Taste Test: Buzz Bites and Foosh Energy Mints

Hundreds upon hundreds of new energy products hit the U.S. market every year. This is a problem. And no, I'm not referring to the increased incidences of nausea, risk-taking and *ahem* exploding hearts found among the teenage set; rather, the que...

Hundreds upon hundreds of new energy products hit the U.S. market every year. This is a problem.

And no, I'm not referring to the increased incidences of nausea, risk-taking and *ahem* exploding hearts found among the teenage set; rather, the question I find most pressing is a little less alarmist: How do they go down?

For this inaugural Taste Test, I've decided to give two new products from Vroom Foods a spin.

Why, out of all the energy purveyors in the world, would we start out with this on-the-rise California company? Because one of its products I could actually see myself purchasing with my own money, that's why.

But first, the bad news...


The first product I tried -- as did some of my more-adventurous colleagues at the Budgeteer News and Living North Magazine -- was Buzz Bites, Vroom Foods' foray into the largely unheard-of chocolate-energy-chew market.

The results from our so-scientific study, I fear, were less than positive. In fact, "scientifically speaking," these unsuspecting energy chews might actually taste worse than Vegemite, the notorious Australian delicacy constructed from yeast extract.

But, first, a little primer. Buzz Bites arrive in a crafty little tin, six deep, in packaging that can only be described as "bouillon cube-esque" -- not a good sign for something you actually want to eat straight.

Next stop: the smell. Delicious, inviting ... like grandma's homemade brownies.

This warm feeling follows you into your first bite, but, lo and behold, your smile soon fizzles. Buzz Bites go from brownie-worthy to completely bitter in about eight seconds.

Fine, they don't taste the best, but do they actually work? While I was kicked out of the other taste testers' workspaces before the effects could set in, from my experiences with this concoction of caffeine, B vitamins, ginseng and taurine, a resounding yes. This chocolate chew's "buzz" creeps up on you like a taxman disguised as a walking bush, but it's just as intense and satisfying as listening to Mama Cass' 1969 landmark "Make Your Own Kind of Music" at maximum volume.

Then again, there's that taste....

Figuring that perhaps I was judging Buzz Bites too harshly, a quick sampling of the other taste testers' reactions made me realize that, no, they're just that bad.


One of my first targets was the magazine's editor, who is somewhat of a thrill-seeker. Apparently standing on the edge of a cliff for a column sig doesn't equate to be a risk-taking eater, because she spit out her Buzz Bite -- which, by the way, has 100mg of caffeine, the same amount as a cup of coffee or, according to the back of the tin, "1.25 energy drinks" -- within seconds of its "weird chill" setting in.

Next up was the magazine's graphic artist, who subscribed to my "kinda like a brownie" sentiment until ... wait, wait, there's that sickly look on her face too.

The other testers had similar reactions, but the best came when the aforementioned editor's husband, a genuine Aussie, showed up. In his native land's trademark accent, he politely said, "Not bad."

Then, too, he succumbed to that all-too-bitter slamdance of "energetic nutrients."

His wife's comment pretty summed up the whole Buzz Bites experience: "He can't even eat it, and he enjoys Vegemite!"

Now, on to the good stuff

Considering the overwhelmingly disgusted reactions I got parading Buzz Bites around the office, I was ready to take a different approach with Foosh Energy Mints.

Instead of passing them around all couldn't-even-play-a-scientist-on-TV-like, I was going to have people try them in private and gather their reactions without telling them what other people thought.


But then I tried one, and, man, if that wasn't one of the best energy products I've ever encountered.... With that first "seriously caffeinated" energy mint, I started to see Vroom Foods in a whole new light.

And, what do you know, I liked them so much that I forgot how to share; I completely abandoned my office-wide taste tests and decided to concentrate on myself for awhile. They're too good not to.

Not only do the Foosh mints contain the same amount of caffeine as Buzz Bites, but they taste great (like most mints do) and the feeling you get from ingesting one is much mellower than the majority of energy products on the market: the Foosh "buzz" is more akin to the nicotine rush one gets when they sniff European dry snuff up through their nose.

I can't say the sensation was as long-lasting as those created by Buzz Bites, but there wasn't a debilitating crash afterward either. (If I had to compare this Vroom product to a song, I'd have to say Aqueduct's "Hardcore Days & Softcore Nights." Sincerely.)

To combat this, I found it's best to pair Foosh mints with a cup of coffee. This serves two purposes: It ensures you get that little pick-me-up you were looking for and, perhaps most important for those who aren't hermits, it covers up your stank coffee breath.

Vroom Foods, you've made my days a little better and, hey, even though my wife doesn't know you, she wants to hug you.

Visit for more information on either of these products. (p.s. If you have some extra time, check out the Web site's FAQ sections, which includes little nuggets like this: 12. People keep asking to try my Foosh Energy Mints, then they like them so much, they'll steal them all. How do I prevent this? "Unfortunately, Foosh Energy Mints are so good, this is a common problem. Just direct them to this Web site or to the store where you bought your Vroom Foods Inc. products. Alternatively, buy more tins and just be more open about sharing. Under no circumstances should you barricade yourself in your office screaming 'I'll smack the heck out the next person to touch my mints!' as this will likely get you a visit from pleasant fellows in white coats.")

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