed it. If anyone reading this wants to try the ikea chocolate, don’t let this post stop you.