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Monday, 30 January 2012

Philadelphia: Cadbury

Listen - putting Cadbury chocolate into Philadelphia Cheese is a GOOD idea, so stop thinking it isn't.

There's a Depression on you know. Some people can't afford to buy both chocolate and cheese anymore. This is a vital life line. Stop being so selfish.

Just ask Brian O'Sullivan, managing director of Kraft Food Ireland:

"We are really proud to announce the launch of Philadelphia with Cadbury,” said Brian O’Sullivan, managing director, Kraft Foods Ireland. “It represents a bold cross-category innovation which brings together two iconic brands to create a new sub-category in the chilled aisle and a great tasting product for Philly and Cadbury lovers everywhere.”

Thanks Brian - but just but slapping together two random things in a pot doesn't get you a brand new "sub-catergory" - if it was that easy I could just put a sausage in a yoghurt and demand that Sainsbury's create an entire new aisle for it immediately.

It does sound like Kraft have done some canny market research here though  - apparently around 99.9% of all people who like cheese also like chocolate, so the most logical thing is to do is stuff them together into one pot as quickly as possible. I'm actually surprised it took them this long to think if it. I mean, we all enjoyed Philadelphia with Garlic and Herb. We all enjoyed Philadelphia with Chives. So this is just a natural progression.

Luckily parent company Kraft make both Philadelphia and Cadburys, so i assume they just redirect a pipe somewhere.

In truth, it's a sign of the times that there are few completely new products around. In an unpredictable market, it's far less risky to bolt-on a existing brand name to a well known product than release something unknown.
In the future, there will be no new ideas at all, and instead all ideas will merely be amalgamations of pre-existing concepts - like potatoes and bricks, or a kitten and a door-stop.

Cadbury Philadelphia is merely the beginning, my friends, of a long slippery slope that will lead into the endless recycling and combining of everything until all things are one homogeneous mass. A bit like a massive McFlurry.

But it is a very tasty slope so don't worry too much.

The big question - is it more chocolatey cheese or cheesy chocolate? Well, despite being 56% cheese, it's chocolatey with a slight after taste of cream cheese. A bit like a cheesecake. AND IT'S DELICIOUS.

Ultimately there are few products that aren't improved by adding chocolate. And while I can't see myself putting it in a smoked salmon bagel, "Philly Choc" would make a lovely alternative to chocolate spread on a bit of toast, as a dip for a Twix finger, or, my preferred method, just spooned directly into my mouth.

Philadelphia Cadbury, £1.62
Gobble Monkey says: 6 out of 7


Saturday, 21 January 2012

KitKat Chunky Champion

The KitKat, mankind's greatest con.

How to persuade people to buy cheap horrible wafer biscuit? Simple, just smother it in chocolate. THEY'LL NEVER NOTICE.

And you didn't did you? Now KitKats are the world's best selling chocolate bar.

Realising this, the geniuses at Nestle  came up with another plan: If the fools buy lots of our horrible wafer biscuits when they're covered in a little bit of chocolate, what happens when we cover them LOADS of chocolate? 

And so, in 1999, the KitKat Chunky was born: More wafer, even more chocolate.

The equation seems to be: the more chocolate added, the worse the biscuit underneath must be. It's a blatant admission that the centre of a KitKat, its very soul if you like, is rubbish. It's like when you wrap up the dog medicine in a nice juicy sausage, and the gullible dog happily gobbles it down.


Look: I nibbled off all the chocolate off a KitKat Chunky to reveal the TRUTH:


Now in an effort to hide their bland, cardboard-like wafer from you even more, Nestle have launched four 'new' KitKat Chunky flavours, and it's up to YOU the kitkat buying idiots, to pick which one becomes the KITKAT CHUNKY CHAMPION and is permanently added to the range. (You can vote on their facebook page here.)

Here are the options: Peanut Butter, White Choc, Orange and "Double Choc"

Blimey, how did they come up with those crazy flavours!? Peanuts, orange, and EVEN MORE CHOCOLATE. Anything to cover up that god-awful wafer eh?


Well, here's my simple 2-step guide to how to choose your KitKat Chunky Champion.

1) Pick your favourite flavour out of the following: Orange, Chocolate, White Chocolate, Peanuts
2) Buy the according KitKat Chunky

My personal KitKat Chunky Champion? a Twix. You've seen those right? Delicious shortbread covered in caramel and a thin layer of chocolate? Ever seen a TWIX CHUNKY? Thought not.

