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In recent years , the range of Ritter Sport bars on our shelves seems to have exploded, not least helped by the German supermarkets. Indeed, it was in the middle of Lidl where I picked up a mammoth 250g bar of Ritter Sport Cranberry and Hazelnut Milk Chocolate on clearance, presumably saving it from ending up as waste (that's my narrative and I'm sticking to it).
Lured in by the orange 30% discount sticker, the supersized nature of this bar, and the interesting flavour combo of cranberry and hazelnuts, I bought the final bar available in my local supermarket. I was curious to see how this bar compared to your average fruit and nut milk chocolate bar.
This one's hard to miss, clad in its fuchsia pink plastic wrapper. This 250g bar is two and a half times bigger than the traditional Ritter Sport bars. In keeping with tradition, this monster of a bar is just as square as its siblings.
The front of the packaging featured the Ritter Spot logo in the centre, with the German product name at the top ("Cranberry Nuss") and the Spanish and English variants at the bottom.
To cement the flavour further, there was a graphic of a couple of segments, together with fresh cranberries and hazelnuts at the top right of the packaging.
The reverse of the film wrapper was stuffed full of the ingredients and nutritional information in English, Italian, Danish, Czech, Polish, French and Dutch, but surprisingly not in German. Even so, this bar was clearly designed for wide appeal across Europe.
Ritter Sport Cranberries Hazelnuts milk chocolate bar ingredients:
Sugar, cranberry pieces (15%) (cranberries (8%), sugar, rice flour, sunflower oil), cocoa butter, cocoa mass, whole milk powder, lactose, chopped hazelnuts (4.5%), skimmed milk powder, butter fat, emulsifier (soya lecithin). Cocoa solids: 30% minimum. Milk solids: 18% minimum.
The product contained milk, lactose, hazelnut and soya ingredients, and potentially contained traces of peanuts, other nuts, cereals containing gluten, and egg.
It's always disappointing to see sugar listed as a primary ingredient in a chocolate bar, so the 55% sugar content here wasn't a surprise.
The rear of the packaging carried the Rainforest Alliance certification logo, which applied to the cocoa mass and cocoa butter content in this product.
The film wrapper couldn't be easily recycled so ended up in the bin. It had an easy peel opening section across the rear, which in my experience didn't reseal.
Ritter Sport Cranberry and Hazelnut Milk Chocolate Bar Review
A 100g Ritter Sport bar contains 16 segments, but this supersized bar measured six by six segments, giving me a generous 36 pieces to enjoy. As tempting as it was to devour the whole lot in one go, that would come in at 1,295 calories, so I felt it was probably wise to pace myself. I found three segments at a time was reasonable, or six if I was feeling particularly greedy.
Each chunky segment was imprinted with the Ritter Sport logo. The bar had a glossy shine to it, and the snap was somewhat dampened.
In essence, what we have here was milk chocolate blended with sweetened dried cranberry pieces and chopped hazelnuts. It was not a million miles from the recipe of most fruit and nut chocolate bars that typically contain sultanas or raisins and almonds or hazelnuts.
So, how did it compare?
The fragrance of this bar was creamy and buttery, with clear lactic notes punching through. The butter notes were strongest (which seems to be characteristically 'Ritter Sport') , and I didn't pick up any fruity or nutty notes.
The flavour followed the same profile, with creamy and buttery notes at the forefront. The texture of the chocolate was slightly grainy, and the overall experience was very, very sweet.
The chewy cranberry pieces added sweetness together with a touch of tartness, while the hazelnut pieces added an earthy crunchiness. The hazelnut pieces weren't too small either, so I got a decent crunch from them.
The pair worked very well together, with neither component detracting from the other. I was concerned about the ratios in this bar (15% cranberries and 4.5% hazelnut) but upon tasting, this felt about right. Nutty enough that you could tell there was hazelnut in the mix, but not too much that it dwarfed the chewy cranberry flavour and texture.
Compared to a traditional fruit and nut bar, this felt slightly more grown-up. The cranberries added a playful twist that I enjoyed. I'd prefer a more characterful chocolate with a higher cocoa percentage and lower sugar content, but I also understand that Ritter Sport's customers enjoy the distinctive buttery milk chocolate flavour that it produces.
Ritter Sport Cranberry and Hazelnut Milk Chocolate Bar Review
RRP: £1.99 | Ritter Sport | Shop now
Sweet, sweet buttery milk chocolate is blended with chopped hazelnuts and dried cranberries to create a novel twist to the classic fruit and nut combo. It's particularly enjoyable too, although I'd like to see a version with a more nuanced cocoa and substantially less sugar in it. This one's very easy to devour in front of the telly, and it's something the whole family will enjoy.
Where to Buy Online
This bar normally retails for £1.99, but was on clearance with an orange sticker, so I saved 30% on that.
You can't order this online from Lidl, nor can I find it elsewhere in the 250g size. Even Amazon didn't stock it when I looked (check again here°). The 100g "Cranberry Nuss" version is available from German food importers such as German Deli here. Ebay looks to be your friend° in hunting this flavour down in the UK.
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Did you get a chance to try this flavour? What did you think? Let me know in a comment below.