I’m not sure what happened to Tic Tac in the last few years, but they’ve gone from predictably conservative to curiously experimental. Some of their limited edition flavours have been surprisingly good, and the tried-and-true plastic container filled with tiny little pill-shaped candies inside never gets old. They somehow maintain the ring of familiarity of a classic candy while bringing out a steady stream of new flavours that seem to come and go as they please. It’s hard to do, but Tic Tac pulls it off.
I found these Cherry Cola Tic Tac Mixers by the till at my local Shoppers Drug Mart. The package is a bit different from standard Tic Tacs, in that there’s a colourful printed plastic wrap over most of the clear container, and this wrap obscures the view of the candies inside. Since the old-school packaging is a key piece of the candy’s brand, it’s an interesting design decision.
Having always harboured a fondness for cherry cola, the promise of a cherry cola candy that isn’t a sour gummy had much allure for me. But there’s a catch. It’s two flavours in one, not one flavour. Confused? Here’s what the package says: “Two exciting flavours in every piece. As it dissolves in your mouth, Cherry changes to Cola!”
Put another way, if these Tic Tacs were convicted of the murder of two other limited edition Tic Tac flavours, they would be serving consecutive sentences, not concurrent sentences. Got it?
And sure enough, when you first pop one in your mouth, there’s a hit of cherry. It’s a cherry Chapstick sort of cherry, crossed with cherry candy canes. It starts slowly as the surface layer dissolves, builds as the candy melts away, then pulls back as the cola flavour takes over. The cola then mingles with the leftover cherry taste until the cola dominates. The cola gets stronger as the last bits dissolve, then bam, the candy is gone.
This isn’t new technology. Jawbreakers, including the convenience-store mainstay Gobstoppers, have been using this multi-layer, multi-flavour trick for years. But here, it’s well executed on a smaller scale, and the flavours feel like they belong together.
Cost: $2.99 for a 49 gram plastic container (larger than the typical small ones) at Shoppers Drug Mart in Edmonton.
Value for money: Pretty good. Costs more than a small pack of Tic Tacs, but you’re also getting more. There are quite a few in here.
Availability: This is the first I’ve seen it, but I expect it’ll be widely available.
Nutritional info: The Tic Tacs website says 100 grams works out to 387 calories. So, since this package has 49 grams, my math says that’s roughly 193 calories. That’s fewer calories than a standard chocolate bar, and you probably won’t eat the whole thing in one sitting. I hope.
The verdict: Yummy. Now I want to try the Peach and Lemonade flavour, too.