REVIEW: M&M’s “Vote For Your Favorite Peanut” Contest (Honey Nut M&M’s, Coffee Nut M&M’s, Chili Nut M&M’s)
As Americans everywhere are feverishly debating which person will ruin this great nation even further, the Mars Company is lobbying for votes in their new promotion: M&M’s “Vote For Your Favorite Peanut” Contest! Three new varieties of Peanut M&M’s for us to eat… do any of the presidential candidates plan to abolish calories?
The three fattening candidates in the M&M’s “Vote For Your Favorite Peanut” Contest are Honey Nut M&M’s, Coffee Nut M&M’s, and Chili Nut M&M’s. Each one is flavored with the descriptor and contains the peanut in the center. This is a significant promotion for Mars, as their limited edition varieties rarely contain the nut.
Here’s how the “Vote For Your Favorite Peanut” Contest works: ¯\_(?)_/¯ . I’ve seen conflicting contest details. The official Mars Press Kit says that Chili Nut, Honey Nut, Coffee Nut and Original Peanut will go head-to-head to determine America’s Favorite Peanut, and that the winning flavor will be available beginning August 2016. Does this mean the Original Peanut M&M could be replaced like in the Lay’s Flavor Swap Contest? The official M&M’s Facebook Page promotes only the three new ones and says “only one flavor will stay on shelves.” The voting page does include original peanut, but no real contest details. Voting ends June 17th, 2016.
This confusing contest just adds to my intrigue. Here’s what I want you to do: just eat a lot of M&M’s, vote your favorite, and we’ll all see what happens. Deal?
Let’s start with Chili Nut M&M’s since they don’t stand a chance in hell. Chili Nut M&M’s are made with chili extract and spice, in addition to all the other “natural flavors.” I love that they used real ingredients on top of their normal formula of chemicals. Spiced chocolate is nothing new, and I’m a fan when it’s executed correctly. However, it’s often just a gimmick. Like with these Chili Nut M&M’s, for instance.
You’re going to eat a Chili Nut M&M and say: “Wait, that’s just a Peanut M&M.” Then about an hour and a half later, while you’re sitting there minding your own business, generic heat is going to surface suddenly. Just spice for no reason at all. I was intrigued by these because I really like spicy seasoned peanuts, but that’s not what you get here. When you eat Chili Nut M&M’s, you taste the peanut right off the bat, the artificial milk chocolate next, and then chili extract way later. Some are spicier than others. These might have worked better with dark chocolate, or perhaps no chili at all. I don’t need to tell you not to vote for these – you weren’t going to anyway.
How Hot and Bothered I Am Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Don’t Vote for Deez Nuts Rating: 9 out of 10
Overall Rating: 5.5 out of 10
Next up is the Coffee Nut M&M. These babies says “coffee with other natural flavors,” though there is no “coffee” or “coffee extract” or anything with the word coffee on the ingredient list like we had with chili in the Chili Nut M&M’s. No matter – this is COFFEE through and through. You get an immediate and intense blast of coffee flavor when you bite into the Coffee Nut M&M, and the milk chocolate is the splash of milk while the sugar is the…sugar. Coffee, milk, sugar… the complete coffee experience is all here. This is everything I wanted from the Cafe Mocha M&M’s – a product that everyone in the world enjoyed but me. The flavor of the peanut emerges not far behind, and the combination of coffee and peanuts (as odd as it sounds) really works together. It’s like bitter meets earthy, but yet all of it is sweetened and candied brilliantly. These are great, but you better like coffee a whole lot or else Coffee Nut M&M’s are not the product for you.
Great Food for Coffee Nuts Rating: 9 out of 10
Horrible Food for Health Nuts Rating: 10 out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 out of 10
Finally, we have the Honey Nut M&M’s. This is the only one with a big fat “artificial flavor” designation where the other two promote their real-food ingredients. I’m not put off by this… they’re M&M’s for crying out loud. Honey Nut M&M’s are the most challenging ones to dissect, but let me just announce upfront that I love them, too. Here’s my best attempt at describing Honey Nut M&M’s. When I think “Honey Nut,” I think Honey Nut Cheerios. And while obviously this milk chocolate candy doesn’t taste like a whole grain cereal, they taste like the regular Peanut M&M’s flavored with the same stuff they use to flavor the oat pieces in Honey Nut Cheerios. Should I put these in a bowl and pour milk on them? Probably, because I really dig these, and I’m a slob. The flavor of the honey isn’t as strong as the flavor in the Coffee Nut M&M’s – they share a likeliness to the standard peanut M&M to a far greater degree. However, this slight nuance in the Honey M&M’s – dare I say ‘this slight upgrade’, makes them far more accessible to the average consumer and far more stackable.
How Honey Nuts I Am For This Rating: 8 out of 10
Honey, Do I Look Fat? Rating: Yes out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 out of 10
A TIE?! Junk Banter would never end a contest with a TIE. Let me explain… I think Mars did an excellent job with the Coffee Nut M&M’s. In fact, I think they did a better job with the Coffee Nut M&M than they did with the Honey Nut M&M’s given its complexity. But I wouldn’t necessarily want to eat the Coffee Nut M&M’s each and every time I wanted a Peanut M&M… the flavor is very dominant and you have to be in the mood for coffee to get down with ’em. Now… the Honey Nut M&M? All day. This contest is a two-way race, and Chili Nut M&M’s are the token third party candidate. They’re the Ralph Nader M&M’s. Now go out to the voting booth (you’re already sitting at it), and let’s see how this plays out later this year because I have no clue how this contest works.
M&M’s Vote for Your Favorite Peanut Contest Rating: 7 out of 10
Our friends at Snack Cellar reviewed the M&M’s Vote for Your Favorite Peanut Contest flavors as well! Find out how their rankings compared to ours here! Review via SnackCellar
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