When Dark Raisinets, the new dark chocolate and raisin-branded concoction, arrived in work’s vending machine this fall, I was skeptical.
My last taste of a variation on my personal candy Top 5, an April ’06 bag of Hershey’s Kissables, was disappointing. Also, I somehow seemed to be losing my long-time taste for regular Raisinets. Bouncing back and forth between one movie chain’s Raisinets and another’s Sun-Maid Milk Chocolate Covered Raisins (not bad but the ethical equivalent of buying Eggo Syrup), the contents of the yellow box didn’t have the sharpness they used to have.
But the dark chocolate gave me new hope. Hershey’s dark minis had always been the part of the assortment that had gone too quickly, and the arrival of the dark Kisses had increased the opportunities. Also, I’d learned a lot at the New York Chocolate Show. Like how much the world truly needed dark chocolate.
So I bought a bag from the vending machine, and the first taste won me over. The sharpness was back, in spades. It was like dark chocolate was where raisins were meant to be dipped. There were claims of anti-oxidents and lower fat on the bag, and while I respected them, I had no need for them. My mouth was sold. Perhaps the claims would allow me to see Raisinets as healthy, and then why not have another bag? Not often, just sometimes.
Candy Blog rated the new style “tempting (6/10).” Commenters on Junk Food Blog seemed won over. Write Fink said the invention was “just the sort of life-affirming event I’ve been hoping for.” He was mixed on the taste but ultimately positive. Everything and Nothing noted, “the more you eat, the more you can see the difference — and the better they taste”
A grocery-watcher column offered a theory on the improvement: “That’s not because of antioxidants but because the sweetness of raisins works better with dark chocolate than the sweeter milk chocolate.”
I mention all this history to get to the point that M&M’s took over the ad spots on the Yahoo homepage last week to promote the new Dark Chocolate M&M’s. My home computer choked on the weight, but my work machine seemed to enjoy the experience. While the solar eclipse effect was nice, my favorite part was the purple bag. My Gonzaga freshman self repeatedly phone-voted for the purple M&M (God is purple and so is candy), yet the effort was unsuccessful. Stupid blue, rendering the light brown M&M, extinct. But 2002 finally saw the temporary addition of purple, and now the color had worked its way up to bag status, the first to break completely from the brown theme. (Yes, haters, I do acknowlege the existence of the red Peanut Butter M&M bag, but that red is a brownish red.)
Another interesting fact, via the dark’s product page: The distribution of the colors in the purple bag are more even than in any previous variety. The colors fall 17% brown, 17% yellow, 17% red, 17% blue, 16% orange, 16% green. A regular milk chocolate bag is more preferable for Van Halen hosts and carcinogen-conspiracy theorists: 13% brown, 14% yellow, 13% red, 24% blue, 20% orange, 16% green. Lovers have their pick.
But I digress.
After the M&M ad drew my eye to Yahoo’s main ad spot all week, I found my eyes scanning that spot this morning. A GM ad was now there, with a familiar mechanical yellow arm coming into the picture to scrub it. After all the post-Super Bowl controversy, from fired-up comment critics to a national campaign, we heard late last week that GM planned to edit the commercial to remove the robot’s suicide dream.
But the Yahoo ad today gave an additional effect, one noticable to any Raisinet-chomping movie fan. The ad’s scrubbing came off a bit like waving, as in, “See, he’s still alive!” Seeing just the yellow arm in the frame hinted there was more of our little robot buddy to come, but Jonathan Silverman came to mind.