Now, for FREE, I will give Nestle some better ideas for KitKat Chunkies. I command you invade the KitKat facebook page and demand these to be crowned CHUNKY CHAMPION:

Le KitKat Chunky: exactly the same put with a picture of a baguette on the packet
KitKat Jelly: Chocolate covering is entirely replaced by jelly.
KitKat Double Jelly: Chocolate and wafer entirely replaced by jelly.
KitKat Meaty: The wafer is replaced by ham.
KitKat Meaty Smokey BBQ flavour. Self explanatory
KitKat Grumpy: Marmite flavoured chocolate.


KitKat Chunky Champions, 60p, Nestle
Gobble Monkey says:
Orange: 4 out of 7
White Choc: 2 out of 7
Double Choc: 3 out of 7
Peanut Butter: 1 out of 7

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Moshi Monsters: Addendum

Remember these Moshi Monster sweets? The ones with the questions on the packet without answers?

I thought they were some sort of existential pathway to another plane of knowledge, designed to make us question our very existence in the universe.

But I was mistaken. Some Gobble Monkey fans* got in touch to tell me the answers are actually on the packets.

They said: "No they definitely are, look under the flaps."
They said: "Yes they definitely do, I've got a packet here and I'm looking at the answers."

OK listen, in my defence, the plastic flap on the packet is stuck down FAST. And, when you finally manage to peel it open, the note that says "Answers under flap" IS UNDER THE FLAP. Look:

What kind of child could ever decipher that cruel, cruel riddle?

Anyway, now we finally have access to the answers, so prepare for your mind to be blown and the secrets of the universe to open up to you like a buttercup on a sunny day. OR to literally laugh your face off at some of the finest jokes ever written. READY?


What's hairy and coughs?
Iggy with a cold!

(We can assume Iggy is some sort of furry animal, possibly that sinister-faced rabbit there)

What do you get if you cross Flumpy with a dozen eggs?
A very hairy omelette!

(We can assume Flumpy is some sort of furry animal - quite likely that smug-faced rabbit there.)

What does Waldo eat for dinner?

(We can assume Waldo is some sort of evil robot.)

So the answers to life, the universe and everything are as follows: Iggy with a cold, a VERY hairy omlette and micro-chips. Feel enlightened?

Sadly Moshi Monsters are NOT some sort hippy candy trying to mind-wash the innocent brains of small children. THEY WERE JUST BORING ASSORTED FRUIT FLAVOURED GUMS AFTER ALL.
Hope that clears that up. 

*may or may not have been fans.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Grey Squirrels

I saw this letter in an edition of BBC Wildlife magazine regarding an interview with naturalist and TV presenter, Chris Packham, that appeared in their June issue.

I haven't seen the original interview, so I can only imagine the full extent of the squirrel abuse he vented, but let's examine what we do know more closely:

One, Packham has imagined a 'magic' button that is capable of wiping out an entire species.

Two, there's a queue lining up to press this button, and Packham's right at the front.

Three, he's arbitrarily chosen to exterminate a creature purely based on its colour.

Now I was never a big fan of the Really Wild Show, but this time Packham has gone too far. Jeremy Clarkson suggests shooting a few teachers and is hailed as the next anti-christ, but Packham is allowed to happily wander the corridors of the BBC bothering sparrows and endorsing genocide? (and who taught him magic anyway? That was just irresponsible)

Now, who else is in this queue for this 'magic button'? I'm assuming Terry Nutkins, definitely, and maybe Pol Pot or Bill Odie behind.I can imagine Chris pushing them all out of the way to get to the front, frothing at the mouth in blood-thirsty desperation, with Nutkins and Odie egging him on with cries of "DO IT CHRIS!"

And what happens when the 'magic' button is pressed? Does every grey squirrel suddenly drop dead? Maybe an airborne virus is released that slowly shuts down every organ in their poor little grey bodies, leaving millions of rotting squirrel corpses littering the streets of Great Britain? Is that what Packham wants?

Or perhaps the 'magic button' merely just makes all grey squirrels disappear in a puff of fairy dust, so we can all quietly forget about them as if it never happened. YOU'D LIKE THAT WOULDN'T YOU PACKHAM?

