Nestle Vice Versas

07 Sep

First it was the Wispa. And then the Wispa Gold. Now Nestle have followed Cadbury’s example and (after an internet campaign from hardcore fans) decided to bring back a previously discontinued sweet from the past- the Vice Versas. Only this time, I don’t even remember them from their first time round…either a sign that they weren’t very good, or that I’m too young for them. Either way, I finally got round to buying a bag of them so thought I’d take a look. Nestle are a bit of a mixed bag- I quite like Rolos, Munchies and Kit Kats but they have also produced some absolute horror chocolates (e.g. all Black Magic boxes of chocolates should be blown up and the debris fired into space so that nobody has to eat them.)

These have quite an interesting selling point though. They’re named Vice Versas, and you can maybe start to figure out why from the pictures. Nestle write that they’re ‘milk chocolate in a white crisp sugar shell and white chocolate in a brown crisp sugar shell.’ Granted, it isn’t exactly rocket science and I wouldn’t go as far as to call them ‘exciting’ but the Vice Versas are, in theory anyway, a little more quirky than Minstrels (their pebble-esque shaped rivals from Galaxy.)
Nestle decided to write ‘new’ on the bag. I’m not sure what I think about that. In fact, no, I am sure- calling a product ‘new’ when you’re also (at the very same time) marketing it on the basis that it’s ‘retro’ and you’re bringing it back is contradictory. Either make something new and brand it as such, or bring something back and push the ‘look- it’s back!’ line…it’s a bit cheeky of Nestle to do both I think!
Look- they’re all separated into the ‘Vice’ and the ‘Versas’. It’s like the USA in the 1950’s.
Aha! Now they’re all mixed up. Guess Brown vs. Topeka’s Board of Education must have happened…except with Nestle’s Vice Versas bringing the legal action. Sorry, that’s the nerdy university politics student in me.
These little sweets came in a 126g sharing bag and, as you’d expect given the USP of the product, Nestle have gone for a twofold colour scheme with light and dark colours on the wrapper. It looked ok- not an award winner but something a little different.
Having cracked the bag open and got a few of the ‘Vices’ and the ‘Versas’ out, they were shaped and sized exactly like Galaxy Minstrels. As Nestle obviously aren’t going to compare them to another brand’s product, they’ve instead branded them on the bag as ‘part of the Smarties family.’ All I’l say about that is, given that these are at least 10 times bigger and heavier than Smarties, they must be pretty distant fecking relations!
As I took them out of the bag to take a look at Smarties’ giant mutant cousins, I also got my first smell of the Vice Versas. And it was pretty uninspiring sadly. There was none of the creaminess of Minstrels here; instead they were so sickly sweet. It was a bit nasty to be frank- a really horrible sugary and almost chemically smell…and not a lot more. Smarties, for all their E numbery goodness, actually smell fairly innocent. Vice Versas on the other hand, massively flop on the smelling test. (See what I did there- smelling, not spelling. I’m here all week.)
I generally try to be a positive kind of guy, so I’l start with the good in these Vice Versas. The ‘crisp sugar shells’ are actually quite enjoyable. Tremendously crunchy with a slight sugary taste, the thin layer covering the chocolate interior of these sweets is decent; effectively a far less sophisticated crème brulee (those words should have accents on them- my French teacher from school would probably kill me for not using them…screw it) topping- a sugary, grainy crunch.
The dark coloured Vices (Or are they Verses? Oh, who cares.) have a white chocolate inside which vaguely resembles Milky Bar chocolate. The white chocolate interior is creamy almost to the point of butteriness and unbelievably sweet. However because there is a relatively small amount of it compared to a normal Milky Bar, it is bearable if not outstanding. I ate a few of the dark shelled sweets and thought they were ok.
The biggest problem with these though is the white shelled sweets. They’re proper grim- a really artificial sweetness and not at all chocolate like. There is practically zero chocolate taste and after eating two I was ready to throw the rest in the bin they were that bad. I could compose a really long list of things I’d rather eat than these to make you laugh..but basically, all you need to know is that they were bad. Really bad.
Nestle’s Vice Versas are one of the worst products I’ve tasted for a while I’m sorry to say, and I won’t be shedding a tear when these (inevitably) are discontinued again in the future. Theoretically, the idea of the Vice Versa product is sound enough and as I said earlier, probably more interesting to the average consumer than the Galaxy Minstrel which is just plain old chocolate.
The huge difference between the two products is in the execution though- Galaxy Minstrels are chocolatey and creamy. Whereas Vice Versas simply taste cheap and nasty, and although the white chocolate shelled Vices are just about ok, the dark coloured Versas are barely edible.
The old saying goes that ‘some things are better left in the past’. That definitely applies here I think- these aren’t tasty and won’t be around for long I’m sure. So if you do want to try them (not that I’d advise it!) I’d pick up a bag if you see it.

