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Tic TacsX-FRESH

#131 – X-FRESH: Cherry Menthol

July 7, 2020 — 0

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HeyHey, it’s #TicTacTuesday (Pandemic Edition)!! The 131st variety added to the collection: X-FRESH Cherry Menthol. This is the first new pack I’ve been able to find since Feb 2020. It’s tough finding new flavors when you can’t go into stores, but I was able to get this one from my connection in Slovenia. I also assume there has been a slowdown of new flavors due to the pandemic. I’m getting a bit of whiplash from all these line names: FRESH+, X-FREEZE, X-FRESH. Figure it out, Ferrero, and pick one already! They’re all the same candies, just different names.

I’ll be upfront with you, I don’t usually like artificial cherry flavor in candy. When it comes to Starburst, I’m a strawberry guy. Got some Pixie Sticks? I’ll take an orange. Fun Dip? I’ll help myself to some blue raspberry, thanks. Cherry isn’t my thing. Mixing cherry with “menthol” totally sounds like a flavored cigarette to me. Bleh. So how does Cherry Menthol taste? Like cherry-flavored Cepacol. It’s just straight-up cough drops.

The X-FRESH line, just like the other FRESH/X lines, are all sugar-free. I definitely like that they’ve skipped the artificial sweeteners and went with a blend of Xylitol, Sorbitol, and Stevia. The blue/green coloring for the crystallized herbs inside is colored with Spirulina. This is only because these were released in Europe. It seems that candy released in the US goes all-in on the artificial flavors & colors and I just can’t stand it.

The packaging is quite nice. The pack itself is clear blue plastic where the edges/corners seem to light up and glow blue. I really dig how it looks. I haven’t seen any other packs in this color. The closest was Lemon (Dream of Mediterraneo) which was blue but darker and not nearly as cool.

If I did see these in a store, which I won’t because I live in the US and…coronavirus, I would have to pass.

RATING: 2/5

Printed CandiesRATING 2Tic TacsUncategorized

#130 – Cherry Love

February 14, 2020 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday (except this time on a Friday)!! The 130th variety added to the Tic Tac collection: Cherry Love. I found these at Target just after Christmas (yep). I’ve been sitting on them to post on Valentine’s Day and here they are.

These are the large mega-packs that have 200 candies in each. The packaging was printed in two versions that are mirror images of each other, so when you put them together they form a heart (awwwww).

The flavor is pretty much your standard cherry and it’s like they didn’t even try on these. There are artificial flavors and colors, nothing natural listed in the ingredients. Some other flavors had used dried acerola cherry extract for flavor or beet juice powder for color. Not here. You want Tic Tac love on Valentine’s Day, it’s gonna be chemical.

Each candy has a cute little message printed on it, like Conversation Hearts candies. Sadly, there are only 3 different messages on these. This is probably because the candies are so tiny, there isn’t much room to fit many characters. Cute nonetheless.

If you like cherry (I don’t care much for it) and you like love (I do care much for it), then these might be the candies for you. Perhaps they should stick with chocolate on Valentine’s Day and come out with the Choco Tic Tacs like they sold in Germany for a short time (I’m still searching for them).

RATING: 2/5

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

Printed CandiesRATING 5Tic Tacs

#128 – Coca-Cola

November 19, 2019 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday!! The 128th variety added to the Tic Tac collection: Coca-Cola. While the press release regarding this giant collaboration came out a month ago, these were still difficult to track down in the US. I suspect pretty soon we will all be inundated with marketing for these and they’ll be available in every possible corner of the globe. I was able to procure my packs from my usual connection in Slovenia, although these were actually made in Germany.

The packs are wrapped in the iconic “Coca-Cola Red” and feature a cutout of the globally-recognizable glass bottle silhouette. Each candy is handsomely imprinted with the Coca-Cola logo (see below). I was wondering if the candies should be red with white printing, rather than the reverse. Perhaps there was an issue with using that much red, which is colored here using the controversial carmine, but that could be only in Europe. It’s possible the US release might use artificial coloring. Also, the previous cola-flavored MIXERS: Cherry->Cola was red and maybe they wanted to steer clear from that.

Closeup of the Coca-Cola printing on each candy

A quick scan (and translation from German) of the ingredients shows the usual suspects PLUS “Coca-Cola Syrup 2%.” The syrup is broken down into its own ingredients and still includes caffeine! I’ve been hoping for caffeinated Tic Tacs for a while, and the only thing I had been able to find was Mint Guarana from Brazil. Of course, if you did divide up the rather low caffeine content of a Coke into about 50 candies, you get a VERY small dose, but still. There is no high-fructose corn syrup in these, so maybe they’re Mexican Coke Tic Tacs 🙂

Sitting here, staring at my pack of Coke Tic Tacs, I had an interesting thought: how well would it combine with other flavors? I immediately grabbed a pack of Ice Pop Glacé, fished out a lime candy, and popped it into my mouth with a Coke one. I’m a big fan of Coke with some Lime (and if you live in Mexico, you apparently take this combination for stomach trouble) and this candy combo lived up to my expectation. Very tasty! I also tried Coke+Tangerine with less positive results. I rolled my own Cherry Coke mix and it was mostly good, although the Tic Tac cherry flavoring (acerola) tastes too artificial and overpowering for me. Coke+Blueberry was pretty good too.

When you first open a pack and give it a whiff, you smell a strong hit of cinnamon. While the recipe for Coke is still a highly-guarded secret, it is pretty well accepted that it includes cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, orange & lemon essential oils. I’m not getting too much of the other individual flavors though, just that cinnamon. There is a middle-flavor, a sort of bitterness to it, that strongly reminds me of Coke mouthfeel. Sort of hard to describe.

The flavor is spot-on: this is made with Coca-Cola. I don’t drink much soda anymore, but I still do love an icy Coke now and then. One of my favorite candies is Haribo Gummy Cola Bottles, which is made with a generic “cola” flavoring. The Tic Tac version is similar but somehow tastes unmistakably COKE to me. In Europe, there was a release a couple of years ago of the co-branded The Simpsons: Buzz Cola and that tasted more like the Haribo gummies to me than actual Coca-Cola. The taste lingers in your mouth for a while, and that’s where the citrus notes come out a bit more.

If you love Coca-Cola, these are the candies for you. I’m not sure when they’ll become available in the US or for how long, but I plan to buy up a case of them for sure when they do. It’s the perfect combination for Coke & Tic Tacs fans everywhere.

RATING: 5/5

RATING 5Tic TacsX-FREEZE

#127 – X-FREEZE: STRONG MINT

November 12, 2019 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday!! The 127th variety added to the Tic Tac collection: X-FREEZE Strong Mint. Just like the previous flavor, X-FREEZE Wintergreen, my mother found this pack for me at a local store (WOOO!!). As we saw last week, Tic Tac was so kind as to give us a US version of the European-only FRESH+ line, with some slight flavor variation. I’ve listed the flavors below:

FRESH+X-FREEZE
Strong MintStrong Mint
LiquoriceWintergreen
Eucalyptus

The ingredient list for Strong Mint is identical to Wintergreen in this line. The Strong Mint flavor is stronger and really “sharper,” from a lack of better words to describe it. Wintergreen feels like a sweeter and “softer” mint to me. I could eat a couple Wintergreen at a time but I don’t know if I’d want to have 2 Strong Mints at once. Might be too much awesomeness (and my tongue might get frostbite).

