Friday, July 25, 2014

Ben & Jerry's Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch
 vs. the old Coffee Heath Bar Crunch

[By Nick] This has been a Friday Night Fight in the making for a long time. You see, when we first got word that Ben & Jerry's was going to be replacing my beloved heath bars with a GMO-free toffee, I decided to store a pint of the original in my freezer until the new version was released. When it was finally time to pit the two against each other, I had discovered that someone decided to eat my pint of the Heath version. Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch was well distributed by this time and finding a pint of the original was beyond impossible. I was about to give up and just review the new version when I found a pint among a sea of newer pints. So, finally, it's time to see which toffee bar will come out on top.

Ben & Jerry's Coffee Heath Toffee Bar Crunch Ice Cream
Coffee Ice Cream with Chunks of Heath Bars Fudge-covered Toffee Pieces

It's been awhile since I've had CHBC so I think I can be pretty unbiased when it comes to this fight. To make things more unbiased, I made my friend who ate my old pint help me out. Instead of me photographing the ice cream, I had her do it as well as scoop me out two bowls of each so I wouldn't know exactly which was which from the get go. So just for reference, I'll be referring to each flavor as either A (left) or B (right).

This fight is going to go three rounds: 
Appearance, Texture and last but not least Taste. 

Ready? 
FIGHT! 


Appearance:‎ Both bases look about the same in color. Flavor B is a tad bit darker which I like to see. There are also bigger chunks of visible toffee. Flavor A makes a redeeming effort with the pools of liquidly toffee I see while having solid pieces still noticeable. I'm going to give this round to Flavor B just because Ben & Jerry's is infamous for their chunks and that's the case visually.


Texture:‎ Not surprisingly, the ice cream base have the same consistency. It's exactly what you've come to expect from a pint of Ben & Jerry's. The toffees on the other hand, aren’t alike at all. Flavor A is more liquidly while still being able to retain its crunch. Flavor B's texture is beyond off. Sure it does have a crunch to it but the toffee quickly begins to crumble as if it was a crispy cookie. This is not what I want in my toffee and while Flavor A could be more intact, it wins this round.

Taste: Both flavors have a mild coffee flavor but there's something off with Flavor B. The coffee flavor is weaker and the aftertaste is really bad. It's akin to what I'd imagine putting spoiled milk into coffee would be like. Flavor A isn't perfect but I'd much rather have that base. Things just go from bad to terrible for Flavor B when it comes to the toffee. While Flavor A is sweet and almost caramel like in flavor, Flavor B tastes awful. Really there's no other word for me to put it‎. It doesn't taste like any toffee I've ever had and it even comes across as burnt at times. This is not good at all. This round and the fight goes to Flavor A by a landslide.

And the winner is....

Now I'm pretty sure I knew which flavor was which after the fight but I made sure my friend didn't tell me which was which until after I wrote my review. Drum roll please >>>><<<<< And my suspicions were correct! Flavor A was Coffee Heath Bar Crunch and Flavor B was Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch.

I'm really at a loss for words trying to figure out why Ben & Jerry's would use such terrible quality toffee to replace an iconic candy bar. I know they want to be fair trade, gmo-free blah blah blah. That doesn't mean they couldn't have waited until they were able to find a suitable replacement toffee for this flavor.

What makes things worse is that the new version is even more terrible for you. The new version has 20 more calories as well as 4 more grams of fat (aka 40 calories from fat) as the Heath version. As it stands, Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch is the worst ice cream I've ever had from Ben & Jerry's. It can thank Liz Lemon and Pineapple Passionfruit from saving it from being the worst flavor overall. If I was you and we're a fan of this flavor, I'd buy every pint of the original version you can find. I say boycott this new version until Ben & Jerry's gets its act together and finds a replacement for this replacement toffee. That and they seriously need to fix whatever happened to the base. I had plans on trying the new vanilla version but after this incident, that's not likely to happen.




60 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have a really silly question but isn't it (from the labels) just a 20 calorie difference (it's killing the math person in me)? I run from either, that stuff would quite literally kill me if I ate it! :)

Dubba said...

Typo!

Nick Rovo said...

Thanks for the catch, Anon. Those keys are too close to each other!

Anonymous said...

Lol...thanks...I was thinking I was going a little batty. Thanks for all of the reviews!

