Hi! Welcome to my blog. I am a major foodie, with a haphazard cooking philosophy, currently making that transition from cooking and baking for friends and family to 'wonder if I could make this my career'. Follow me for recipes, the outcomes of a few experiments, and general lovely foodiness. Opinions, reviews and recommendations are all my own.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Product Review: Walkers Hoops and Crosses

For me, the opportunity to review a new product for Walkers was like a call from the mother-ship. I am a complete sucker for crisps of all varieties and flavours, equally happy munching on a bag of Kettle Chips as I am hunting out childhood favourites such as Wotsits and Monster Munch. Filling up my car with petrol every week comes with the added challenge of lining up to pay alongside the shelves of crisps and fighting the urge to grab a few bags for the journey home. They really are my one true weakness, and for that reason, Walkers can be assured here of a thorough review of their product, but should also know that they have some very high standards to meet! 

The product in question is their new snack 'Hoops and Crosses'. Designed primarily for kids, Hoops and Crosses are pitched as a source of wholegrain, and the press pack information that came with the sample revealed the somewhat worrying fact that 27% of children in the UK do not have any wholegrain in their diet at all! The term wholegrain is quite feely bandied about nowadays as something that is 'good for us' and that we should be eating more of, but rarely do people explain why. I'll try and cover it as succinctly as possible...

The Anatomy of a Grain: Source - Whole Grains Council

The grains themselves can be from any cereal product, including wheat, oats, rice, rye, barley and maize. The grains themselves are made up of three parts, the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. In white (refined) products, only the endosperm is used, and the bran and germ discarded. In wholegrain products, all three elements are used. Essentially, the endosperm is almost entirely carbohydrate in its make-up, whereas the bran and germ elements contain high levels of fibre and iron in particular, as well as protein, Vitamin Bs, Omega 3 and other lovely good stuff. When you know this, why on earth would you eat the plain white stuff!?

So back to the task in hand...

The samples came from Walkers in a lovely box, and when I opened it I found Monty the Monkey inside! The sample pack was a Roast Beef flavour, and a little bit of digging told me that Hoops and Crosses are currently available in three flavours; Salt and Vinegar, Roast Beef and Prawn Cocktail. Something about this pleased me, I think it was a pleasant surprise to see that they hadn't stuck to the usual suspects of Cheese and Onion and Ready Salted.

The bag itself felt very light, and when I checked the details, one bag contains 18g of product. Upon opening and emptying the contents into a bowl however I quickly revised my opinion, there were plenty of crisps in the packet, even for an adult crisp monster like me! The crisps were so tasty! They had plenty of flavour, and because they are baked not fried they aren't greasy to the touch or taste. Gary and I shared the bag, and he was equally impressed with the flavour, which is a big deal, as unlike me he can take or leave crisps, and is a bit fussy about flavours.

The best part, each bags is only 85 calories, so as well as being good from the whole grain, and good from the baked-not-fried bit, there is a feel good from knowing that as a snack they are about as low-cal as you can get. I will definitely be buying these again, and they will be replacing a lot of my lunchtime/ late night crisp binges I think!

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored, however all views and opinions expressed are my own, and I was asked to be honest in my critique. 

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