Gobble Monkey hates Rowntree's Randoms. Listen, THEY ARE NOT RANDOM. They are self consciously wacky non-random jellies made in a boring factory in Kent. There's no 'Wacky Random Jelly Shape Generator' - it's just a Marketing Manager called Susan who runs endless focus groups to find out what middle-of-the-road jelly-shapes are most amenable to the widest section of UK sweet buyers.
However, Randoms have been very successful and even Gobble Monkey must admit they are moreish.
And now The Natural Confectionery Company are getting on the wacky gums bandwagon - but they've come up with a concept so mental it's about to blow the world of fruit-flavoured chews apart:
Chewy jellies that can be added together to produce new flavours!
The press release goes into more detail:
"Sworn to secrecy about how this unexplained magical flavour transformation happens, experts from the Natural Sweet Confectionery Co. have spent months taste-testing different wacky and wonderful flavour combinations to fine tune each fruity formula."
I actually managed to get hold of one of the confidentiality agreement that The Natural Confectionary Company Jelly Experts had to sign before they could start work on the Guzzle Puzzle project. Here it is:
WHAT SORT OF MATHS LESSON IS THAT?
Orange plus banana equals BUBBLEGUM?!? This sounds groundbreaking. I am beginning to see why they had to sign that contract.
(BTW: In an ideal world cinnamon would take its rightful place alongside salt and pepper on the dinner table, to be sprinkled liberally on desserts. So any cinnamon flavoured jelly is welcomed in Gobble Monkey's jungle.)
Well let me tell you the months spent fine-tuning fruity formulas by the Natural Confectionery Company Jelly Experts was wasted. Eaten separately, the gums are fairly tasteless, but when eaten together they curiously become even more bland. The individual flavours are rendered unidentifiable, mingling together to produce an fruity mish-mash of nothingness.
BUT HANG ON lets just take a closer look at that packaging again. Did you notice that asterix? Check out the priviso:
WHAT?! SOME COMBINATIONS MAY NOT BE POSSIBLE?!? Too right they aren't - I only had one 'Lime' jelly in my pack!! These AREN'T Rowntree Randoms! Why can't the factory computer be programmed to put in an equal amount of flavours!?! What if you opened your pack of Guzzle Puzzle and found just 16 banana flavour jellies and nothing else? You'd be stuck with Banana + Banana = Banana.
ANYWAY: You'll notice the secret formulas for some flavour cominations haven't been printed on the back of the pack. These seem to have been left for the consumer to decide on. If we take the lead from the Natural Confectionery Company Jelly Experts, that means just make up any old fancy-sounding flavour, knowing they'll all end up tasting of the same unindentifiable fruit anyway. Eg:
Orange + Lime = Strawberry milkshake
Cinnamon + Banana = Fudge brownies
Banana + Lime + Raspberry = Creamy salmon pasta bake
I would also question if putting a jelly ring on top of a jelly sombrero really counts as a 'puzzle'. It didn't take me very long to figure out. (I would have called them 'Flavour Equations'. Either that or Chewy Riddles. Or Gummy Problems. Or even Gummy Solutions.)
It's a shame Guzzle Puzzle doesn't really work, as I really like the idea. The sad truth is that Randoms are actually the better sweet. And you KNOW how Gobble Monkey feels about Randoms.
Guzzle Puzzle, Natural Confectionery Co. 50p
Gobble Monkey says: 3 out of 7