If you’re looking for the strongest, hit-me-over-the-head mint in a Tic Tac, this is probably it. It’s a strong and lasting mint that definitely freshens breath. It’s pretty easy to find right now at most Walgreen’s & CVS in the US.

RATING: 5/5

RATING 5Tic TacsX-FREEZE

#126 – X-FREEZE: Wintergreen

November 5, 2019 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday!! The 126th variety added to the Tic Tac collection: X-FREEZE Wintergreen. My mom actually found these for me. It’s becoming increasingly rare that friends & family can find me new flavors, so she gets one point for finding this! I get a lot of texts from people, “Do you have these yet?” YEP!

This is a new line from Tic Tac, called X-FREEZE. It’s pretty much the US version of the FRESH+ line I’ve posted about here, with some subtle differences. The major difference, though, is the name. I’m not sure why they didn’t just go with FRESH+, it’s a perfectly cromulent name. While the candies themselves are exactly the same size (X-FREEZE vs FRESH+), the plastic packs are slightly different in size. In the smaller packs, the X-FREEZE is slightly thicker and contains 30 candies, which is a few more than the FRESH+ packs contain. The FRESH+ line featured Strong Mint, Eucalyptus, and Liquorice but not Wintergreen as we see here with X-FREEZE.

So how do they taste? AWESOME. I really love these mints. They’re super strong and have a very different texture & experience than what you get with regular Tic Tacs. The sweeteners are Xylitol & Stevia. There is also maltodextrin, but there must be so little of it that the candies still have 0 calories each. I’m pretty sensitive to the flavor of some sweeteners but I didn’t really detect any “Stevia taste” so that’s good. The Xylitol “cooling effect” is still present in these mints and I love it.

There’s not much discernable aftertaste from these, and I don’t mind that at all. The “cooling crystals” must be clumps of mint & xylitol (and spirulina for color). They should just sell pouches of cooling crystals, that would be rad.

I was sad when I first tasted the FRESH+ line because I loved them but figured I’d never find them in the US or get them in any real quantity online. I’m happy to see these come to the US, but I am wondering how long they’ll last. Grab them while you can if you like strong mints.

RATING: 5/5

GumRATING 1Tic Tacs

#125 – GUM Liquid Center: Sour Cherry

July 9, 2019 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday!! The 125th variety added to the Tic Tac collection: GUM Liquid Center Sour Cherry. It’s probably the longest name of any candy out there, and I’m not sure it’s a distinction that this candy lives up to. These can be found in Italy and possibly other parts of Europe, but haven’t made it to the US yet (and I doubt they will).

There’s a lot of similarities between this flavor and last week’s flavor GUM Liquid Center Lime Mint and most of them are not particularly positive. We have pretty much the same ingredients (yay, 7 kinds of sweetener), the same monster-size/shape/color, and very similar packaging.

What is different here is the flavor and the “chewability” of this gum. The Lime Mint was pretty terrible, I had to spit it out almost immediately. For Sour Cherry, I was able to chew it for a bit before being repulsed. I wanted to see how long I could chew it before the flavor faded, and it was indeed longer than the previous flavor, but I couldn’t stand it after about a minute. Personally, I don’t like the taste of cherry and artificial sweetener. It tastes really strange to me, kind of like cough syrup. I could see how some might enjoy this though.

The liquid center wasn’t particularly liquidy. I didn’t get that “gush” feeling like you might get from other liquid-filled candies. Even the Lime Mint seemed wetter, so maybe this was just a bad batch.

I’m going to give them an extra point here because they’re branching out and trying really different things with this gum. Unfortunately, that still only gets a 1 out of 5.

RATING: 1/5

GumRATING 1Tic TacsUncategorized

#124 – GUM Liquid Center: Lime Mint

July 2, 2019 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday!! The 124th variety added to the Tic Tac collection: GUM Liquid Center Lime Mint. That’s a mouthful…and so are these candies, they’re huge! This pack comes to us from Italy, just like the last few I’ve reviewed. Alba, Italy must be one Tic Taceriffic place with all these wacky varieties and flavors Ferrero has been putting out.

These packs are about the same size as the 200 candy packs, but they only hold FIFTEEN pieces of gum…because they’re monsters. I’ve compared them to FRESH+ and Freshmint below. I think things are getting out of control. I mean, the husky FRESH+ mints were big enough, now this? I’m waiting for Tic Tac shaped marshmallows next, just one in a pack!

The next thing we need to discuss is sugar. How many kinds of real and fake sugar are in this gum? SEVEN. Some of these are sugar alcohols and some are artificial sweeteners. Let’s list them, shall we? There’s xylitol, maltitol syrup, maltitol, isomalt, mannitol, acesulfame K, and sucralose. I seriously re-counted them several times because I look at that list and I’m thinking, “There’s no way they used seven kinds of sweetener in gum!” Yep.

I assume the rather astringent and offensive liquid center is made from flavored maltitol syrup, colored with E100 (Curcumin, which is actually not banned in the US and might even be good for you). Also, why bother coloring the liquid? Who is going to see it??

I taste-tested these with my 12yr old son and we both made the same face the second we bit into the gum…iewww. It was not good. I personally do like “lime mint” which debuted a while ago as one my personal favorites, Mojito Mint flavor. Something about the chemical taste of the sweeteners mixed with the far-too-acidic lime liquid, made for a rather unpleasant experience. If you are just hanging around Italy and pass these in a shop, keep on walking, buddy.

RATING: 1/5

FRESH+RATING 5Tic Tacs

#123 – FRESH+: Strong Mint

June 25, 2019 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday!! The 123rd variety added to the Tic Tac collection: FRESH+ Strong Mint. This pack comes to us from Italy and it is our third & final entry in the new European “FRESH+” line of Tic Tacs. I guess I should have started this little mini-series with Strong Mint, since basic mint is really the foundation of Tic Tacs. Eh, live and learn.

Just like the other two varieties of FRESH+, the package is a lightly-frosted plastic that really does convey the frosty feel of these mints. No extracts or oils or banned coloring agents in this variety. There is just the trio of sweeteners (xylitol, sorbitol, and steviol glycosides/Stevia) and “aromas.” Yeah, your guess is as good as mine as to what aromas really means here. It just sounds very “euro” to me.

The flavor crystals inside are colored with spirulina concentrate to give them a nice blue/green tint. Of course, you’d only be seeing these crystals when you bite the candy in half…after killing a guy with a hammer (see previous post).

These mints are FROSTY. I love them. They’re the FRESH+ version of Powermint/Mint Evolution/Mint Rush/TORMENTA/etc but even stronger because of the cooling effect you get from the xylitol. The others don’t have that, so while they are really minty, they’re not truly frosty.

I would buy these every week as my go-to breath mint, if I could.

RATING: 5/5

FRESH+RATING 5Tic Tacs

#122 – FRESH+: Eucalyptus

June 18, 2019 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday!! The 122nd variety added to the Tic Tac collection: FRESH+ Eucalyptus. This pack comes to us from Italy and it is our second entry in the new European “FRESH+” line of Tic Tacs. While I’m not able to find any information about this line on the internet, I have procured 3 flavors so far (yep, 1 more to post next week!).

