Sunday, January 6, 2013

REVIEW: PET Nutty Buddy Cone Crunch

It's always hit or miss when introducing a new brand to the blog, and honestly I didn't have very high expectations coming into this one. In an attempt to expand, I've been exploring some of the lighter, less-expensive options. Growing up in the Southeast, I've seen PET products for nearly my entire life. Much like Turkey Hill and Mayfield, PET offers a variety of other products in addition to their ice cream. Seeing as how I'm a consumer who appreciates nice packaging, this one didn't get off to a great start. This unique box of ice cream with a flip up lid felt flimsy and rather ineffective at protecting their product from freezer burn or damage. Having had Nutty Buddy's on occasion as a kid, I decided to use this ice cream cone inspired flavor as my first. My prior experiences with flavors containing cone pieces came from Americone Dream from Ben & Jerry's and Caramel Cone from Häagen-Dazs, but PET takes this concept a step further but adding nuts to the equation in order to impersonate the famous Nutty Buddy ice cream cone.

Coming in at only 160 calories per serving, I was expecting somewhat of a letdown when it came to mix-ins, despite the Totally Loaded with stuff! tagline. Scooping out some of the vanilla base first, my first impression came from the mediocre consistency. The taste wasn't terribly complex either, but after uncovering the amount of mix-ins involved, I remained optimistic. The flowing river of caramel sauce that careens through the center is some of the thickest I've seen inside a carton, especially for one under 200 calories. The texture remains in a liquid state even as it sits inside ice cream and contains an intense sweet, caramel flavoring that plays nicely with the vanilla base.

The varying sized pieces of cone chunks are covered in a rich, chocolate coating that quickly melts away when found inside a bite. The bits of cone left behind give the end of each bite a slightly chewy, yet still somewhat crunchy feel of a soft waffle cone. Nearly every bite contains at least a fragment of covered cone and caramel swirl, so the less than stellar performance of the vanilla base isn't much of a hinderance. My first experience with PET ice cream ended up being much better than I had anticipated and I'm looking forward to trying some of the more interesting flavors in their lineup.

Where I Found It: BI-LO
Grade: C

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