You’re so close. I’m no candy-maker, no chocolatier, no sweet savant. But I fashion myself an amateur advice-giver, an interested observer, a taste transcriptionist, translator and bud. I can be a reliable reactor to your chocolate offerings, a snack-taker and a market-placer. I can tell you how your candy can, man.
And, with your M&M’s Dark Chocolate Snack Mix, you’re so close.
On the salty side, you advertise pretzels and roasted almonds. On the sweet side, you tout raisins and dark chocolate M&Ms. When I first see the bag, I think what you have — along with the surprisingly rare dark chocolate M&M’s — are pretzel M&M’s, almond M&M’s and a new, amazing kind of Raisinet challenger, raisin M&M’s. Opening the bag, I find the pretzels, almonds and raisins are straight-up pretzel, almond and raisins. Fine. My expectations for candy are always too high. I apologize to my beloved Raisinets for my distraction.
But I accept the new sweet reality and adjust. What we have here is not the something I expect, but it is surely something. The right handful from the bag is a pointedly neutral saltiness leading into a bright and rich sweetness. The pretzels aren’t too salty — more subtle than salty, toasted dough as foundation. The almonds are barely salty either, working as a bridge. The dark chocolate and the raisins then take off. If you’re not one to rhapsodize about candy, I’m sorry. Have some more candy.
The mix is winning but, as noted above, not perfect. One food blogger notes this mix isn’t about candy, and she’s right. The mix is about the mix, the taste spectrum that meshes in your mouth, not your hand. Where this offering can improve is in its balance. The pretzel is too dominant. Small already, the twist needs to get tinier, so it doesn’t wrap around the sweetness too tightly. After setting the table, you have to let the arrived brightness run.
I hope the Mars Company can make some use of these thoughts. Or, more realistically, friends, you can coordinate your handfuls appropriately. This blog is looking out for you. And your candy. Especially your candy.