I really enjoy the flavor of eucalyptus in mints & candies. I recently stopped briefly in Sweden on our way back to the US from Austria & Czech Republic and I grabbed a bunch of flavors of Läkerol to try (including Cactus, weird). My favorite was by far the eucalyptus. It’s not a particularly popular flavor in the US. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever seen any candies in this flavor here.

They went in hard on the “FRESH+” concept with the mint and cooling being seriously dominant. While the eucalyptus is present and pleasant, it still takes a back-seat to the menthol. These are REALLY minty and do have the xylitol cooling effect I’m so fond of. The order of ingredients is actually menthol, powdered liquorice extract (wha??), and then eucalyptus. It definitely shows in the taste, although I don’t really get any liquorice flavor.

I’m happy they didn’t use any banned coloring agents in these candies, as they did in last week’s entry FRESH+ Liquorice. These do include spirulina concentrate to color the flavor crystals inside. It makes for some pretty crystals, if you do actually bite one in half and eat it in two servings. Then again, if you do that you’re probably a psychopath, so…

Sadly, I was only able to get the one pack but I wish I could find these in the US, I’d be purchasing them often. Incredibly fresh, tasty, cooling, and breath-freshening. I love this flavor.

RATING: 5/5

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 4Tic Tacs

#120 – Berries

June 4, 2019 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday!! The 120th variety added to the Tic Tac collection: Berries. This elusive pack comes to us from Australia, sent by my friend Trist Ethan Curless who found them while on tour with his little singing group The Manhattan Transfer. I had seen this variety for a while online but could only buy them by the case. Thanks for thinking of me, Trist!

This flavor mix contains raspberry & blueberry, and the combination is very refreshing. Both flavors taste fairly typical of artificial flavoring. The raspberry does have a “darker” flavor, something a bit deeper than the brighter “blue raspberry” that candies often use. The blueberry could taste of bit more realistic or at least get to that realistic taste a bit sooner. It comes right at the end of the candy and you’re finally like, “Oh, okay it’s blueberry.” The taste lingers for a bit in your throat and it sort of coats the mouth.

I imagine these are fairly common in Australia, so if you’re there I’d recommend picking up a pack, they’re pretty tasty!

Rating: 4/5

RATING 2Tic Tacs

#119 – Bunny Blast

February 12, 2019 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday!! The 119th variety added to the Tic Tac collection: Bunny Blast. It’s only February and Easter isn’t until April, but hey who’s counting. I found these at Target, of all places. When you have over 100 kinds of Tic Tacs, you don’t really expect to find too many new ones at retail stores.

Now, don’t be fooled, these aren’t Bunny BURST…they are Bunny BLAST. There’s a difference, duh. The previous variety of Bunny Burst (#20), that I added to the collection in 2013, was a mixture of Green Apple & Grape. This new mix, Bunny Blast, is Green Apple & Strawberry. There’s an Easter Bunny laughing it’s fluffy little butt off on the label, because he knows this mix is kinda crappy but you’re going to buy it anyways to put in your kids’ Easter baskets.

It’s truly a case of just mixing colors because they go along with a holiday and not because it’s actually a good mixture of flavors. Personally, while I love green apple, I’ve always felt the Tic Tac version of the flavor had a very artificial taste to it. I wonder if they’ve updated the formula because these do taste much better than before. The strawberry flavor is still one of my favorites. They did include dried green apple and dried strawberry in the ingredients, so that’s pretty cool. Together, the two flavors do not go well. So maybe just eat each flavor individually.

It’s Easter…in February…before it’s even Valentine’s Day…but it’s Easter! WOO!

Rating: 2/5

Printed CandiesRATING 4Tic Tacs

#118 – Around The World

February 5, 2019 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday!! The 118th variety added to the Tic Tac collection: Around The World. This pack comes to us from Croatia, but through our source in Slovenia. At first glance, it might appear to be just another fruit-flavored mix, like Fruit Adventure or Emotions or Sorpredente, but we have an unprecedented SIX flavors in this mix and they’re all really tasty.

The first thing you might notice is that if you put these three packs together, it forms a world map on the labels. I could see them selling these three as a set in airports. Each candy has an icon printed on it, representing a different world culture: horseshoe (US??), djembe drum (Africa), kangaroo (Australia), parthenon (Greece), maracas (Mexico), and pagoda (Asia). I’m just guessing on the cultures there. They aren’t consistently printed on each flavor, meaning each candy has a random icon. They aren’t tied together icon+flavor.

The fruit flavors are very good and represent, in my opinion, the best and most natural of the fruit flavors Tic Tacs makes. I’m happy any time a mix includes cranberry, since it’s not yet been made available on its own. I really dig that flavor and I’m hoping maybe some Autumn/Thanksgiving they release it alone. There is also a disclaimer written on the back, in Croatian, that says you must listen to Draft Punk while eating these candies. Hey, it’s not my rule.

If you’re looking for a nice all-around fruit mix, Around The World is your destination for yummy.

Rating: 4/5

 

RATING 4Tic Tacs

#117 – Intenser

January 22, 2019 — 2

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday!! The 117th variety added to the Tic Tac collection: Intenser. It’s not just intense, it’s INTENSER! I’ll be honest, I had to look up to see if intenser was actually a word, and it is indeed a comparative adjective. These yummy little minty bits come to me from India.

Intenser is actually a mix of Mild Mint (light green) and Aromatic Mint (dark green). I’m not tasting much difference between this mix and many of the other mint releases from Tic Tac in the past. Both flavors are definitely intense and, dare I say, intenser than before. If you’re looking for some fresh breath and an icy-cold mouth, this is the mix for you.

Rating: 4/5

RATING 4Tic Tacs

#116 – Banana & Tangerine

December 11, 2018 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday!! The 116th variety added to the Tic Tac collection: Banana & Tangerine. These tiny little packs come to us all the way from India (manufactured in Pune). Weighing in at only 9.7g per pack, they are certainly the smallest ones I’ve seen, aside from those super-mini 3.9 gram ones that you can get in a giant “Spender” box at Airport Duty Free shops.

The label mentions the possibility of winning “Great Music Prizes” but there is no explanation anywhere of how to do so. I assume these were in a larger package that included the info? Maybe? The backwards 16th-notes on the label bother me, I’ll just say that. Also, what is up with the random square with the green dot in the center? What is that for?

As far as flavor goes, these are pretty tasty. Both flavors include real powdered fruit juice, so that’s nice. The banana flavor is rather overpowering but it tastes like your standard Banana Runts. The tangerine flavor is really delicious. If you are hooked on the Orange packs, such as myself, this flavor offers a yummy alternative that doesn’t disappoint.

Rating: 4/5

Printed CandiesRATING 4Tic Tacs

#115 – Día de Muertos Menta Intensa

December 5, 2018 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday (but this time on a Wednesday)! The 115th variety added to the Tic Tac collection: Día de Muertos Menta Intensa. These specially-branded packs, sold only in Mexico as a limited edition during the month of October, were rather difficult to track down. I had a couple different people in Mexico searching and finally was able to actually procure them from someone in Texas (no doubt smuggled across the border, much to our president’s chagrin…but I digress).

Many of these candies have little skull faces printed on them, which is a common theme on Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead). Not every candy in the pack has the printing, which seems weird. The mint flavor and color are pretty much identical to Arctic Rush. It’s a powerfully strong mint flavor but still with that anise hit at the front, similar to the classic Freshmint (white). If you can’t find these, just get some Mint Evolution, which are available at Walgreen’s fairly widely in the US. Pretty much the same thing.

