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On a cold Winter's day came a knock at the door. A DPD driver left a brown cardboard box on my doorstep. Brown text on the box revealed it contained Cadbury chocolate.
Specifically, it was my Christmas present from a friend. The Cadbury Chocolate Sharing Gift Box to be exact.
You know me, I can't resist an opportunity to share an unboxing with you, so read on to find out what's inside this chocolate hamper and more importantly, whether it's worth sending to friends and family.
In previous years, the outer boxes were purple, but this year Cadbury has opted for a brown-on-brown option. Honestly, it delivers less initial impact, although it's what's inside that counts more.
The box measures 20.5cm x 17cm x 8.5cm and its gross weight is 2.7kg according to the shipping label. The net product weight equates to 1.651kg of confectionery.
Cadbury reckons this versatile box is ideal for sending as a gift to say 'thank you', 'Happy Birthday', 'well done' or 'Happy Easter'. Here, I was sent it by a friend as a Christmas present, and so there's a personalised message on a Santa tag included in the box.
Inside is a purple box containing some products, surrounded by boxes and bags of chocolate. It's surrounded by a selection of Cadbury confectionery.
There's ten items in total in this gift box:
- Cadbury Milk Tray 180g°
- Cadbury Roses Carton 186g°
- Cadbury Heroes Carton 185g°
- Cadbury Chocolate Eclairs 420g°
- Cadbury Crunchie Rocks Bag 110g°
- Cadbury Bournville Giant Buttons 110g°
- Cadbury Dairy Milk Caramel Bar 120g°
- Cadbury Dairy Milk Bar 110g°
- Cadbury Dairy Milk Whole Nut Bar 120g°
- Cadbury Dairy Milk Fruit and Nut Bar 110g°
There's just over £24 worth of products in this £30 gift box, based on RRP, and that small extra pays for the curating and packaging of the box itself. You could traipse around three or four supermarkets and source the products on offer at around £16, but you've got your time, travel costs, and packaging to factor in if you are sending it as a gift.
That's where a service like Cadbury Gifts Direct comes in quite handy. It takes the hassle out of curating a chocolate gift hamper, and makes it as easy as adding this hamper° to your basket and checking out. It's quicker and easier than scouring supermarket shelves but it comes at a small premium.
Cadbury Chocolate Sharing Gift Box Review
So, now you've seen what's inside, what's it like?
Well, for a Cadbury chocolate fan, it's got a bit of everything to satisfy.
Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate has a distinctive, if difficult to describe, flavour and texture. It has a grainy texture with a fattiness that coats the mouth and a sweetness that makes you crave another piece. There's a very subtle cocoa flavour that comes through but it's not particularly strong.
That addictive recipe works its way into a variety of sweet products in this gift box. And by sweet, I mean sweet. On average, across the spectrum of products included in here, sugar levels sit at just under 54%. Some products, such as Bournville Buttons, come in at a bumper 58%.
The winners for me here is the box of Heroes and the four Dairy Milk Bars. Heroes are a staple of Christmas here, so they disappeared quickly. My carton contained two of everything, with an extra Eclair and Crunchie Bits.
The Dairy Milk bars usually work their way into my shopping basket if I'm running low on chocolate thanks to their price point, so again, these vanished fast. It's interesting to compare these bars side-by-side. The weights vary slightly but the recommended portion sizes differ quite widely. Dairy Milk and Dairy Milk Fruit & Nut both have a recommended serving size of 6 chunks (27.5g), yet Dairy Milk Caramel is 3 chunks (20g) and surprisingly, Dairy Milk Wholenut is also 3 chunks, but equates to a meagre 15g.
Dairy Milk serves up its trademark taste. Dairy Milk Wholenut adds roasted hazelnuts to the mix, which work really well against the sweet and creamy backdrop. Dairy Milk Fruit & Nut trades out the hazelnuts for almonds and "dried grapes", which adds a pleasant flavour and texture, although I'd prefer hazelnut chunks to almonds in this bar. Dairy Milk Caramel wraps a dollop of caramel in milk chocolate. Despite being 40% caramel, the flavour isn't strong enough to balance the chocolate, so while it's mildly chewy, there's only a hint of caramel flavour.
I found the flavours of the Milk Tray assortment fairly bland. They're very sweet but devoid of clear, punchy flavours. Apple Crunch is my favourite here, with the flavour of a very lightly spiced apple pie, although it's quickly dwarfed by the sweet milk chocolate.
It's a similar picture for the Roses carton. My box contained almost two of everything, with just one Hazel Whirl, one Signature Truffle, and three Hazel Caramels. Flavour-wise, these are similar to the Milk Tray selection in that they're heavy on the sweet chocolate side of things and light on flavour.
I'm partial to a cheeky Crunchie bar, and while it's not the same flavour profile, the Crunchie Bits in the Heroes selection delivers an acceptable experience. I thought Crunchie Rocks would fall into that category, but sadly not. The product consists of equal measures of honeycomb and corn flakes in a splodge of milk chocolate. It made me wonder whether this product was devised to minimise factory waste, by using shards of honeycomb that otherwise would have been binned?
The cornflake flavour dominates, followed by the chocolate, then the honeycomb. I was disappointed by the taste here, as I thought the Crunchie branding meant it would have a similar flavour to the original bar. Sadly not, it appears.
The Bournville Giant Buttons are okay. The aroma is dark but flat and lifeless. There's an almost chemical fragrance to them. Looking at the ingredients, sugar is the dominant ingredient, which is not what you'd expect from something that resembles a dark chocolate. There's a whopping 58% sugar in these snacking buttons and a mere 35% cocoa solids. The cocoa butter is also blended with palm oil as it is in Dairy Milk products. Flavour-wise, the discs are slightly richer and less creamy than Cadbury Buttons, but they taste somewhat sweeter. The sweetness clings to your palate long after the chocolate has gone.
For me, the large box of Eclairs is disappointing for someone who doesn't like toffee-based confectionery. This is a "sharing gift box" though, so I choose to share those with my family.
Should You Buy This Hamper?
Cadbury describes this as "an amazing chocolate sharing hamper crammed full of all your favourite Cadbury chocolate." I'd say that was a fair description. This box is all about Dairy Milk chocolate in the main, with a couple of other products (such as Eclairs and Bournville Buttons) to add something different. This gift box is free from Maynards Bassetts products which often work their way into Cadbury Gifts Direct hampers. That makes this a great choice for a Cadbury Dairy Milk fan.
Yes, there are cheaper ways of creating a similar gift box, but they involve hassle, multiple supermarkets, sourcing a cardboard box, writing out a gift card, and a trip to the Post Office or waiting in for a courier to collect a parcel. For a few quid more, you save yourself all this hassle by letting Cadbury Gifts Direct put together a chocolate hamper.
I wish the dull brown shipping box was replaced with the purple outer box, and the inside looked a bit more giftworthy, but at this price point, it fits the bill.
Cadbury Chocolate Sharing Gift Box Review
RRP: £30.00 | Cadbury | Shop now°
This gift box contains a good assortment of Cadbury chocolate products, with something for every Dairy Milk lover. The Bournville Buttons and Eclairs add some variations, but I'd prefer to see more Cadbury milk chocolate brands, included instead, such as Dairy Milk Buttons, Wispa, Twirl, or Freddo
Where to Buy Online
The Chocolate Sharing Gift Box is available from Cadbury Gifts Direct here° (£30; 1.651kg).
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What types of product would you like to see most of all in a Cadbury gift box or chocolate hamper? Let me know in a comment below.