Following on from their last seasonal release, M&M's Crispy Mint, Mars have just released their 2013 flavour: Raspberry.US confectionery lovers may be thinking that this is just an import of the US flavour dark chocolate raspberry, but you're mistaken. Although it doesn't explicitly say 'milk chocolate' on the packaging, the ingredients list reveals that the chocolate contains 28% cocoa solids, a number which is still squarely in the range of milk chocolate. That also means that Raspberry M&M's are a completely and utterly new product to Australia. Cool, huh?
The pack is a beautiful dark pink colour, a great representation of the raspberry flavour (also a great pedicure colour). It's a colour family Mars hasn't really used before for the M&M's range, possibly to avoid clashing with Maltesers. The pack features characters Red and Yellow. Poor Red has been turned into a bright red raspberry, complete with little hairs and green leaf and stem, while Yellow looks on appreciatively. It's a really cute image and one that has been used for a lot of the advertising.
The M&M's themselves are in three shades of colour: white, warm pink and dark red. The famous 'm' stamp is blueish-white on the two darker colours, and a weird browny colour on the white.The description on the pack reveals that the raspberry flavour will be found in the chocolate rather than the shell, and the bite-size pieces of chocolate are the same size as original M&M's.
Unlike the Crispy Mint variety, there's no scent beyond chocolate to these. The taste, however, is quite strong and distinct. Just one single button has a lot of flavour - it's most definitely raspberry. The flavour is delicious, with warm raspberry notes, a touch of tanginess and lots of milky chocolate, complemented by the crunchy candy shell. For an artificial flavour, Mars has done a very good job of working some magic here. While the flavour works with the milk chocolate, I bet it would also be delicious with dark chocolate, albeit in a block or bar. The warmth of the raspberry notes is rather feminine, so I'm not sure if it will be appreciated much by the menfolk. These are great - the sweetness is not cloying or in your face, and lets the real flavour shine through.
I wouldn't go so far as to call the flavour scoffable, though; I think the flavour requires a little appreciation and time to enjoy the taste. The raspberry flavour likes to hang around a little afterwards as well. I do find the timing of the release a little odd - it's a flavour that makes me think of hot drinks and winter, not summertime, so I'll be enjoying these as much as I can up until summer hits.
Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Mars M&M's Raspberry are made in Australia. A serve is 25g. They contain wheat, milk and soy. There may be traces of peanuts, treenuts and barley present.