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CHILLRATING 3Tic Tacs

#129 – CHILL: Exotic Cherry

December 31, 2019 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday!! The 129th variety added to the Tic Tac collection: CHILL Exotic Cherry. I figured what better way to conclude this decade than by reviewing my only pack from the previous decade. Let’s get this straight: these are old. They haven’t made any of the CHILL line in probably ten years, but I found a pile of packs for sale and I pounced on them. I believe they made a mint flavor as well but I haven’t found them yet. These all have a Best Before date of Apr 2010. OOF.

As far as I can tell, there’s nothing in these that would “spoil” or become dangerous after the Best Before date, so I of course tasted them. They’re not that bad (and I’m still here to write about it, so I guess it was safe enough). I don’t really care for cherry-flavored candies, they taste like medicine to me. These are sweetened only with Xylitol, so they have that “cooling effect” that goes along with that sweetener. Not too strong of an after-taste, but it does linger a bit.

The shape of the candies themselves is pretty much the same as Liberty, Breeze, X-FREEZE, and FRESH+: large. Though, they’re not as large as the liquid-filled GUM: mammoth.

The packing is really cool and a complete departure from the main line and other lines where they have changed up the packaging (ie. Liberty, Breeze, X-FREEZE, and FRESH+). All other packs have only a plastic “living hinge” or metal hinge (Liberty), while CHILL features a sliding door (see video below). It also opens from the end with a living hinge. Kind of weird, but cool that there are two methods of opening.

RATING: 3/5

FRESH+RATING 3Tic Tacs

#121 – FRESH+: Liquorice

June 10, 2019 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday!! The 121st variety added to the Tic Tac collection: FRESH+ Liquorice. This is a new line extension for Tic Tac, but FRESH+ does look a bit like the European “Breeze” line from a couple years ago. The candies here are the same shape (a fatter flattened Tic Tac shape) as Breeze. In FRESH+, the packaging is frosted-white no matter the flavor (Breeze had different colored plastic per flavor) but now the candy itself is sometimes colored (Breeze had white candies no matter the flavor). The FRESH+ line is made in Alba, Italy and so far appears to only be available within Italy.

There’s a lot going on here, so let’s jump in and start with the packaging. The frosted-white plastic is nice, although it has a glossy finish. The finish on the Breeze packages had a nicer feel, a sort of rough/matte texture. The frosting still sets it apart from your regular flavors and makes it feel “frosty” and cool. They went with some metallic printing on the label, which adds a premium feel.

The ingredients show that we’ve got three kinds of non-sugar sweeteners: xylitol, sorbitol, and steviol glycosides (Stevia). Personally, I can identify the taste of Stevia in things and I’m not a huge fan (weird aftertaste), so I’m not loving that. The label states that these are “con cristalli di freschezza” which means “with freshness crystals.” The Breeze line had “crystallised herbs” so I guess that’s a bit updated here.

For the flavoring, I see powdered licorice extract, menthol, and essential oil of mint. They have a good, fairly intense licorice/anise flavor that is not too sweet. There is also a minty finish, which is common in most Tic Tac flavors at this point. The xylitol also adds that familiar “cooling effect” we’ve seen in other candies.

As for the coloring, we’ve got something interesting in this pack: black. As far as I can tell, these are the only black Tic Tacs out there and I might know why. The coloring they use is something called E153. A little research online finds, “E153 is a food additive approved by the European Union (EU). It is used as a natural colouring agent in food and drink products. The common name for E153 is vegetable carbon. E153 is produced from burning vegetable matter, but may also be produced from animal charcoal. E153 is not soluble in water, making it useful as a filtering aid or clarifying agent, but limiting its use in food and drink products. E153 is banned in the United States. Only the variety originated from vegetables is permitted in Australia. Suspected as a carcinogenic agent although it is now believed that this may have been due to the presence of impurities. Not recommended for consumption by children.” It appears the black colorant isn’t super-cool everywhere. Good thing I only ate one of them!

FRESH+ on the left and a Freshmint in the middle. The right shows the inside of the FRESH+.

They did use a natural color agent for the herb crystals themselves in the form of spirulina concentrate. Although, that ingredient wasn’t legal to use in the US until a few years ago. I’m glad they at least used something natural but sad they only did so on the bit inside the candy that you can’t (or at least probably won’t) see.

I’ve been having a bit of a personal “black licorice renaissance” over the past week, so this fits in nicely with that. Most people I know, however, hate the taste of black licorice, so I’m guessing these will not be all that popular.

RATING: 3/5

RATING 3Tic Tacs

#100 – Texas Lone Star Mix

October 6, 2017 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday…on a Friday! I’ve added the ONE HUNDREDTH variety to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: TEXAS Lone Star Mix. This elusive pack was procured for me by my dear college fraternity brother Matt Vogel. I discovered this new variety online a few days before hurricane Harvey hit Texas and I had posted on Facebook asking if anyone could find them at a H-E-B grocery store in Texas. Then the hurricane hit. A couple weeks later, Matt was finally able to find them and sent me a few packs. WOOHOO!

The flavor itself is a mix of red/white/blue candies in cherry/lime/berry flavors. There’s nothing particular amazing or inventive about this flavor combination, this one is all about the packaging. I really don’t know if they’ll be making any other state flavors (I’m thinking not) and why they chose Texas in particular. These only come in the very large 200 packs, because you know, Texas.

In celebration of my 100th variety in the collection and to repay Texas just a little bit for these yummy candies, I’m making a $100 donation to MusiCares Hurricane Relief fund. MusiCares is the charitable arm of the Recording Academy (Grammys) and they’ve established a relief fund to support members of the music community affected by the recent devastation of all the 2017 hurricanes. You too can donate here: https://www.grammy.com/musicares/donations

RATING: 3/5

Printed CandiesRATING 3Tic Tacs

#97 – Grape & Strawberry

August 15, 2017 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday! The 97th variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Grape & Strawberry from Canada. Thanks to my cousin, Adam Muscott, in Montreal for helping me swing this pack across the border to the US.