Rating: 4/5

RATING 2Tic Tacs

#114 – Ice Pop Glacé

September 25, 2018 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday! The 114th variety added to the Tic Tac collection: Ice Pop Glacé. This pack, straight from Canada, comes with the label “Proud Sponsor of the Toronto Blue Jays.” I was just in Toronto last month and was even right outside the Rogers Centre, but did not encounter these (sadness). Of course, where did I find them…online! I guess the tie-in with the Blue Jays is that their colors are red/white/blue.

As far as I can remember, these taste exactly like the Summer Ice Pop variety I found in the US a couple years ago. It’s a combination of Cherry, Lime, and Berry. Pretty standard flavors by now, just combined here for a summer fruity blend. The lime tastes more like that terrible Tic Tac lemon flavor we’ve had previously. The ingredients even list “powdered lemon juice”, so I’m not sure why the packaging says lime on it. The idea is that the combination is reminiscent of the old bomb pops. I guess I can taste that. I don’t hate it, I don’t love it.

Rating: 2/5

MixersRATING 1Tic Tacs

#113 – MIXERS: Berry Mix->Lemon Soda

September 18, 2018 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday! The 113th variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: MIXERS Berry Mix->Lemonade. I got this pack along with last week’s MIXERS flavor through my candy connection in Slovenia. These also happened to be made in Innsbruck, Austria so it looks like they did a little “summer flavors” run recently.

I had figured Limo was short for “Limonade,” but it appears that in Austria & Germany, Limo is the general term for soda/pop (usually a lemon soda). I would expect then that the lemon flavor, the second half of this MIXERS blend, would have some sort of fizzy quality to it. I wouldn’t know though because my candies never changed flavor from Berry Mix. WOMP WOMMMMP. The berry taste is actually very good, a general “berry” blend that doesn’t taste too synthetic but does have quite a long aftertaste. But then my MIXERS never switched over to anything else, especially any sort of lemon flavoring. Maybe I got a defective batch? Maybe the strong berry mix taste was just so overpowering? Who knows, but I was sad to not have the full MIXERS experience with this one.

Rating: 1/5

MixersRATING 2Tic Tacs

#112 – MIXERS: Watermelon->Lime Mint

September 5, 2018 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday! The 112th variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: MIXERS Watermelon->Lime Mint. I got this pack through my candy connection in Slovenia, although they appear to be made in Innsbruck, Austria. I’ll be traveling to Austria next month, so you bet yer sweet patootie I’ll be looking for some new flavors!

The MIXERS line is still pretty small here in the US, but it looks like they’re experimenting over in Europe with the whole “flavour changing experience.” This variety feels very summery, with the light packaging and the image of a straw sticking out of the corner of a beverage. I assuming that is some sort of watermelon/lime minter cooler and a paper straw :-P.

The watermelon taste is really excellent. It’s not all fake and Jolly Ranchery. But once it fades, though, we get that acerbic lime flavor that we’ve seen before. I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s something about the lime flavoring they use in any Tic Tacs that is just not good. I feel like they’re trying to dress it up with some mint, but it’s not helping. The Mojito Mint variety from a few years ago was excellent, mostly because the lime really took a backseat to the mint. Overall, I’m not a huge fan of these because the lime ruins the party. Womp wommmmp…

Rating: 2/5

 

RATING 2Tic Tacs

#111 – Cerise Acerola

August 14, 2018 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday! The 111th variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Cerise Acerola. This pack was sent to me by my Tic Tac buddy Ike Estacion in California. They originate from France and hence have a French variety name. It turns out Cerise Acerola is a “Barbados Cherry” which is apparently not the same as just “cherry” we have here in the US. Cerise Acerola isn’t actually native to Europe, so I’m not sure why they went with this moniker/flavor instead of just “Cherry.”

They do indeed taste like…cherry. It’s a slightly different taste than the usual candy cherry I’m used to though. It’s pleasant, not overpowering, not that IN YOUR FACE CHERRY. I’m not a huge fan of cherry-flavored candy actually, so I’m not so hot on these.

I noticed the texture of the candy was a little soft. As I’m chewing a few of them and reading the back label of the pack, I noticed the expiration date was from 2009! OOPSIE! I’m still here to tell the tale a couple days later. No ill effects from eating Tic Tacs almost ten years after they’ve expired, apparently (ugh but now I don’t know math j/k). My guess is that this is a “Best By” date, which would explain the soft texture, iewwww. I think I won’t be eating any more from this pack.

RATING: 2/5

RATING 4Tic Tacs

#110 – Erbe Alpine e Miele

July 31, 2018 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday! The 110th variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Erbe Alpine e Miele (Alpine Herbs & Honey). This pack came to me from my new Tic Tac buddy from California, Ike Estacion. We’re trading some flavors that the other doesn’t have. This is a flavor that comes from Tic Tac’s home, Italy.

I really like these and wish that they would sell more “herbal” flavors here in the US (other than just mint). I don’t exactly know what kind of herb flavor they used, it only says “aromi” in the ingredients, but it’s definitely nice and not too strong or overwhelming. The honey flavor is excellent but a little too light for my taste, I want more! They use real “honey powder” in these, and it shows. I could even see a pure honey flavor (not mixed with herbs) being really yummy.

Rating: 4/5

RATING 4Tic Tacs

#109 – Lime & Mint Party

July 17, 2018 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday! The 109th variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Lime & Mint Party. It’s a party all the way from Malaysia (but made in Pune, India). This is one tasty combination, similar to the Mint Mojito we saw a couple years ago from Australia. The mint candies are Spearmint, one of my favorite Tic Tac flavors and definitely the best mint flavor they have. The lime candies are made with lime & lemon juice powder and has quite a sour bite to it. The combination is very pleasant and I could eat a lot of these.

This combination features the beautiful artificial dye “Brilliant Blue FCF” which can color your poop blue if you eat enough of it. YAY! NOW, it’s a party! It appears both the artificial colors in these candies (the other being Tartrazine) could trigger an allergic reaction in people with asthma. Not-so-yay 🙁

Rating: 4/5

Printed CandiesRATING 2Tic Tacs

#108 – Team Pack (Cola & Limonade)

June 26, 2018 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday! The 108th variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Team Pack (Cola & Limonade). These come to us from Germany, by way of Ljubljana, Slovenia and branded with the logo for the Deutscher Fussball-Bund (German Football Association).

There is a contest to win an original DFB shirt (555 available) by scratching off a code on the back of the pack and entering it on the Tic Tac website. Sadly, when I tried to scratch the grey area to reveal the code, it wouldn’t scratch off. I’ve got a few more days to try getting the code off before the contest ends. Maybe I’ll win a shirt!

Each candy (or dragée) is imprinted with what I assume is the face of a German footballer, but I don’t know who any of these guys are. I tried to extract one candy featuring each face for a photo but it’s very possible I missed some. See pic below.

