The Natural Confectionery Company is fully Australian made, and has its roots in early Australian confectionery. It originally began as Sunrise Confectioners in 1941, a company which also made other products, such as aniseed rings, barley sugar, bulls eyes and chocolate bullets. Their second factory was based in Prahran, Victoria, and in 1991 they moved to a bigger factory in Camberwell.
The following year, Sunrise Confectioners founded The Natural Confectionery Company, and focused on their all-natural range of jellies. In 2003 they were bought out by Cadbury Scheweppes (now owned by Kraft, and the range of lollies, which are free from artificial colours and flavours, is now the most popular range on Australian shelves.
TNCC jellies have a nice soft chew that doesn't stick to your teeth. The flavour generally isn't overpowering, but this factor also makes it very easy to eat a whole bag in one sitting.
I spotted this new offering from The Natural Confectionery Company in Coles last week, and had to pick up a bag. The Coles Online website lists this as a limited edition product, although I can't find any mention of it on the TNCC site.
I'm amused by the bag's title. They aren't just 'Red Snakes'; they are 'I Love Red Snakes'. The front of the bag also says: 'Taste our new raspberry flavour'. I had a bag of regular TNCC Snakes at home and checked; the original range also includes a ripe raspberry flavour, so I'm curious to know if this bag really is new. Unfortunately I didn't have any raspberry snakes from the original bag left, so comparisons will have to wait for another post.
As soon as the bag is opened I can smell a strong scent that reminds me of raspberry jam, and there is a very slight medicinal note there as well. It's not an off-putting scent; it's warm and inviting.
The snakes themselves are the same length and shape as standard TNCC snakes, and the texture is the same. Up close the jam notes are stronger, but the first flavour that comes to the taste party is of a very mild, sweet berry tea. It doesn't lean directly towards raspberry - there's no tartiness or sharpness like you would expect from the fruit. The chew is almost as stiff reluctant to break as a gummi bear. While the jellies are soft, they are not as soft as some of the other jellies available, such as Allen's Snakes. However, there are no little pieces left in my teeth and the snakes leave a pleasant, somewhat floral taste behind, but it doesn't stay for long.
I can see this product being popular with kids. The TNCC range of jellies have a mild flavour that could work well for littlies, and they have the benefit of being free from artificial colours and flavours.