This is about as “local” as it gets: this cereal is not only from a Malaysian brand, but it was also manufactured in an obscure province in Malaysia. Sweetkiss is known within the confectionery industry here as an “imitator”. Walk into any discount supermarket and you’ll find that it has imitations of all the major products by the confectionery giants. (i’ve spent some time recently in a large confectionery company, and its employees revealed this nugget of information – Sweetkiss prices their imitations at almost half the price of the originals)
What kind of imitations? You’ve got Sweetkiss’ version of Nestle’s Kit Kat, which they have named 2Finger; they’ve got a version of Nabisco’s Oreos (which aren’t even named, but are coloured similarly)
And – today we’ve got their version of chocolate-filled breakfast cereal. What most of us are familiar with in the UK and US as Kellogg’s Krave, or Tesco’s Pillows (reviewed here); or in France, as Kellogg’s Tresor. In Malaysia, however, CADBURY – yes, CADBURY – has their version of this snack, which they’ve named “Cadbury Bytes”. Bytes are marketed as a snack, and not a cereal, and are sold in small 40g, or 80g packs.
The imitation by Sweetkiss has been similarly marketed as a snack, akin to crisps, in an 80g pack. Below you’ll see what the pack is like; and, perhaps of interest to you, would be how these packs are placed on the confectionery isle, a “hybrid” product offering somewhere between chocolates and biscuits / wafers.
Sweetkiss Mini Crunch Mocha Cream Filled Cereal: large, thin rectangles, of some cereal shell, supposedly containing “mocha cream”. I say “supposedly”, because this “cream” is actually a compound chocolate (or mockolate, as some may prefer to say).
From the pictures below, i think we can conclude three things:
1) The colour of these things is just horrible. Cardboard-like, dull; Where’s the light brown we all know and love, and which we associate with a “wholemeal” / healthy / cereal-grain product? Clearly, Sweetkiss didn’t think of this.
2) How flat. Ugly. Not plump like Krave or Tresor. (although those cereals may be plump but empty, as we’d seen in the Tesco pillows)
3) Awful innards that look more like a powdery compound, than a “mocha cream”
Of course, the old saying goes – “one should not judge a book by its cover”. The sad thing is, that from here, everything is just plain bad.
It wasn’t crunchy in a “fresh” way, like cornflakes or branflakes. The crunch was akin to a Loacker / Quadratini wafer – a denser crunch, and not light at all. I did not feel refreshed from biting into this. Perhaps that could have been the intention of the manufacturers, since Sweetkiss Mini Crunch IS packaged as a confectionery snack, and not as a breakfast cereal. Even then, even IF the dense crunch satisfies as a snack, I wouldn’t be munching on this Mini Crunch product, on account of its taste.
The mocha cream was terrible. It was artificial, just a simple “sugar”-sweetness, and lacked the two characteristics of a good “mocha’ or “cappuccino” flavour.
Mocha = Chocolate + Coffee
Cappuccino = Milk Foam + Coffee
In this snack, the “Coffee” element was lacking. Where was the espresso aroma? Where was the (sometimes) woodsy / oaksy depth of a PROPER coffee? I think my standards are too high here, however, since i drink espresso everyday, and the local coffee in Malaysia tends to be brewed from a mixture of Robusta beans and some flour compound (well, something has to give way if a cup of coffee costs 30 pence, right?)
Chocolate? Fail. Compound chocolate, and a poor one at that. The picture isn’t very clear, but trust me – there isn’t any “milk chocolate” used here, and it would be illegal for Sweetkiss to say so. In Malaysia, most local confectionery is compound chocolate (i.e. chocolate-FLAVOURED, and not MILK CHOCOLATE). If the compound chocolate was decent, like those made by Nestle, than that’s ok. But here it was horrid: powdery, an undiscernible melt, lacking in any dairy aromas (even if artificial)
How do you redeem this snack?
Perhaps by virtue of nutritionals, and price.
Nutritionals: There aren’t any available from the website, and all i have is this unfocussed picture here.
In any case, the entire pack (80g) / standardized to 100g contains:
Energy – 366kcal / 458kcal
Total Fat – 16g / 20g
Sat Fat – 7g / 8.1g
Trans Fat – 0g
Carbohydrates – 36g / 45g
of which sugars – 19g / 23g
Dietary Fiber – 0g
Protein – 6g / 7.5g
Not as “bad” as your typical granola, which tends to cross 500kcal / 100g. Here we have 0g of Fiber, surprisingly low levels of sugar, but high levels of fat. I suppose we could be thankful that there isn’t any transfat in this, despite it being the “budget-offering” on the supermarket aisle. Budget offerings, especially in Asia, tend to use cheap substitutes for cocoa butter and palm oil, resorting to hydrogenated fats, which have been proven to have a detrimental effect to our health.
-The Exercising Male