"Generic candy bars? Why didn't I think of that?" was my first reaction when I spotted "Chewomp," a clear Snickers knockoff, as I waited in line at the grocery store. Copycat and/or competing versions of candy bars are nothing new (see Skor and Heath), but (correct me if I'm wrong) loud and proud discount generic bars have yet to really penetrate the mainstream market.
Imagine the possibilities if there were an entire line of milk chocolate candies that melt in your mouth not in your hand that were half the price of M&Ms! I know I would be ten pounds heavier and baking at least three hours a day.
While I have yet to purchase any generic M&Ms, I did pick up a Chewomp (50 cents) in order to conduct a side-by-side comparison with Snickers (68 cents).
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SHOW ME HOW
I first noted that while Chewomp is definitely intended to compete with Snickers via its lower price point, the slogans are neither conflicting nor mutually exclusive. If you're "Hungry? Grab a Snickers," that does not mean you can't also experience "Love at First Chomp" with Chewomp.
Unwrapped, the candy bars are very similar, with Snickers distinguishing itself only by a more intense top-surface chocolate ripple. A cross-section comparison, however, yields more subtle differences, which, as I later discovered, influence taste. The Snickers bar appears to incorporate whole nuts, while the Chewomp favors peanut bits. You will also notice color variations in the caramel layer. (Might Chewomp actually be using butterscotch?!?)
These distinctions did make a difference in terms of flavor. If you're familiar with Snickers, you would not mistake Chewomp for it, and if you're a die-hard fan of Snickers, you would not be satisfied with Chewomp. Both boast an appealing milk chocolate exterior, but Chewomp is smoother in texture (thanks to the bits rather than whole legumes) and lacks the wonderful salty-sweet balance for which Snickers is famous. Furthermore, Chewomp's "caramel" layer tastes suspiciously like toffee and is obstinately tough. If I wanted to eat a Charleston Chew, I would have bought one.
Bottom line: The few extra pennies you spend on Snickers are pennies spent well.