Tasting Mario’s Mustache
Nintendo and the Mario brand are no stranger to the food industry. Whether it is Super Mario amiibo cereal or McDonald’s Happy Meal toys, Mario and the crew have been making terrible food choices since the mid-80s. One of the latest Mario related snacks are these Kellogg’s fruit snacks, or Assorted Fruit Flavored Snacks if you want to be official. By the way, if took a dog turd and made it fruit flavored, this exact same naming convention could still apply.
First, let’s take some notes about the box, the outer packaging. Uniquely, there is both a full poster-like display on the back and front that are completely different and even sport unique color schemes. However, the biggest kicker is the orientation changes from portrait to landscape depending on the side you are viewing. Perhaps this allows the retailer to stack these boxes in whichever direction best fits their shelves, but I can’t help but wonder how strange this is. The front (or is the back?) has the Mario crew jumping in action with a blue background through a landscape orientation whereas the back (or front?) is more of the Mario faces with a red boarder but is vertically displayed. This leaves the nutrition facts and shape explanation to the thin boarders of the box.
Speaking of nutrition facts, there really isn’t anything nutritious about these snacks that just so happen to be fruit flavored. The first ingredient is corn syrup and the next is sugar. Rounding out these “nutritious” snacks are a slurry of chemicals such as yellow 5, red 40 carnauba wax, sodium citrate, and even blue 1. Clearly marketed towards grade schoolers, any parent should be weary about feeding this pouch of chemicals to their youngster. But hey kids, it’s Mario! Ya-hooo!
If there is one thing these tiny biohazards do correctly is they get the Mario shapes right. In fact, there is way more visual detail than you might expect. Growing up in the 80s, the fruit snacks I had were nothing more than blobs but here you can literally eat Mario’s face. There are a total of six different shapes: red Mario, green Luigi, blue Yoshi, purple Koopa Troopa, orange Toad, and yellow Star. Being honest, having a blue Yoshi, a purple koopa shell, and an orange Toad is just plain weird as these are awkward colors schemes for these characters. Yes, I know, there are blue Yoshis and there were even purple shells in Super Mario World, but these are uncommon. They basically had to assign one of these primary colors to each shape as their color palette was most likely limited.
Regarding their taste, they actually are not bad. However, despite being different colors, they all pretty much taste the same. The biggest surprise is actually their texture. These chemical nuggets are actually very soft but easily get stuck in your molars within the first chew. I guess the orange Toad tastes different from the green Luigi but all the slight flavor differences mix when chewing in your mouth anyway. That sweet chemical flavor actually stays with you for a while too.
There are ten pouches in a box and I think I paid about $3 for it. Also, there are nine gummies in a pouch but the pouches that I opened had no consistency. This pouch, for example, had four Yoshis, two Luigis, one Toad, one Mario, and one Shell. The Star was completely omitted. The second pack I opened was also missing a star but had a more favorable ratio of the green Luigis, which is the nastiest flavor by the way.
Are these Assorted Fruit Flavored Snacks bad? No, they are soft and actually pretty tasty. But they are composed of chemicals that are bad to ingest despite the positive “made with fruit puree,” “fat free,” “gluten free,” and “excellent source of Vitamin C” messaging plastered on the front of the box. If you don’t care about what you put into your body, go ahead, try them out. Otherwise, how else are you going to know what Luigi’s face tastes like?
Not As Good As: Sour Patch Kids (minus the gross green ones)
Better Than: the stuff Yoshi or Kirby eat
Wait For It: free range Birdo eggs