PACKHAM: Owls are OK, everything else goes
 Why the hatred for the grey squirrel? Well the conspiracy theory is that the introduction of grey squirrel to the UK by humans in the late 18th century from North America to satisfy a whim of Queen Victoria has led to the decline of the the country's 'natural' population of red squirrels. The aggressive grey breed eats seven times as much food as their gentle burgundy cousins, and their rapid growth has seen the red squirrel population drop to just 160,000 compared with 2.5 million greys.

That's why Packham despises them.


Of course, human beings are animals too, just as much a part of nature as the squirrel. Bringing the greys to the UK was just as 'natural' the thousands of animals and plants that colonised the British isles on their own accord after Ice Age. Our influence on the planet is as natural as ants digging up their environment to build gigantic ant hills or a horde of locusts destroying fields of crop. Indeed humans themselves are not native to Britain, so the grey squirrel has as much right to be here as we do.

But Packham's brain can't understand that, and now nothing can stop his one-man mission, armed with MAGIC, to cleanse the country of the GREY MENACE.

Kind Grey Squirrel enjoys daffodils
Or maybe Packham just prefers the colour red to the colour grey, and has invented his magic button in order to impose his colour preference on the world. Would ALL grey things would be exterminated in Packhams New World Order? Grey seals? Grey parrots? DAVID GRAY?!?

And if we allow Packham to use his magic button to rid us of the pesky grey squirrels, ask yourself - what's next? Other animals that we find a bit annoying?

Wasps? Toads? Birds that sing early in the morning? CHINESE PEOPLE?!?

And he calls himself a vegetarian. Shame on you Chris.

(oh yeah and p.s. i ate some sweets yum yum 5 out of 7 wevs)

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Review of the year 2011

I HATE REVIEWS OF THE YEAR. Basically an excuse for lazy, lazy journalists to fill up page after page of their papers/magazines with cut-and-pasted bore-o-grams rehashing the past 12 months.

Oh good some OLD news. Doesn't that sort of negate the whole concept of 'news' - it's supposed to be new, right? HEY! Remember that thing that happened in April? YES I DO REMEMBER IT. IT WAS ONLY 8 MONTHS AGO MY BRAIN IS CAPABLE OF REMEMBERING THINGS THAT HAPPENED WITHIN THE LAST 12 MONTHS. Thanks for reminding me of it about in a bite-sized paragraph though - I'd almost forgotten that there was a Royal Wedding this year, it's not like I heard much about it at the time. Tell you what, why don't you try writing something new and interesting rather than just regurgitating tweets from Ashton Kutcher next to a picture of Pippa Middleton's bottom?

(the BBC couldn't even name their 12 best pandas of 2011 without resorting to including random women)

A better thing to do would be to add up all the good things that happened in 2011, add up all the bad things that happened in 2011, work out the percentage and turn it into a pie-chart. Then put that on the cover of the newspaper with the following caption: "USE YOUR OWN BRAIN TO REMEMBER THINGS THAT HAPPENED RECENTLY"

like this:
Anyway with that in mind, here is the compulsory Gobble Monkey review of the year 2011:

Jan-Feb: not much happened in these months

March: or this one.

April: Cadbury's Creme Egg McFlurry goes on sale.

May: Gobble Monkey arrives on the Internet!

June: The Natural Confectionery Company confused everyone with the release of Guzzle Puzzle - accompanied by a barely broadcastable advert that succeeded in sexualising the gummy sweets and alienating almost all over their core audience (except perverts)

July: Swizzels Matlow Pigs Mugs receive the highest ever Gobble Monkey rating and subsequently sell-out across the UK.

August: Turbo Tango is released. It's a massive failure.

September: Gobble Monkey cereal Twix Mix launched. It's a massive failure.

October: Wispa prematurely re-launch Wispa Golds in a bid to capitalise on the Olympics almost an entire year too early.

Mid October: Giant evil robot Mega-Zoid attacks London, stepping on St Pauls and squishing the millennium wheel.
November: Nothing

December: Galaxy Truffles removed from boxes of Celebrations.

But what joys will 2012 hold? Will it finally be the year of the Twix McFlurry? (Clue: no)

The big confectionery boom in 2011 was the introduction of large sharing size 'grab bag' style packets of chocolates like Crunchie Rocks and KitKat Pop Chocs. I think we'll see more of these and perhaps another new range of gummy sweets after the huge success of Rowntrees Randoms. But I predict there will be few new launches, with the big choc companies playing it safe by tweaking their classic brands or testing the market with 'limited edition' variations like the Flake Allure and Triple Choc Mars we saw this year.

Have a good 2012!