The flavor mixture in this pack makes sense, cola and lemon (or even better, LIME!!!) go well together…usually. The cola flavor here is good, similar to the Buzz Cola Simpsons flavoring, but the “limonade” lemon is another story. I have had this flavor before, also from Germany as a matter of fact, when it was in the “Honey Lemon” pack I got way back. It’s a weird chemical flavor with this sort of “Pine-Sol” aftertaste. Really not good. I think a cola & lime pack is definitely due. You hear me, Ferrero? I’ve got a list of flavor ideas, hit me up.

RATING: 2/5

GumRATING 2Tic Tacs

#107 – GUM (Tropical)

June 12, 2018 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday! The 107th variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: GUM (Tropical). In the US we’re only able to get the basic three flavors of gum: Freshmint, Spearmint, and Cool Watermelon…but in Italy, home of Ferrero, the makers of Tic Tacs, they get some cooler flavors. This pack was sent to me by my friend Trist Ethan Curless (of the Manhattan Transfer) while he was on tour in Italy.

The taste of these is interesting, the back label states that it’s a mixture of pineapple, mango, and orange. I had my kids try it with me and my daughter thought she tasted peach. Maybe when you combine certain fruit flavors they make other flavors (like how red and blue make purple)? I’m thinking that the combination of flavors just trips up her tastebuds and she doesn’t know what she’s tasting. It’s a pleasant flavor though, even though I don’t taste any peach.

Again, the Tic Tac GUM features 5 kinds of sweetener: Xylitol, Isomalt, Sorbitol, Acesulfame K, and Sucralose. Also in this flavor, as before, the Xylitol they use in these gums leaves a really strong residual cooling effect in your mouth. The tropical flavor didn’t last as long as the cassis flavor did in my mouth, after spitting out the gum.

After discussing the odd packaging in GUM Cassis, I noticed Tropical packs have “36 GUMS” instead of the “25 GUMS” in cassis. No clue why, not going to venture a guess either this time. Overall, not bad. I’m not sure where they’re going to go with the gum line, if they’re trying to take on Trident or some other brand by having many flavors. We’ll have to see!

RATING: 2/5

GumRATING 2Tic Tacs

#106 – GUM (Cool Cassis)

May 29, 2018 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday! The 106th variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: GUM (Cassis). In the US we’re only able to get the basic three flavors of gum: Freshmint, Spearmint, and Cool Watermelon. In Europe, however, they get a little fancier, with a little cassis from Poland. For those that aren’t familiar, cassis is also known as blackcurrant, a small berry found in Europe and Asia.

The taste is pretty realistic and not very chemical-y, which is surprising considering the number of sweeteners used in this product. As with most gum nowadays, there are 5 kinds of sweetener used in Tic Tac GUM: Xylitol, Isomalt, Sorbitol, Acesulfame K, and Sucralose. Interesting that they left out the Aspartame/Nutrasweet. Personally, I’d be happy if they left out all artificial sweeteners and just used things like Stevia or sugar alcohols (like those first three sweeteners I listed)…or just SUGAR. I get it though, you’re chewing this gum for potentially a long time and having sugar against your teeth for that long is probably not helping prevent tooth decay, right?

The Xylitol they use in these gums leaves a really strong residual cooling effect in your mouth. The cassis flavor and cooling last a really long time, maybe 30 minutes after I chewed the gum for like 15 seconds (I can’t chew gum for very long, bleh).

One interesting thing I noticed in the plastic pack is that the bottom of the pack is built up in such a way as to keep the container from holding more candies. That keeps the outside the same size while reducing the internal space so that they can fit an exact “25 GUMS” inside. It doesn’t state in the back (based on my stark lack of ability to speak Polish) what the serving size is but I’d bet it’s 5 gums, which would come to an even 5 servings per pack. Overall not bad. It’s a very “euro-flavor” but if you dig gum, this would be a good one to try.

RATING: 2/5

Printed CandiesRATING 4Tic Tacs

#105 – Emotions Edition 2018

March 27, 2018 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday! The 105th variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Emotions Edition. These come all the way from Slovenia. They feature cool little “emotions” (and some hands?) printed on each candy.

These are very similar to 2017 Emotions Edition from Slovenia and the 2016 m00d flavor from Italy. The difference here is the flavors. The previous versions had faces printed on the basic Fruit Adventure mix, but now we’ve got something really interesting. The flavors in this new mix are: Cranberry (red), Mango Guava (yellow), Blueberry (purple), and Lemon (white).

I’ve still not found cranberry on its own, just in this and one other mix (see Merry Elf Mix). I saw a post online that London Drugs in Canada actually sold packs of just the one flavor. Sadly, I have not been able to find them. It’s a great flavor, just a bit tart and very tasty. Mango guava is another elusive flavor on its own. I only found it previously in a mix with Mint Guarana (which was awesome). Mango guava just tastes like Mango to me, but I’m not sure what guava really tastes like. Blueberry is very good and pretty realistic, much the same as in the Simpsons: Marge flavor. Lemon is white here, to distinguish it from mango, I suppose. The taste isn’t great, however. It reminds me of how Lemon Pledge smells. Sort of chemical lemon. Not the best. I really wanted to rate this mix a 3/5, but I gave it an extra point for having cranberry and mango guava in it. Gives it something a bit special.

RATING: 4/5

RATING 5Tic Tacs

#104 – Mint Evolution

February 27, 2018 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday! The 104th variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Mint Evolution. These little babies had eluded me for some time, until my BFF over at Ferrero sent me a pack! Thanks, man!

These are basically the European Mint Rush flavor, that I found online about a year ago, but now they are available all over the US. It looks like they’ve adjusted the labeling though, as Mint Rush used to list the sub-flavors of Fresh Rush & Smooth Mint but those names have been removed here. Also, Mint Rush used Apple Extract either as a coloring or flavoring, not sure which, but that has also been removed for the US market.

Compare Mint Evolution (US) to Mint Rush (Europe)

The taste is pretty much the same as Mint Rush, so check out that review so I needn’t rehash it here. This is a really excellent mint combination and definitely freshens your breath.

Rating: 5/5

RATING 4Tic Tacs

#103 – MIXERS: Strawberry->Banana

January 1, 2018 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday on a Monday…Florida Edition! The 103rd variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: MIXERS Strawberry->Banana. I found these at a Publix store in Winter Garden, FL. I hadn’t seen anything online about this flavor coming, so it was pretty surprising to find.

Generally, I like the Strawberry & Banana flavor combination, but I know some people really don’t like banana. So if you’re one of those weirdos, this would not be for you. The MIXERS line is pretty cool, each individual candy changes from one flavor to another rather than a mixture of two flavors of candies. I think the package colors here are too similar to the Peach->Lemonade flavor, which is why I almost didn’t notice them at the store.

These use dried strawberry, dried banana, and beet powder (for color), so that’s really nice. Even though the flavor does change to banana, the strawberry flavor is really dominant and the banana is quite subtle. I do prefer these over the MIXERS Peach->Lemonade, but nothing beats Cherry->Cola in that flavor line.

Rating: 4/5

GumRATING 2Tic Tacs

#102 – GUM (Spearmint)

December 19, 2017 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday! The 102nd variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: GUM (Spearmint). The gum has arrived in the US! Previously, you could only get the gum in Europe. I guess that’s cool if you like gum and are a fan of the FIVE KINDS OF SUGAR in this stuff. Personally, I do not like artificial/natural non-sugar sweeteners and this stuff is loaded with them: xylitol, isomalt, sorbitol, acesulfame potassium (Ace-K), and Sucralose. I don’t mind xylitol and other sugar alcohols, but seriously Ace-K AND Sucralose too??

