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Unreal Candy – is unjunked (chemical free) candy really worth it?

Unreal Candy - is unjunked (chemical free) candy really worth it?

There’s a new company putting out products called “Unreal – Unjunked Junk Food”.  Basically, they’ve taken the five most popular (I assume) chocolate bar type candies (M&Ms original, M&Ms Peanut, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Milky Way, and Snickers — all trademarks of their respective owners) and they’ve recreated them (not unlike copy cat recipes) using natural ingredients and natural dyes.

This is great and all but is unjunked candy really all that good?  Even if it’s “better” for you?  and I put better in quotes because is it really better?  It’s certainly not healthier, or lower calorie, but it does come with fewer chemicals.

So here’s the comparison – and this review is brought to you by BzzAgent, where I get free products in return for my unbiased review of said products.  If I like them, I tell others about them.  If I don’t like them, I tell BzzAgent and the company — but just because I don’t like something doesn’t mean it’s not good and won’t work or be liked by someone else.  Which is why BzzAgent also sends along samples to give to others and coupons you can give to other people so they can try the product as well.

In this particular Bzz Kit I was provided with one coupon for a free Unreal product, and five buy-one-get-one.  I used three of those and gave the other two to the cashiers at Michael’s (where I finally found the product) because they wanted to try them.  Naturally I let them know about BzzAgent so they could check it out as well.

Speaking of finding the product, I searched for WEEKS for these.  I checked Walgreens locations and CVS all over St. Louis to no avail.  Finally I posted on the Unreal Facebook page and they told me I could find them on Euclid (a bit of a drive) or at Staples or Michael’s.  Not really places I’d expect to find candy but sure enough today I was out near a Michael’s and stopped in and was able to find all five products.

Update 10/01: I was at my local Walgreens just down the street, and after seeing someone else post on BzzAgent that they found them in the clearance area I checked there and sure enough $0.49 each on clearance.  Not a good sign for this product.

As you can see, they have great packaging.  It’s very eye catching and modern.  And you know what’s inside because of the (very realistic) photos on the packages.  Kudos to them for doing this.

Peanut Butter Cups (Unreal 77)

Once I got home I decided to try each product so I could get a taste for what I was dealing with.  I started with the Peanut Butter Cups (called Unreal77).

They look a fair amount like their national brand competitor, a little smaller (18 g each instead of 21 g) and the flavor was close to the national competitor just not as sweet.  The chocolate had more of a bittersweet taste to it than milk and the peanut butter filling was missing the butterscotchness of the national competitor but still had the slight grainy feeling one expects when eating a peanut butter cup.  They aren’t as sweet as the national competitor … however, that doesn’t mean they’re any healthier.

Here’s the comparison that UnReal provides:

Upon first glance it looks good right?  Only 11 g of sugar, that’s 10 g less than the competitor!  But wait … it’s not quite that clear cut.

When broken down and compared gram for gram, which comes out on top? There are more calories and more fat in the Unreal product than in the competitor’s product.  But … there is more Fiber and more Protein in the Unreal products.  So which wins out?  I say Unreal in this case.  The fiber and protein make up for the small increase in fat.

Size Unreal Per 10 g Competitor Per 10 g
Calories 190 52.78 210 50.00
Sugar 11 3.06 21 5.00
Total Fat 12 3.33 13 3.10
Carbs 18 5.00 24 5.71
Fiber 3 0.83 1 0.24
Protein 5 1.39 5 1.19

Chocolate Caramel Nougat Bar (Unreal 5)

Let’s move onto the next product, the Chocolate Caramel Nougat Bar.

Looks pretty standard right?  When I tasted it, it tasted okay, but really reminded me of a protein bar.  A little gritty, hard to chew.  Tasty, not too sweet, but not something I’d buy again.  Let’s check out the Unreal comparison:

Nineteen grams of sugar vs 35? Sounds like a winner doesn’t it?  Let’s compare gram for gram.

Size Unreal Per 10 g Competitor Per 10 g
Calories 170 37.78 270 46.47
Sugar 19 4.22 35 6.02
Total Fat 7 1.56 11 1.89
Carbs 28 6.22 41 7.06
Fiber 5 1.11 1 0.17
Protein 4 0.89 2 0.34

It really is a winner.  It has fewer calories, less sugar, less total fat, fewer carbs, more fiber (A LOT more), and more protein than the competitor.  Definitely a winner in the healthier category.

Chocolate Caramel Peanut Nougat (Unreal 8)

This one tastes pretty good, very much like a snickers without the overwhelming cloying sweetness.  I would definitely eat this one again.  It had a very nice texture, good flavor, but really just a bite or two will do.

Though it looks like the caramel is a little gritty it’s actually not bad at all.  Now onto the comparison …

 

Looks good, almost half the sugar … fat though, 12 g vs 14 g, that’s not looking too good.