Not much new here, it’s just a mix of the standard grape and strawberry flavors. The difference this time: printed ribbons on the pink candies. I assume that is for breast cancer awareness, but there’s no info on these packs explaining that. Previously, the Pink Grapefruit flavor had a pink ribbon printed on the label with info about Susan G. Komen on it.

I love the two flavors individually but not as much together. Pink-washing the packs with a ribbon doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, so I’m going to take off one point in my rating.

RATING: 3/5

GumRATING 3Tic Tacs

#94 – GUM (Freshmint)

May 23, 2017 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday! The 94th variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: GUM (Freshmint). These come to us from Italy and the home of Tic Tacs manufacturer, Ferrero. It looks like they’re dipping their toes into the “gum pond,” along with Mentos and Altoids.

The first thing I do when I get a new pack, before opening it, is check out the labeling & ingredients list. Sadly, these babies have FIVE kinds of sugar and it’s all sugar alcohols and artificial: xylitol, isomalt, sorbitol, acesulfame K, and sucralose. I really try very hard to avoid artificial sweeteners but when it comes to gum, that’s incredibly difficult. There are some brands out there that are all-natural or just have xylitol, like my favorite Spry gum. The label is pretty, with this neat prismatic pattern that looks like galvanized steel texture.

The flavor on this variety of the gum is exactly the same flavor used in the Freshmint candies. The difference here is when you chew them, they squish instead of crunch. It’s pretty much like eating Chiclets (remember those??). After a bunch of chews, the candy coating on the gum softens and you get a pretty nice textured gum. Like Chiclets, you have to eat a bunch of piece of this stuff to really get one equivalent “piece” of gum. I had 4 Tic Tacs and that was kind of close to a piece of Trident gum in size. So it looks like each pack would contain about 9 sticks of conventional gum since there are 36 gums in each pack (I’m smart with the maths).

I don’t know if these are ever going to come over to the US, but I bet they’d sell pretty well. I would have loved if they skipped the artificial sweeteners and just stuck with Xylitol (very big in European gum & candy) but the flavor and and texture of this gum was really good. Are there other flavors out there? You’ll just have to wait and see…

RATING: 3/5

Printed CandiesRATING 3Tic Tacs

#91 – Emotions Edition

February 14, 2017 — 0

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The 91st variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Emotions Edition. This is a fruit mixture variety that just arrived from Slovenia. It appears to be a rebranded version of the Italian “m00d” pack that I posted previously. I thought perhaps this one would be a bit different since the labeling lists some interesting flavors like “Sour Strawberry” and “Mango-Guave” but I really couldn’t tell the difference in these flavors from the regular strawberry and mango. Sadness. These do feature very cute little “emotions” faces printed on each candy.

RATING: 3/5

RATING 3Tic Tacs

#82 – Festive Season

July 12, 2016 — 0

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The 82nd variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios comes to us again from India: Festive Season. It’s a blend of strawberry and passionfruit. I believe the festival season in India starts in October, so these are either kind of old or out a bit early…hmmm.

RATING: 3/5

RATING 3Tic Tacs

#74 – LIBERTY: Coco Mint Cocktail

March 29, 2016 — 0

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The 74th variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios are from the “Tic Tac Liberty” line which aren’t sold in the US: Coco Mint Cocktail (from Slovenia). Notice the blue crystal embedded into the tin. Fancy with an extra helping of schmancy.

RATING: 3/5

RATING 3Tic Tacs

#72 – LIBERTY: Passion Fruit

March 15, 2016 — 0

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It’s #TicTacTuesday and #IllinoisPrimaryElectionDay!! The 72nd variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios are from the “Tic Tac Liberty” line which aren’t sold in the US: Passion Fruit (from Slovenia). I voted today and then enjoyed some LIBERTY! You should vote too!

RATING: 3/5

RATING 3Tic Tacs

#70 – LIBERTY: CoolMint

March 1, 2016 — 0

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The 70th variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios are from the “Tic Tac Liberty” line which aren’t sold in the US: CoolMint. These arrived yesterday from Slovenia, the tins are really nice (sooo luxurious) and the mints taste great. Cool and refreshing, just like the a cappella track I’m mixing as I eat them.

RATING: 3/5

RATING 3Tic Tacs

#66 – Apple Treat

December 22, 2015 — 0

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The 66th variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Apple Treat from India. These pretty much taste like the other apple varieties in the collection.

RATING: 3/5

RATING 3Tic Tacs

#61 – Apple Battle

October 6, 2015 — 0

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The 61st flavor in the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Apple Battle from Australia. Huge thanks to Matthew Tuey for finding these and shipping them to me in Chicago.

RATING: 3/5

RATING 3Tic Tacs

#58 – Mummy Orange

September 4, 2015 — 0

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The 58th flavor in the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Mummy Orange. It’s not exactly a new flavor but new packaging/naming for Halloween (which is still a couple months away).

RATING: 3/5

RATING 3Tic Tacs

#57 – Sorpredente

August 25, 2015 — 0

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The 57th flavor in the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Sorprendente from Italy. Big thanks to Shelley Nulton for bringing them back to the US for me and then shipping them to Chicago!

RATING: 3/5

RATING 3Tic Tacs

#46 – Be Mine Mix (2015)

February 9, 2015 — 0

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Latest flavor of Tic Tac added to the collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Be Mine Mix. Found these at Target with all the Valentine’s Day stuff. We’re up to 46 types of Tic Tacs now (not all flavors shown here).

RATING: 3/5