Spearmint is one of my favorite mint flavors of Tic Tacs and the gum flavor is no different from the candy, except for the sweeteners aftertaste. They’re like Chiclets, little crunch of the outer shell then nice soft gum beneath it. The flavor lasts pretty long, although I’m a “chew it for a minute and spit it out” kinda guy.

The packs are available in 56 pieces but I’m not sure if you can get them in the large 200 piece packs. The large packs would fit in well with their competitors on the shelf, Ice Breakers/Ice Cubes, but otherwise these regular-sized packs will get overlooked by gum enthusiasts. Curious to see if these stick around or are just a fad.

RATING: 2/5

RATING 4Tic Tacs

#101 – Merry Elf Mix

November 7, 2017 — 1

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday! The 101st variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Merry Elf Mix. I actually found these at 7-Eleven near my house, and this is why it’s good to sometimes treat your kids to Slurpees. I never find any new Tic Tacs at 7-Eleven, so this is pretty cool and unexpected. They usually only have Freshmint and Orange (yawn).

At first glance, this is just a seasonal mix they keep churning out. But take a look at what flavors are included, you’ll see something new: Cranberry. They have not released a cranberry flavor in the US, so this is a first. It’s a reallllly tasty flavor and I wish they would release it on its own. It’s not too tart and has a good authentic cranberry flavor. The color of the cranberry candies are a bit more orange than deep red. I don’t care for the artificial and chemical taste of the “white lime” (uh what is that?) and green apple. Plus, the mix of those three flavors makes no sense, except for the colors.

Honorable mention for the week: Thanks for Tara Kellerman and Becky Ellis for sending me Tic Tacs they found in their travels. While they’re not new to my collection, I still appreciate you thinking of me! You rock!

RATING: 4/5

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

RATING 4Tic Tacs

#99 – Breeze: Cranberry

September 5, 2017 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday! The 99th variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Breeze – Cranberry. Just like the previous flavor of Breeze: Lemon Balm, these little beauties are from the UK. The Breeze line is, sadly, not available in the US.

I really like the flavor of these candies, pretty realistic. The cranberry could be a bit more tart for my taste, but it’s not bad. They’re not overly sweet or chemical-tasting. Again we see three non-sugar natural sweeteners just like before: Xylitol, Sorbitol, and Stevia. I can feel the cooling effect of the sweeteners, which is nice in a candy mint.

I did bite one of them in half to search for the “crystallised herbs” (gotta pronounce that “h”) and actually could see little bits of green. I’m not sure what the herb is here, maybe mint? Either way…hey, free herbs!

 

RATING: 4/5

RATING 4Tic Tacs

#98 – BREEZE: Lemon Balm

August 29, 2017 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday! The 98th variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Breeze – Lemon Balm. These just came in from the UK and are the first extension to the Breeze line in a little while. There’s a lot going on in this little pack…

The first thing we have to discuss is this flavor, lemon balm. It’s pretty unusual here in the States. I’d hazard a guess that most people wouldn’t even know what it is. Lemon balm is an herb in the mint family. It has a lemony flavor but isn’t a citrus fruit. That totally comes across in the candies as there is no citric acid, so you don’t get that sour note. Just lemony goodness. There’s also a minty coolness that comes from the sweeteners used (they all are known to have a cooling effect as they melt).

Let’s talk a bit about these sweeteners: xylitol, sorbitol, and stevia. I’m happy they went with natural sweeteners over the artificial Sucralose, Ace K, and Nutrasweet. The back of the pack calls out the fact that it contains “Stevia Extract,” although stevia does only account for the least amount of the three sweeteners used. There is also a note that consuming too much of this product could cause a laxative effect (from the sweeteners). If you’re up for something interesting, Google “sugar free gummy bears effect” and you can read what happens when you eat too much sugar free candy.

I’m not sure what’s going on with the “Crystallized Herbs” listed on the pack. That’s a new one to me. The ingredients lists: herb extracts, lemon balm extract, and lemon essential oil. Interesting that they had to jazz up the mellow lemon balm flavor by adding lemon oil. I’m curious what “herb extracts” are used but apparently they crystallized them. All in all, a really refreshing and pleasant flavor (or flavour if you’re outside of the US). I wish the Breeze line would come to the US.

 

RATING: 4/5

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 5Tic Tacs

#93 – Despicable Me 3 (Tangerine & Banana)

May 16, 2017 — 0

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Heyhey, it’s #TicTacTuesday! The 93rd variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Despicable Me 3 (Tangerine & Banana). These are a limited edition release and I’ve found 8 different label variations for characters from the movie: Dave, Mel, Gru, Dru, Lucy, Carl, Bratt, and Tim. I’m not sure what the tangerine connection is to the movie, maybe it’s just the same color as the movie logo. As far as bananas, the minions are obsessed with bananas and previous Minion Tic Tacs were in banana and also passion fruit flavor (no idea why).

I did a side-by-side comparison of the standard orange flavor and this new tangerine flavor because I was curious if this new flavor really was orange or if there actually was a difference. The orange uses artificial flavors but tangerine uses real “dried tangerine juice” so that’s pretty nice. The flavor of tangerine here is much less assertive than the orange with only a light aftertaste. Tangerine includes a hint of the bitter pink grapefruit Tic Tac flavor (one of my favorites) on the finish. Color-wise, orange looks much more vibrant next to the tangerine.

Each candy is printed with a face of one of the characters from the movie (and a random robot). This appears to be the Tic Tac variety with the largest number of print variations, although the Be Mine Mix had a few variations too. The printing is a bit messy on this batch, with some random black specks on the candies that I haven’t noticed on any other printed varieties. Gettin’ sloppy there, Ferrero. A close-up of all the print variations is below.

As a flavor combination, the banana flavor winds up overpowering tangerine and you almost can’t taste the latter at all. I really like the tangerine taste and hope they release it alone rather than only with banana. This is a cute tie-in with the film, an evolution of the previous release of Minions Tic Tacs and a nice new flavor addition of tangerine.

RATING: 5/5

Printed CandiesRATING 5Tic Tacs

#92 – The Simpsons: Buzz Cola

February 28, 2017 — 0

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The 92nd variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: The Simpsons (Buzz Cola). This delicious new flavor just arrived from Slovenia and I cannot stop eating them! They taste just like Haribo Gummy Cola Bottles, which are pretty much my favorite candy.

This is not the same flavor as the Mixers: Cherry Cola just repackaged as Buzz Cola. Here there is no cherry at all, which is fine by me. The cola flavor is spot on but there is a strong aftertaste that lingers in your mouth for a while. It’s not unpleasant, if you like that cola taste.

Each candy has a printed face of Bart, Marge, or Homer on them which is similar to the individual Simpsons character flavors. The packaging I received is the large 98g container, which is good because I’m going to eat these things like mad. I need to find more!

RATING: 5/5

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 5Tic Tacs

#90 – Saunf

February 7, 2017 — 0

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The 90th variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Saunf. This unusual flavor just arrived here from Kolkata, India. Saunf is the Hindi word for “Fennel,” something that is very well known to the Indian palate but largely unknown in the US. If you’ve ever had mukhwas, those fennel seeds served in a bowl as you exit an Indian restaurant, then you’re familiar with this flavor.