Meredith said...

I thought the exact same thing! It tasted completely burnt to me and I thought I was imagining it! Good to know I'm not alone.

billy polard said...

Let's get to the real issue here. Why would your friend eat something that's not hers? Rude.

Nick Rovo said...

Meredith, check their facebook page. I think we're in the majority who think it's burnt.

Billy, she's pretty so I'll let it slide.

Josh Hinnenkamp said...

Thanks for doing this comparison. My friend is gonna be PISSED! Coffee Heath Bar Crunch was one of his three favorite flavors, and he hasn't tried the new one yet.

Nick Rovo said...

Josh, tell him he better find as many of the old batch as possible and not even try the new version. Let his memory of coffee heath bar be untainted by this new abomination.

Norml said...

My go to pint from Ben and Jerry's(besides everything but the kitchen sink!)is now ruined. Not only did they ditch the superior heath bar, they claim it's to be more NON-GMO....great, awesome, right on board with that concept but I guess they need to fire the idiot who "researches" the ingredients causing false advertisement of being NON-GMO. That ingredient? Canola oil, there's no Canola in the environment but there's Rapeseed. You know, what they use to produce Mustard Gas(NERVE GAS!). Yummy, people think pink slime is bad? They denature this poison into an "edible" form(yes the FDA is another scam)and subsidized. I see it in stores that claim Canola is somehow natural, a big surprise they'll have when they run into a lawsuit...I'll leave that to someone else but will be emailing Ben and Jerry as should all of YOU! I had no idea that not only did they ruin the flavor, it also has more ingredients and is nutritionally worse for you while NOT! being a NON-GMO product. They dropped the ball hard on this one.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree. Coffee Heath Bar was the best and only flavor we ever bought. This new flavor, Toffee Bar, sucks, and I told them so in the comments box that you can use on their website. GMO's or not, bring back the old flavor, this new one will not sell.

Anonymous said...

Coffee HEATH BAR crunch has been my all time favorite ice cream for at least 10 years! I bought the new one last night and my world is shattered! It's downright GROSS! I didn't realize it was changed. As soon as I tasted it I knew something was off! I am so bummed :(
Everything in moderation. Including GMO. My health is in my own hands.

Bring it back B&J!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Agreed absolutely. I expected the toffee to taste different, but not the coffee ice cream. The old version had the best coffee flavor of any coffee ice cream hands down (Edys espresso chip close second) this one is pitiful.
Sad, this was my go to pint; not anymore.

Anonymous said...

I just unwrapped a pint - noticed the name change but never imagined it would taste so different from the original and my all-time fav. Yuck-o!! I won't eat anymore of it...and who does THAT with ice cream?

Janice said...

I was eating the new Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch while reading this, trying to figure out if it was A or B, lol. I was like "I think I do taste something burnt..".

Anonymous said...

I'm filled with disappoint. I've always gotten this flavor. What have they done?!

Anonymous said...

I just tried the new Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch. It is such a disappointment. The writer was correct. Not only is the new toffee terrible, it doesn't mix well with the ice cream, doesn't create that caramel-like flavor, and even the coffee ice cream suffers. I will never purchase a pint of this, whereas the old Coffee Heath Bar Crunch was my favorite ice cream flavor ever.

Grace Nelson said...

I have been looking for the Heath Bar Crunch all over and became very disappointed at learning that it has been replaced! Please give us the option of buying what we have loved for so long!! I have tried to be fair, and so I bought the Toffee one twice, but it can not compare. I repeat please let us make the choice of which to buy.

kim said...

Yes...this ice cream is horrible. The first time I bought it, I didn't notice the name change....just thought it was a bad batch and threw it away. However, when my husband came home with some last night, I put two and two together and noticed the name change in conjunction with the "off" flavor. Bottom line: this ice cream tastes awful!!!! They need to go back to the old recipe, GMO's and all!

Anonymous said...

Like others who have posted, I was completely unaware of the change until I cracked open my first pint in months and tasted it.

It was absolutely terrible. There was a funky aftertaste, and an almost chemically "pretaste" (for lack of a better term), and the "toffee" was an amazingly huge letdown.

I ran across this post while seeking Google for information on what the hell B&J did... way to ruin one of life's small pleasures.

Anonymous said...

