Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Is this what we have become?

What was your favourite family holiday? I know what you’re thinking, that’s a random question to start a sweet review blog. Well yes it is and it’s also the most random thing you will find in this piece as well. Today I take a look at Rowntree’s “Random” Rip-em’s. See even that seemingly a random question has an explanation.

Oh I bet these are interesting...
I thought I’d try a new idea for today and not review something involving chocolate (normal service shall resume do not fear). Hopefully this idea of mine will work out somewhat better than Rowntree’s idea to slap Random on their products. I can only think that they are trying to jump on the whole random is funny bandwagon. The problem is said bandwagon of being random for randoms sake, is sailing off into the horizon now to the point that it’s becoming boring and anything but random.

The second problem is that their definition of “random” is a bit lacking in description. Judging by the products under this line so far to Rowntree the word involves them catching whatever drops off the other production lines and jamming them into a bag together. Basically taking the parts that don’t quite make their own quality control and putting them to good use. A good idea but not quite random I’m afraid guys. Well the next attempt at being kooky are these fruit strips or Rip-ems (bit violent sounding) and in reality they are really rather dull.

Nope maybe I was wrong.
The advert campaign for the release involved a man dressed as a parrot eating the strips and talking to himself. I’ll admit this is a bit random, it is also very annoying and really rather sad. So from the very get go I was wary of this product and its view on kooky. One thing I’d like to point out is that in the advert the parrot man-child thing eats these by pulling a single strip off and eating it. Hardly very random is it, he doesn’t mix flavours nor does he do as they suggest and mould them into something. Clearly the ideas department didn’t make it to marketing as there is no co-operation going on at Rowntree.

It just got a bit less random when I tried these strips, whilst they taste quite nice and have a good quality fruity flavour they are in no way random. The orange is orange, the Yellow is lemon, the purple is blackcurrant and the red is red flavoured (strawberry?). Well that’s randomly predictable isn’t it? Hey guys, you know you could have at least mixed the colours up a bit and kept us guessing. Would it have been too hard to even try some odd varieties, look at the Harry Potter jelly beans they are more random and they put the pictures on the back.

Well I tried at least
As sweets they are very nice good effort and admittedly better than their rival fruit strips, they taste quite clearly of what they are meant to be.  All this just adds insult to injury and that’s what annoys me these do not meet their description in anyway. I played their game though I tried to “Let my random side out” basically play with them. On the back of the pack they helpfully give advice on how to use them, on mine it appeared to be roll it into a ball, seriously! Am I the only person here that either feels like Rowntree either couldn’t be bothered here or are just scrapping the barrel to add to their “random” product line?

It could have been more effective if they had gone; hey everyone here’s our alternative to fruit wind ups. It would have made more sense and be a serious competitor because they are better. Yet instead they want me to play with these things. I don’t because I know where my hands have been (imagine how a pig farmer would feel). I’m not a child! I just want sweets, ah um bad point there perhaps. A bit off putting is that the colour fades when you move them too much and makes them look whitish like they are going off.

An omelette that's random, nope it too has meaning.
Now it’s not these sweets fault the way that they’ve been marketed to us. Therefore they don’t really deserve me ranting about the naming process. To be more honest there also isn’t much else to talk about because they are just so dull. Rowntree knew this and thought slapping the word random on them might drum up some attention. This is what annoyed me to contribute to the current trend of calling everything random to justify it being funny. Surely if we go round calling every slightly odd thing as random nothing is? Random is a beautiful word to be used sparingly, like on the odd occasion when a homeless man swears blind your name is Frank as he sells you a magazine (yes that happened). Random isn’t appropriately coloured strips of fruit sweet. See readers I’m a sage in these modern times really.

Overall they are nice as fruit strips but they are also rather dull.

4 out of 11


Final Thoughts
I feel rather guilty for having a rant at these sweets... sorry.

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