I know I am not supposed to call these candies. I was told not to refer to them as such by Outburst themselves, for fear that kids will get hold of them. I, however, think that candy is not just for kids – some candies can be just for grownups (and teens too, in moderation). Outbursts are a great take on some beloved candy treats, namely M&Ms, Peanut M&Ms and Andes Mints. Though keep in mind, these are not caffeinated cover versions of what you are used to, but their own delicious and buzzworthy treats.
This is probably one of the weakest parts of this product. The box itself is fine – a bit of hard folded paper – looking like a thin candy package or a box of Virgina Slims. The design, however, is just not there yet. The text and overall layout is not bad, but it is certainly not up to the level of other caffeinated treats that have entered the national game. The fonts and layout are weak, plain and nondescript, using a very simple serif font, in very simple colors and a layout not done by a competent designer. This just does not work when you compare this look to other national players, like Buzz Bites, Bawls Mints, Jitterbeans and especially bigger names like Butterfingers Buzz and Snickers Charged.
There is also a whole lot of confusing text on here too. This product hides the actual caffeine content, but fills half the back of the box with formulas to figure it out. they list that 4 pieces give you a basic buzz, but if you eat more, you get a bigger buzz…. seems pretty obvious. Under that they list that 1 box equals 3 shots (energy shots? 5 hour energy has over 160mg per shot!) or 3 cans (soda cans? energy drink cans? which one?/ what size?). It then goes on to list that 4 bites equal one cup of coffee. Well, Starbucks has 110-160mg of caffeine per small cup. So this means that eating a box of this has 150 – 450mg per box. Not helpful, and very confusing. Fortunately, they list caffeine content in the Nutritional label, so they do have that going for them. Still, why have the formula at all?
I think this box has a lot of potential, but it just is not ready to the national stage just yet. Throwing this to a design firm that specializes in packaging would really go a long way.
Taste: Chocolates:4 Peanut Chocolate:7 Chocolate Mint:9
All of this is secondary to the product itself – which in this case can be quite good. They have three different formulas depending on your tastes. They have a chocolate M&M variety, a M&M Peanut variety and an Andes Mint Variety.
I liked the plain chocolate bites the least. These were like very large Sixlets – big chunks of bitter chocolate wrapped around a nice candy shell. The problem with these is they are really too big to be easily popped in your mouth, and the flavor is not good enough to savor. I certainly would not eat these if it were not for the buzz. You can really taste the Vitamins and caffeine in the chocolate – and the flavor is not good.
The Peanut version works better. Maybe the crunchy peanut flavor offsets some of the bitter caffeine or the chocolate is a different formula. Either way, this is a much better option. While you won;t be confusing these with real M&Ms or anything, they are a pretty tasty treat. One of my friends who dislikes peanut M&Ms because she thinks the chocolate is too sweet LOVED these, and would happily eat through a pack before thinking of picking up any other candy.
The way to go are the mints – a delicious and refreshing chocolate candy treat. These little chocolatey mints have almost none of that caffeine and vitamin flavor that the other treats did. The peppermint oil is the perfect mask to the other ingredients. No, this is not going to be the best chocolate you have had or the sweetest mint, but for a fun caffeine bite these were fantastic. There is enough peppermint flavor that they are not only delicious, but they can freshen your breath after a big lunch. These small crunchy bites were a pleasure to much through. I gave samples to my (guinea-pigs) co workers, and it was unanimous that the Chocolate Mint Outbursts ROCK.
In terms of nutrition and ingredients, it is a chocolate candy – so don’t be looking for healthy. Fortunately, for a candy, there really is not many calories – around 12 in a bite. This means that you can chomp down on the suggested serving size and have consumed a mere 50ish calories to get your sweet buzz on. All in all, that really ain’t bad. Along with the caffeine there is 30% of your daily value of Vitamin B 6 and 12, and a little handful of taurine too.
The 80mg per serving is really perfect for a treat of this size. Even if you are tempted to eat the entire box in one go (as I did with both the peanut and mint variety), I only consumed 240mg of caffeine, which gave me a HUGE rush, but nothing that you could not find in a triple espresso. I also was able to use these treats to get a sustained buzz, popping in the caffeine as the Army suggests for it’s soldiers – a small bit every hour sustaining a light sharpness and clarity for half a day. It works well too. No jitters or crash to be found, unless you are a fool like me and just eat the whole thing at once.