I thought the toffee was stale. I really, truly just thought I got a bad pint. Then (a few months later) I got another pint and couldn't believe the NASTY taste and texture of the toffee. I could deal with the ice cream (I think) if only the toffee weren't so gross. I've been eating this (including going out with my boyfriend on late night raids to multiple stores In Search Of) for over 20 years. So sad.

Anonymous said...

Such a bummer, Coffee Heath Bar was my favorite and now I cant stand it. The worst is that they add this horrible crunch to other ice cream flavors as well, you cant trust now the brand it is full of junk and not worth the calories.

Anonymous said...

Holly cow this new version sucks, sucks, sucks, and did I say sucks. I couldn't find it at any stores and finally I was like WTF happened to coffee heath bar crunch, my favorite ice cream bar none and also the favorite to many others I have talked to about Ben & Jerry's. So I looked it up online and found out they changed it to Coffee Toffee and were using their own version of Toffee. So I used Ben & Jerry's flavor finder and found out there was some at a store 30 min. away. So I rushed out to give it a try. Yuck. Disgusting. Made me want to vomit. What the heck did they do? I had to go out and buy a heath bar crunch bar and pick out that nasty toffee stuff they were using and replace it with the heath bar. Sucks I've got to do work now to get it back to normal.

Anonymous said...

This newly changed flavor tastes like [edited]

Anonymous said...

I had a pretty good description of what this ice cream tastes like but they edited it... basically something [please stop making me edit this comment] that you would not want to eat. This is a real shame. Some burned out hippies with no taste buds left deciding to mess with something that was really delicious and is now inedible. They're patting themselves on the back for being GMO free but now the products tastes horrible! They should fire their so-called taste gurus!!!

Anonymous said...

ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE...I tried it twice and the toffee is AWFUL. Bad aftertaste, and burned. Ice cream no longer has the gooey toffee parts that I enjoyed so much. Sent my criticism to B&J's and...what do I get?? A coupon for free ice cream. Unfortunately there are no other flavors I like :(

James Seaman said...

I just got my first taste of "coffee toffee bar crunch"

Yuck.....

On what I wanted. Seems a cost saving move but the price stayed the same.

The MBAs are starting to 'optimize' Ben & Jerry's. Time to switch.

poetimomma said...

I totally forgot that B&G had changed their toffee and with the very first bite, I was not happy. I hadn't had this for ages and was really looking forward to a special treat. Yuck! The ice cream itself has an extract/liquor flavoring that is nasty. The toffee is granular and the chocolate is bland. I am a non- GMO supporter, but this is not a good substitute.

Through Carol's Eyes said...

I just tried this for the third time and even though I ate the whole thing, yes Iemotional eating, I remembered when I had it months ago and said never again I will never support Ben & Jerry's. Not sure why I just spent three dollars on this crap but I did, but I am definitely now done with Ben & Jerry's. I'm actually surprised that it's still on the shelves clearly the consensus is that this ice cream flavor is a total bust.

Anonymous said...

So vile, please bring back Heath Bar Crunch. The new flavor is not edible.

Anonymous said...

all time favorite flavor ruined! ice cream is gross, toffee bar is gross, aftertaste is gross.. come on ben and jerry!!

Jinjah said...

I can't believe you wrote this. I just got some of the "new" flavor today, and it's awful. I cannot believe how bad it is. CHBC used to be my favorite ice cream. I had to go online to see if it was just me, but it's not! What a bummer...

There is an aftertaste. It's gross.

Anonymous said...

wow just found this page on a google search after I ate a bowl of the new "toffee coffee crunch".

I completely agree with the reviewer and all the previous comments. I grew up on CHBC. This new stuff is horrible and I'm down to boycott till they fix it.

So mad at B&J for this!!

Nick Rovo said...

Anon, well I'm glad B&J's terrible decision led you to us. Here's hoping you stick around and find yourself a flavor to replace it with!

Anonymous said...

I completely agree. My all-time favorite flavor was Coffee Heath Bar Crunch, and now all I have is my memories. I embrace our GMO overlords -- at least I would if it would get me my beloved CHBC!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for opening this issue up, Nick. I fully agree. The "new" crunch is terrible. Tastes like burnt cork and sand. Is this what happens when the larger corporate world takes over? What's next, artificial vanilla?
Time for a boycott.

