3 Feb 2013

"Who Knew It Was Not So New?" Review: Part One

Grocery Gems is all about new and limited edition products, so you won't be surprised to hear that I hate it when goods still have NEW on them, even though they have been out for more than a year. I'm not talking about small local shops that might have old stock. I'm talking about products in major supermarkets and chains. I can only assume that these products are being produced with the word "new" on them, even though THEY ARE NOT NEW.

So, fellow consumers, I give you my "Who knew it was not so New?" review of products available in a shop near you. All photos have been taken in the last ten days.

Dairy Milk Bubbly "new"? Really?

Oh look I spotted some NEW Aero Bubbles! Oh no...wait. The good folks at Foodstuff Finds must be capable of time travel because somehow they spotted them ... in January LAST YEAR!

Here's a double whammy side by side. Milky Way Crispy Rolls - old old old. Also, Nestle Drifters are not claiming to be NEW - silly me, they're just in a "NEW PACK". I'm sure they wouldn't want to confuse consumers into thinking it was a "new" product. Would they?

Galaxy can you please stop with the NEW on your Galaxy Orange & Shortcake. It's been around since 2010! And while we're at it...

...Galaxy Bubbles Orange are not "new" either. They were released in January 2012. Grrrrr!!

And here is another example of a misleading use of the word NEW. Surely Yorkie haven't put the word "New" on this just because it's a slightly different sized pack? Yes, it appears they have.

I have been unable to find a packet of Cadbury Boost Cake Bars that don't have the word NEW on the front despite the fact that they were released in July 2011. These look like they'll be staying "new" throughout 2013!

Sharing bags are especially guilty of an unecessary use of the word NEW. BiscBits Chocolate Crisp are not that "new".

Galaxy Chocolate Caramel bites have been around since 2011 so why are they still being produced with the word NEW on the bag?

Choc Full of Pretzels are not yet a year old, but do they still count as "new"?

Apologies for the fuzziness of the photo but if you place your eyeballs perilously close to the screen you should be able to make out the word NEW. These Kellogg's Rice Krispies Squares Rocky Road were released around 7 months ago.

Should there be a cut off point for use of the word NEW on packaging? Is it misleading to consumers? Let me know your opinion on this very important new "new" issue.

I don't want to let you think there no genuinely new products in the supermarkets; here are a few geuninely "new" products I spotted instores:

Marks & Spencer's Easter range includes this hand decorated white chocolate Hello Kitty - completely adorable!

Cadbury's have released these heart shaped With Love boxes for Valentine's Day, filled with hazelnut praline chocolates. Available at Sainsbury's.

It says "new" and it's actually new - Hooray! Rowntree's Randoms Squidgy Speak were released a few weeks ago, review coming soon!


  1. Haha love this review, what a good idea. It annoys me too when I see all these products labelled NEW. I can just about understand it if the product is 6 months old, but after that you'd think they would remove it from the packaging?
    How old are the Milky Way crispy rolls exactly? Seems like they've been around forever.

    1. Just googled the crispy rolls and they were reviewed here in 2007, so quite old then!


    2. Thanks Kev! It's quite shocking how old the Milky Way Crispy Rolls are isn't it? Even if they were withrawn since 2006 and then re-released (which I don't think happened anyway), they still shouldn't have "new" because they are in fact old. Unless a serious rebranding has gone on in the meantime, which also hasn't. Sigh.

  2. This review is brilliant! It really winds me up too! There should definitely be a cut off, 6 months is plenty. Also I hate this new for new packaging...who cares?! If I didn't buy it before I am not going to suddenly start just because the packaging is slightly different.
    Ranting over...I seriously NEED one of those Hello Kittys!

    1. Thanks Hannah! I think we are all agree on 6 months then? That sounds about right to me too!

      The Hello Kitty's are just gorgeous, they are bigger then my picture would possibly suggest. I always like kids Easter eggs more than the adult ones!

  3. Just laughed a lot at this- dripping with some good old fashioned English sarcasm and cynicism!

    Marketers do take us for a bunch of mugs sometimes. And whilst WE (bloggers) might not fall for it, it does depress me when I hear friends talking about the "new" something or other which is about 18 months old.

    I've been eating Milky Way Crispy Rolls for about a decade FFS!

    1. Haha thank you Dave! I'm glad you could read the sarcasm in it, It's probably lost on some, but a lot of this is meant to be tongue in cheek.

      You're right that us bloggers are very clued into what is new and what's not, it's so annoying that we can't believe the word "new" on packaging. I'm sure marketers think, well if someone picks it up and it's a new product to them, then does it matter if it isn't in fact new? I obviously think it does matter, but marketing the products like this probably generates extra sales.

      The Milky Way Crispy Rolls however, are obviously fooling no one! It's pathetic that they have been "new" for so long.

  4. Brilliant feature Katherine! I guess when they put 'NEW' on a product it probably indicates either a new increased price, a new smaller quantity or a new set of ingredients reducing the overall tastiness of the product.
    Well thats my theory.

    1. Thanks Adrian! I can imagine manufacturers justify the "new" if the ingredients have changed a bit. It's still not new though. There is also the whole "new and improved" label that appears quite a lot and which I personally find quite meaningless. It's just another way to shove "new" on an old product!

  5. Oooh I like this post so much! And I also hate this "new" on old products, they keep doing this same with cosmetics as well...

    1. That's a good point, I hadn't thought about it in terms of cosmetics. That's very annoying too!

  6. Hey Katherine, you're bang on the money with this run-down.

    I agree with all the comments above and thankfully there is a blogger community which can address the matter for the uneducated and uninformed!

    I often get the "Have you seen that new bar...?" from friends and family and I just have to let them down nicely by saying, "Yeah I think so, just the other week". However, they now know that this response actually means "I tried it several months ago and I told you about it at the time" LOL

    1. Hi Marcus, thanks for leaving a comment. I get that a lot from friends and family too, I'm going to steal your first response as my reply is usually similar to the "actually means" you mention!

      I think they are starting to get that the "new" on packaging doesn't always mean new, at least they know that I like hearing about it anyway. I can just save the info for my next "Not So New" post! :D


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