Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Focus Group Food That Works: Whoppers Strawberry Milkshake Malted Milk Balls!

The Good: Taste good, Good aroma (really!)
The Bad: Taste is not really strawberry, No real nutritional benefit (and some detractions)
The Basics: A good candy, but not one to stock up in bulk on, Strawberry Milkshake Whoppers make for a different malted milk ball experience.

Some months ago, I discovered a new product from Hershey's that actually made me think about how candies are made and developed. Around Easter, I found Whoppers Strawberry Malted Milk Eggs and I posited that the flavor and concept was focus-group tested to develop. And if they were, the taste somehow left me with that feeling - strange as it is. Well, apparently the focus group work, as well as people like me purchasing the egg-shaped strawberry malted milk eggs, because now there are little pink cartons of Whopper's Strawberry Milkshake Malted Milk Balls popping up all over.

After several months of not tasting these, I picked up a carton - available in a carton and bulk packs of those cartons - and was generally satisfied that the formula had not been changed. They make for a good snack, but I see little point in stocking up on them. Once or twice a year picking up a carton, sure. But for most of us, we don't need fifteen.


Whoppers are milk chocolate malted milk balls and Strawberry Whoppers Milkshake Milk Balls are little (1 1/2 cm in diameter) spheres that are pink, strawberry-flavored chocolate malted milk balls. They are a delightful candy that comes in a 3.5 oz. carton (like a pint-size milk carton) that opens with a folded cardboard spout. According the the nutrition facts, a serving of Strawberry Whoppers Milkshake is 18 milk balls and there are roughly 2.25 servings per container. In my 3.5 oz. container, I discovered 42 balls as opposed to the estimated 41! I do not know how consistent that is as I only have picked up the one carton (so far). The strawberry milkshake malted milk balls are cute, bright pink and not bad.

For those who have never had a malted milk ball before, malted milk balls are a firm sugary sphere that is coated in chocolate. Moisture - or saliva - dissolves the ball within the coating, so many people who savor malted milk balls either let the coating melt away in their mouth and let the malted milk center dissolve without chewing. That works perfectly well for the Strawberry Whoppers Milkshake.

The coating of the Strawberry Whoppers Milkshake is a white chocolate coating dyed and flavored to taste like strawberry, it is not a strawberry chocolate flavor, but rather a strawberry and white chocolate flavor that comes through with this candy's coating. The coating is strong enough to prevent the candy from getting crushed and soft enough to melt easily in the mouth. Those who like yogurt-covered things (like yogurt-covered raisins or yogurt-covered nuts) will find this to be very similar in terms of texture and general taste.

Ease Of Preparation

Well, it's candy so preparation is pretty much limited to opening the carton and popping candy into one's mouth. Do not try to swallow a whole carton of Strawberry Whoppers Milkshake malted milk balls whole and you'll be fine!


First, what surprised me about Strawberry Whoppers Milkshake is that they smelled real good in the carton. Yes, knowing that I would be writing a review of these, I checked out the bouquet when I first opened the carton! And the scent is the precise scent of a strawberry milkshake. There is the vague frozen fruit smell mixing with the milky scent of cream. It smells exactly like what it is supposed to.

Popping one in my mouth, I was unsurprised to discover that the first few tasted more like bland, mass produced white chocolate than like strawberry. But three Strawberry Whoppers Milkshake milk balls in - they're addictive! - there was the taste of strawberry. Truth be told the makers of Whoppers got this one pegged; it is the flavor of a strawberry milkshake. To be clear (because I've been critical of other strawberry products before), this does not taste like actual strawberries. This candy tastes like the mass-produced, accepted by society flavor we are told is strawberries, in this case mimicking the generic strawberry flavor that defines artificially flavored strawberry ice cream. That's not a complaint, but fruit fanatics who are raised on real fruit and who make their own ice cream will be largely disappointed by this.

I am not one of them. Sure, I love the strawberries I grow in my back yard, but if I could get the consistent and sweet flavor out of real strawberries like I get them from the Strawberry Whoppers Milkshake malted milk balls, I'd start planting these.

These are a decent treat and they taste enough like what they claim to get the "recommend." They are sweet and flavorful instead of just being sugary.


Well, it's candy, so one ought not to be living off it. The Strawberry Whoppers Milkshake are made primarily of sugar, partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil, and whey. After months of reviewing all-natural teas, it's somewhat disconcerting to review these; I can't pronounce at least one of the ingredients and that the artificial color is noted to be "Red 40 Lake" pretty much terrifies me. There are enough ingredients like that that I ought to not be surprised that there is no expiration date on my carton (there is what appears to be a batch number). I would assume the shelf life of these - under proper conditions - to be in the range of years.

Strawberry Whoppers Milkshake malted milk balls have 190 calories per serving, 70 of which are from fat and I think it's unrealistic to believe that most people eating these are going to vigilantly keep to only 18 of them! The 8 grams of fat represent 12% of the recommended daily value of fat and that's 40% of the daily recommended saturated fat. Wow, reading the ingredients sure sucks the fun out of this candy! At least it doesn't taste like fat!

There are three grams of sodium and 26 grams of sugars. Unsurprisingly, there is less than a gram of protein in a serving of Strawberry Whoppers Milkshake malted milk balls, but it is interesting to note that one gets 4% of their calcium by eating these. There are, obviously, far better ways to get one's daily calcium than this!

These are not nutritious, so if you were thinking of living off them, you might want to reconsider.


The Strawberry Whoppers Milkshake store just fine in their milk carton-style container and as long as they are kept in a cool, dry (preferably dark) place they ought to last for quite some time (I've never had a malted milk ball of any type go bad).

Because the coating is made with a resinous glaze (ewwwww.) the coating does not melt easily. As a result, unless one sticks these in their pocket, cleanup ought not to be an issue. If it becomes an issue, consult a fabric cleaning guide.


Whoppers clearly did not change their formula for making Strawberry Milkshake flavored milk balls when they changed the form from egg shaped to standard milk ball shape and they are good, though I tend to prefer mint chocolate or dark chocolate candies. Once in a while, Strawberry is good and when I am in that type of mood, I'll certainly come back to these.

I'm rating a light "recommend" for a single carton, not for the whole case. A case of these would be overkill. As it stands, now I think I've got some calories of fat and resinous glaze to go work off!

For other Hershey's products, please be sure to visit my reviews of:
Whopper's Peanut Butter
Cadbury Creme Eggs
Hershey's Kisses Irish Creme


For other food reviews, please be sure to visit my index page on the subject by clicking here!

© 2011, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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