In India, they are prohibited from using artificial colours (see what I did there?), so all the candies are white but the packaging is a translucent green color.  The label is colorful and features a couple fennel seeds. These packs are fragrant, filling the air with smell of fennel before I even unwrapped the 6-packs of small Tic Tac boxes.  The taste is pretty much exactly like a very fat and large candy-coated fennel seed. The label lists “Added Fennel Flavour.” The taste fills your mouth and stays there for quite a while. If you like black licorice flavor, these are the candies for you.

It really freshens the breath in a different way than any mint could. Saunf is truly a unique Tic Tac flavor, reminiscent of the Elaichi Mint variety I received previously from India. I wonder if there are any more local flavors coming.  I’m really enjoying these, but I suspect my wife and children won’t be fighting me for these unusual candies. More for me!

Rating: 5/5

RATING 5Tic Tacs

#89 – Mint Rush

January 31, 2017 — 0

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The 89th variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Mint Rush. These just came in from the UK and they sure are interesting, and just as tasty. There’s a lot going on in this little pack. First, what we have is actually a combination of two new flavors: Fresh Rush and Smooth Mint. The label is more involved than usual, with a very modern design and having small drops of water added in (to indicate freshness?). There is a little legend or key to show us which color goes with which flavor. This is a new thing, compared to previous “combo flavors” but probably because previous combos are pretty obvious which flavor goes with which color.

The coloring situation is pretty interesting here as well. The use of artificial colors has been banned in the UK for some time now, so Tic Tacs sold there have been all white with a transparently-colored containers. There have been natural dyes for a while, but many of them suffer from any number of production issues. It looks like they’ve cracked the natural color problem by using spirulina and apple extract in these candies. The colors look great and won’t kill you, yay!

The two flavors in this combo have some subtle differences, but in essence they are both mint. One difference here, between previous mint combos like Israeli MIX is that this mixture is made up of two completely new flavors…at least, they have new names. The light blue mint is “Smooth Mint” which tastes pretty much like Spearmint to me. It has a soft feel, not harsh or overpowering. The dark blue mint is “Fresh Rush” and it’s a bit harder to describe. It’s not as strong as Powermint, not as soft as Spearmint or Wintergreen, and doesn’t have that front anise hit like good-old Freshmint has. In combination, both flavors in Mint Rush provide for a really great mint combo and will definitely freshen your breath!

Rating: 5/5

RATING 4Tic Tacs

#88 – Apple Pie

November 10, 2016 — 0

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applepieThe 88th variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Apple Pie. These only appear to come in the larger “100 Pack” and are a bit scarce in the US right now. They’re being released for the Thanksgiving/Christmas season (as indicated by the “Stocking Stuffer Size” on the label), so their distribution might pick up over the next few weeks.

The color of these are a bit unusual and unique for Tic Tacs: brown. There’s a *bit* of red in the brown so they could appear to be dark orange depending on the lighting. I keep thinking these are pumpkin spice because of the color. Based on color alone, you could also imagine these being chocolate flavored.

The flavor is subtle, which is welcomed after some of the harsh over-flavored varieties like Green Apple. While it’s not advertised as such, these taste like they should be in the Tic Tac “Mixers” line. They start out with a light red apple flavor, then over time that morphs into a really light cinnamon flavor. You don’t get the warmth of apple pie spice though. In the second flavor, there’s a *very slight* hint of butter, which might come from the Tic Tac popcorn flavoring but without the bitterness. The ingredients do include “Dried Red Apple,” which is pretty cool.

RATING: 4/5

Printed CandiesRATING 1Tic Tacs

#87 – The Simpsons: Homer (Donut)

October 18, 2016 — 0

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The 87th variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios comes to us from Poland: Homer Simpson (donut). These taste pretty terrible. It starts out with a base of the bitter-ish butter flavor that they used in the Popcorn Tic Tacs, but then it changes to be sweeter. It’s almost a strawberry taste on the finish, but it’s VERY faint (and I might even be imagining it). These are not good.

RATING: 1/5

Printed CandiesRATING 4Tic Tacs

#86 – The Simpsons: Bart (Bubblegum)

October 11, 2016 — 0

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The 86th variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios comes to us from Poland: Bart Simpson (bubblegum). These taste just like little bits of Bazooka gum, I keep wanting to chew and chew them but it doesn’t work that way. They have little Bart faces printed on each candy too. One more Simpsons variety next week!

RATING: 4/5

Printed CandiesRATING 5Tic Tacs

#85 – The Simpsons: Marge (Blueberry)

October 5, 2016 — 0

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The 85th variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios comes to us again from Poland: Marge Simpson (blueberry). I really dig the flavor of these, very realistic. They have little Marge faces printed on each candy too. You know, if they make Marge they’ve got to have other Simpsons flavors…check back with me next week!

RATING: 4/5

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 5Tic Tacs

#81 – Melon Watermelon

June 14, 2016 — 0

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The 81st variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios comes to us again from India: Melon Watermelon. A mix of their generic “melon” flavor (canteloupe-ish) with watermelon. Tasty tasty!

RATING: 5/5

RATING 4Tic Tacs

#80 – Raw Mango

May 4, 2016 — 0

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Heyheyhey, the 80th variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios comes to us from India: Raw Mango. These have a slightly different and more realistic taste than the previous mango variety I’ve had from Malaysia. Forty mini-packs arrived in this cool jar. One year ago today, I posted the 49th variety, so that’s pretty cool.

RATING: 4/5

RATING 4Tic Tacs

#79 – BREEZE: Erbe Alpine

April 26, 2016 — 0

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The 79th variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios is from the “Tic Tac Breeze” line which aren’t sold in the US: Erbe Alpine (from Italy). The taste is more subtle than I expected, it’s more slightly-herbal-mint and less Ricola. Refreshing though.

RATING: 4/5

RATING 5Tic Tacs

#78 – BREEZE: Cool Melon

April 19, 2016 — 0

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The 78th variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios is from the “Tic Tac Breeze” line which aren’t sold in the US: Cool Melon (from Italy). These have a great cantaloupe taste with a hint of coolness (provided by the xylitol, I’m sure).

RATING: 5/5

RATING 5Tic Tacs

#77/76 – BREEZE: Anice and Liquirizia

April 14, 2016 — 0

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The 76th and 77th varieties added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios are from the “Tic Tac Breeze” line which aren’t sold in the US: Anice and Liquirizia (from Italy). “I thought those were the same thing!” That is what I thought until I tasted both of these flavors back-to-back. Very different! Anice is a simpler, cleaner flavor. Liquirizia is much more complex and layered. Kudos to the Italians for apparently knowing the difference between anise and licorice.

RATING: 5/5

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 5Tic Tacs

#71 – LIBERTY: Wildberries

March 8, 2016 — 1

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The 71st variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios are from the “Tic Tac Liberty” line which aren’t sold in the US: Wildberries (from Slovenia). Eating these in the studio makes you feel like you’re prancing through a field of wild berries while your hair flows in the bree…um, yeah they’re good.