Rating- 5.4/10.


Posted by on September 7, 2012 in 5.4, Chocolate, Nestle, White Chocolate


9 responses to “Nestle Vice Versas

  1. PC

    September 7, 2012 at 9:10 am

    I thoroughly agree with your review. I thought the white choc ones were nice enough, but the milk choc were just pointless.

  2. Hannah thereviewaddict

    September 7, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    I used to love these but I haven't managed to find them near me since they have been released again! Where did you buy yours?

  3. Grocery Gems

    September 7, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    I didn't think the white choc ones (centre) were too bad but they are very bland overall. I do remember these from way back when so they have a certain nostalgia factor for me (now I feel old!).I've only seen them in Asda and Toys R Us.

  4. The Snack Review

    September 7, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    PC- Always good to know somebody agrees with me! Not sure why the milk chocolate was so shocking because Nestle's Smarties have milk chocolate centres which are much better than these.Hannah- I got the bag from Asda. I haven't seen them anywhere although (as Katherine says) they started off on sale in Toys R Us for some bizarre reason so I assume they have them in stock there.And Katherine- as the old saying goes: "As one grows older, one becomes wiser"!

  5. Joanne

    September 22, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    What do you get when you take out the E numbers from treats like this? A pretty pointless snack! Totally disappointing. But I kind if figured they wouldn't be the same, since Nestlé went 'all natural'. It was the same when Kellogg's relaunched Froot Loops – they are absolutely crap, and nothing like the ones in the US, which are like the originals we had here when I was a kid. It seems like nothing I enjoyed as a kid has remained sacred. So many foods have been ruined by all this stupid health craze and nanny state mentality of our government. I think Galaxy Minstrels are far better – and if they were to create white chocolate Galaxy and do the Vice Versa theme with brown and white shells, you would have something far closer to the original Vice Versas. You only have to look at the colour of a Minstrel and compare it to the current brown shell on Nestlé Vice Versa – while the Nestlé sweet looks like someone left it in the back pocket of their jeans when they put them in the washing machine, the Galaxy Minstrel looks vibrant, a nice rich dark brown, just like the colour the brown Vice Versas used to have.It has gotten ridiculous, companies changing things to meet these stupid health guidelines. None of these things ever did me any harm as a kid. Everything in moderation is the key. In my opinion, they are down right misleading, relaunching a much loved product, totally changing the recipe, yet still calling it the same name! It is clearly not the same! Geez, what ever next – tobacco free cigarettes and alcohol free vodka? Or maybe vitamin enriched beer and wholegrain candy floss!I certainly shall not be buying these again, but I'm sure the likes of Mars are thanking Nestlé this.

  6. Joanne

    September 22, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    P.S. I totally agree about the brown chocolate tasting horrid. It tastes like the cheap and nasty stuff you get in knock-off versions of Smarties! About the only positive is the white chocolate tastes quite creamy.

  7. The Snack Review

    September 23, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Hi Joanne.Thanks for your really detailed comments- they were a very interesting read indeed!I actually wasn't aware of the change in recipe from Nestle- it's slightly depressing that we're no longer able to enjoy many of our snacks as they used to be; I've noticed an increasing number of products which taste slightly 'off' amid promises of a 'new and improved' recipe. The comment about a nanny state perhaps does apply here- I have no problem with companies offering healthy alternatives to their regular products, but consumers should have the freedom as to what they choose to eat. I find stealth changes on health grounds slightly irritating; why is somebody else deciding that I, as a grown adult, am utterly incapable of making my own decisions with regards to my diet and nutrition? If i want to eat food which contain 90% of the elements from the periodic table, then on my head be it!I wasn't fortunate enough to try the previous Vice Versas and find your comparison to Mars' Minstrels interesting. It would actually be cool to see Mars make a modern day Galaxy alternative to these Nestle Vice Versas- I think they'd sell much, much better myself.Thanks again for your comments, and it would be cracking to read more of your thoughts and opinions in the future.Dave

  8. TotoMimo

    October 3, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Hey Dave. I'm glad we certainly agree that these are no patch on their former selves. In my review I mentioned I felt the flavours of both were just so one-dimensionally searing-death-sweet or… well, uninspiring that they were hardly opposites; though I suppose it's harder to sell "Similarly Mediocre but Slightly Differents"….

  9. The Snack Review

    October 3, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    "Similarly Mediocre but Slightly Differents"Thought about a job in marketing Toto?Catchy. Real catchy!I'm still a bit gutted that these sucked- the concept behind them is actually decent in my opinion.


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