Size Unreal Per 10 g Competitor Per 10 g
Calories 200 40.82 280 47.70
Sugar 17 3.47 30 5.11
Total Fat 12 2.45 14 2.39
Carbs 25 5.10 35 5.96
Fiber 5 1.02 1 0.17
Protein 5 1.02 4 0.68

Now … while the total fat is slightly higher than the competitor, the increase fiber, increased protein, and lower calories make it worth while.  If you’re going to buy your kids any of these (and they like Snickers) then get them this one.  This is a good swap and tastes good.

Candy Coated Chocolates (Unreal 41)

Like M&Ms? You’ll like these.  They taste about the same.  The funny thing … I don’t like M&Ms.  So I can’t recommend these based on my taste but based on taste specifically, they taste like those little Mmmmm candies.  Oh – the key with these ones, the dye that makes them those beautiful colors — all natural!

Something you’ll notice above is the chocolate inside is nice and smooth and a deep cocoa color and flavor.  Delish if you enjoy these.  But here we go again with the comparison.  Looks good on the surface but look at that fat … 10 g for a 42 g serving versus 9 g for a 47.9 g serving.  What does that work out to per 10 g?

Size Unreal Per 10 g Competitor Per 10 g
Calories 190 45.24 230 48.02
Sugar 19 4.52 31 6.47
Total Fat 10 2.38 9 1.88
Carbs 24 5.71 34 7.10
Fiber 3 0.71 1 0.21
Protein 4 0.95 2 0.42

Yup, the fat still is a bit of an issue.  And in this case, even the increased fiber and protein doesn’t make them worth it.

But what about the peanut ones?

Candy Coated Chocolates with Peanuts (Unreal 54)

These were enjoyable, great chocolate flavor, nice crunch, fresh peanuts.  I’d eat these again.

The colors are nice too.  Especially that purple, really beautiful.  And onto the sad thing … or is it?

Nutritionally how does the Unreal brand work out?

Size Unreal Per 10 g Competitor Per 10 g
Calories 200 47.62 250 50.71
Sugar 16 3.81 25 5.07
Total Fat 11 2.62 13 2.64
Carbs 20 4.76 30 6.09
Fiber 3 0.71 2 0.41
Protein 6 1.43 5 1.01

Not too bad.  Lower calories, fewer g of sugars, less total fat, fewer carbs, a little more fiber, and a little more protein.  These are a good alternative to the national competitor and taste pretty good.

So what’s the overall review? For the Snickers clone and the Peanut M&Ms, go ahead. For the others – stick with your own homemade copycat or go with the original. In moderation of course.


About Danielle

I'm a multimedia specialist, entrepreneur, tech aficionado, she-geek, ambassador, painter, sculptor, programmer, designer, a true Renaissance woman. View all posts by Danielle

3 Comments to Unreal Candy – is unjunked (chemical free) candy really worth it?

  1. Amy

    The real thing that is important to note has nothing to do with calories or sugar or fat or anything like that. It’s HFCS and GMO. That is why I searched high and low for this product. When you eat a product with GMO’s you are eating Roundup. I don’t want my kids eating that so I could care less if it has MORE calories. I want my food, candy as well, unjunked.

  2. Nathan

    In my opinion, this review misses the point. Unjunked is moderately lower in sugar and calories, but that’s not why people seek the product out. They seek it out because it is natural and still tastes great. So you can get a treat (and who doesn’t deserve a treat now and again) without eating stuff that is akin to antifreeze.

  3. I agree that people should be eating better foods with fewer GMOs. But if that’s what people are going for then they probably shouldn’t be seeking out candy to begin with. Candy is not necessary, nor is it required in our diet.

    That’s why I focused on taste and nutritional value over GMO vs non GMO. No matter how good something is for someone, if it doesn’t taste good they won’t eat it.

    Also, because Unreal is not on the certified GMO free list, even though they can say they have no GMOs, there is no confirmation of that fact. So it also wouldn’t be fair for me to say that this is truly a GMO free product nor to tout that feature as it is not verified. And remember, GMO free doesn’t mean pesticide free. Unless they have their products tested and post the results, there’s no way to tell if their products are better in that respect than any other product. Keep in mind that pesticides are carried by wind and water so even if they don’t use them on their farms, they may still be there.

    That said, I can verify the taste of the products and their nutritional value. Ultimately, even if something is healthier for someone, if it tastes like crap — they won’t eat it. Which is why I specify which products may be the best options for swapping out if you must eat candy. Personally, I don’t eat these products normally so it’s not a concern for me. But for my children, I would seek out these alternatives specifically to avoid artificial dyes.

    Which I personally find to be of more of a concern than GMOs since GMO products are nearly impossible to get away from. The wind and water carry chemicals freely from farm to farm. The rain drops it without discrimination. There’s no way to 100% guarantee a product is GMO, pesticide, or chemical free. Even if you grow it yourself.

    It’s a sad state in the US that these things have to be considered. I’m from Canada, where rules about food are a lot more strict. In the US, everything is run by the companies.

    Granted, Unreal candy seems to be a better option if you’re looking for a more natural candy — but it’s still candy. And since it’s not a necessary dietary item, it really does come down to taste beyond anything else.

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