RATING: 5/5

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 4Tic Tacs

#68/69 – BREEZE: Tropical Coco and Apple Pleasure

January 29, 2016 — 0

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More Tic Tacs!! The 68th & 69th varieties added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios are from the Breeze line which aren’t sold in the US: Tropical Coco and Apple Pleasure. Thanks to my friend Miguel Angel Santaella living in the Netherlands for sending them to me! I was skeptical because of the “sugarfree” marking on the label, but they have Xylitol and no sucralose/aspartame. They’re really good and the boxes open two different ways, very cool.

RATING: 4/5

Printed CandiesRATING 2Tic Tacs

#67 – Be Mine Mix (2016)

January 5, 2016 — 0

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The 67th variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Be Mine Mix (2016). This is an updated version of last year’s release of the same name. Now it features little printed messages on them, white/red/pink candies, and a little From/To label (but so tiny, how could you write names on there??). Very cute though.

RATING: 2/5

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 2Tic Tacs

#65 – Snowman Fruit Mix

December 8, 2015 — 0

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The 65th variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Snowman Fruit Mix (Lime & Berry). Thanks to my mom, Miriam Feldman, for finding these for me and hand-delivering them from NY!

RATING: 2/5

Printed CandiesRATING 1Tic Tacs

#64 – Candy Cane (2015)

November 16, 2015 — 0

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The 64th variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Candy Cane (2015 version). This flavor was released in 2014 but they were red & white candies instead of just white with printed candy canes. This is the only flavor I know of that includes Sucralose…and it tastes awful. Sorry not sorry. Thanks for Vanessa Kerstein Jacobs for bringing them to my attention!

RATING: 1/5

Printed CandiesRATING 4Tic Tacs

#63 – Sweet Mint

November 12, 2015 — 0

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The 63rd variety added to the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Sweet Mint from Austria. These taste pretty much like the standard Freshmint flavor but with a little less of an anise hit, and of course they have little snowmen & snowflakes printed on them.

RATING: 4/5

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 4Tic Tacs

#56 – Israeli MIX

August 20, 2015 — 0

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The 56th flavor in the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Israeli MIX from Israel (duh). I have been trying to get my hands on a pack for a very long time. Thanks to both Beth Typlin Chiet and Elise Danielle for bringing them back for me at the same time HA! AM YISRAEL CHAI!!!!!

RATING: 4/5

RATING 4Tic Tacs

#53 – Lemon (Dream of Mediterraneo)

June 30, 2015 — 0

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The 53rd flavor in the Tic Tac collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Lemon (Dream of Mediterraneo) from Slovenia. I don’t really like the weird chemical taste of these.

Me: I just had to modify my daily eBay search for “tic tac*” to be “tic tac* -minion -minions”. It’s insane. ALL MINIONS.
Michael Grimm: Yeah…insane that you had to modify your daily “tic tac” search on eBay.

RATING: 4/5

RATING 5Tic Tacs

#52 – MIXERS: Cherry->Cola

June 24, 2015 — 0

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The Tic Tac Train continues…our 52nd flavor in the collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: MIXERS Cherry->Cola. Two separate packs showed up simultaneously from both our studio clients Feedback A Cappella from NYC and from Lori Eidelman Langenderfer in Michigan. Thank you so much!!! These are really tasty.

RATING: 5/5

RATING 4Tic Tacs

#51 – MIXERS: Peach->Lemonade

June 17, 2015 — 0

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Our 51st flavor of Tic Tac in the collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: MIXERS Peach->Lemonade. These are a new line they’re doing of flavor-changing candies. There are two other Mixers varieties out there that I need to find (Cherry Cola and Melon Mojito). I found these at 7-11 of all places, they usually only carry Freshmint & Orange.

RATING: 4/5

Printed CandiesRATING 5Tic Tacs

#50 – Minions Banana

June 14, 2015 — 0

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Our 50th flavor of Tic Tac in the collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Minions Banana!!! They have little minion faces printed on each one and are banana flavored. Huge thanks to my friend Sally Snell in Tasmania, Australia for finding these and shipping them to me in Chicago (along with some other Aussie goodies). I understand it was difficult to wrestle these away from her kids, HA! Tasty!

You can now get these easily online without having to deal with the time/cost with getting them from Australia.

RATING: 5/5

RATING 5Tic Tacs

#48 – Elaichi Mint

April 28, 2015 — 0

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A follow-up to my previous post: Your success can be also be defined by the number of flavors of Tic Tac at your disposal in your recording studio. In my case, the number is now 48. Latest flavor of Tic Tac added to the collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Elaichi Mint (Cardamom)! These just arrived from India and they taste…unusual.

I really like these, they’re not a typical taste you’d find in candy in the US. You can get these online now easily through Amazon. Much cheaper and faster than what I went through.

RATING: 5/5

RATING 1Tic Tacs

#47 – Popcorn

April 14, 2015 — 0

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Latest flavor of Tic Tac added to the collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Popcorn!! Generously sent to me by Matt Atherton in Germany. These are really the only savory flavor of Tic Tacs that I have ever had…they’re interesting. Kind of like Popcorn-flavored Jelly Belly. Okay, they taste gross.

RATING: 1/5

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

RATING 4Tic Tacs

#45 – TORMENTA

February 3, 2015 — 0

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Latest flavor of Tic Tac added to the collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: TORMENTA!!! “Siente el poder de la menta azul!!” Thanks to my man Alejandro Level in Venezuela for the new flavor that he found when touring in Columbia! They are basically the same as Powermint. We’re up to 45 types of Tic Tacs now.

RATING: 4/5

Tic Tacs

#42 – Candy Cane

December 12, 2014 — 0

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Latest flavor of Tic Tac added to the collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Candy Cane. Thanks to Nikki Fugate for the new flavor! We’re up to 42 types of Tic Tacs now (not all flavors shown here). I’m pretty disappointed that this flavor contains Sucralose, milk, and carmine. Maybe they could have thrown some meat extract and gluten in there to just offend everyone.

Tic Tacs

#41 – Berry

December 2, 2014 — 0

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Latest flavor of Tic Tac added to the collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Berry!! Thanks to Nikki Fugate for the heads-up on this flavor (at Walgreens but hard to find). We’re up to 41 types of Tic Tacs now. Other packs shown for size comparison (these Berry packs are very small).

RATING 5Tic Tacs

#40 – Grape

November 2, 2014 — 0

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Latest flavor of Tic Tac added to the collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Grape!! These are pretty awesome, great grape/lychee taste, and even has dried grape juice and lychee in it. We’re up to 40 types of Tic Tacs now and yes they are now mostly housed on a lovely retail display stand.

RATING: 5/5

Tic Tacs

#39 – Berry Cherry

October 1, 2014 — 0

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Latest flavor of Tic Tac added to the collection at VOCOMOTION Studios: Berry Cherry (in the giant 200 pack)!! Found these at Walmart (ugh). We’re up to 39 types of Tic Tacs now.

Tic Tacs

#38 – Tropical

September 13, 2014 — 0

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Latest flavor Tic Tacs at VOCOMOTION Studios: Tropical. Big thanks to Trist Ethan Curless for this new one (from Australia?). You rock!!

Tic Tacs

#37 – Summer Ice Pop

June 17, 2014 — 0

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One more new Tic Tac flavor in the studio: Summer Ice Pop (blueberry/cherry/lemon). Huge thanks to the foxy Diana Preisler and actually to Maya for finding it and thinking of me.