Anonymous said...

Agree the new flavor is horrible. Luckily B&J coffee, coffee, buzz, buzz, buzz is still good.

Anonymous said...

Coffee Heath Bar crunch was so amazing and the only ice cream I bothered to eat. This new formula is horrible. No where near an acceptable replacement. So sad.

LisaP said...

This review hits the nail on the head! CHBC has been my go to treat and the only B &J that I buy (bought). I tried one bite of the new flavor and threw out the pint. Never again! It was horrible. This was the dumbest marketing decision ever. If you're in the business to make money, WHY would you ever mess with one of the top sellers? MAOs? If you're purchasing a pint of high fat, high sugar ice cream, do you care about MAOs? I think not! I hope this "health conscious" person was fired. This is ICE CREAM, people! We buy it to enjoy, not to make sure we're getting all our nutrients, organically. We , as consumers, make the choice for ourselves when we buy "bad" things. PLEASE bring back my favorite "bad"thing, CHBC. I will not be purchasing anything B&J until you do.

Anonymous said...

They may have lost my business. So awful it actually upset my stomachs. The toffee has a terrible aftertaste.

Anonymous said...

THE TOFFEE IS SO AWFUL!!! THE ICE CREAM ITSELF IS OK, BUT I LITERALLY HAD TO SPIT OUT THE TOFFEE!!! IF YOU WANT BEN AND JERRYS BUY AMERICONE DREAM, PHISH FOOD, OR COFFEE COFFEE BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ. THE TOFFEE IS JUST GROSS!!!

Anonymous said...

I completely agree. I thought - is this just me, or is this ice cream HORRIBLE???!!! It was beyond bad. I wouldn't want to eat it if they paid me. I wrote a complaint email and they sent me a free coupon for a pint. However, their quality overall is not so good. The other day I got a pint of Strawberry Cheesecake and it had almost no flavor. I also don't like the lack of real Oreos anymore in what used to be Mint Oreo, or the missing peanut butter pretzels in Chubby Hubby. I used to be obsessed with Ben & Jerry's. Their brownies don't taste good anymore to me. Slowly but surely every flavor is getting eliminated. I admit that I don't "need" to be eating more ice cream, but for the first time in my life, I went to the grocery store a few days ago for some Ben & Jerry's and ended up leaving with Snicker's Ice Cream bars instead. It was the strangest feeling, staring at all of the pints and just knowing (from recent experience) that they would not taste good. Whoever is in charge of their decisions over there is seriously insane. You don't take a good, popular product like one of their TOP FLAVORS - Heath Bar Crunch - and replace it with crap. I would be surprised if anyone likes this stuff. Thanks so much for confirming that I am not alone in my strong dislike of this flavor. Ben & Jerry's is probably on their way out the door, if they continue to be this stupid.

Funny Bunny said...

Good grief I wish they would scrap this non-GMO thing just for the two Heath Bar flavors! Instead they could lobby the company to be compliant. It is so upsetting that here it is December and our favorite ice cream is still ruined.

Anonymous said...

Disappointed with the new vanilla toffee bar crunch much better when it was Heath bar crunch.... The new one taste like it has stale pieces of candy bar on it... It totally changed the flavor of the ice cream ...
YUCK

Anonymous said...

Well, that was disappointing. We don't indulge in it as much as we used to, and this was our first taste of the respin. Bud's Ice Cream used to make a killer coffee crunch. When they stopped making it, B&J was an acceptable consolation, but this ... just doesn't quite cut it. They may have just changed the coffee, but it seems like the base is different as well, It seems less dense and creamy, the toffee is more crumbly and less chocolaty.

With shock doctrine and chaos being the new normal, ... there's only so much a person can take; this could be the last straw.

Patti Cleary said...

Came here hoping to read something encouraging. Alas, CHBC has not been resurrected. I did write to them when I suffered through several spoonsful of the replacement and knew something was AWFUL. Thought I had a bad batch. Next one, the same - into the trash. I got the nicest letter from them informing me that they knew they goofed and were working to make it all better. I've waited seven months and sorry to hear that it's still bad, bad, bad news. The only B&J flavor for moi. The silver lining - I've lost seven pounds without trying! Time to find an alternative. Starbucks Java Chip is okay but hard to find. Anyone have any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

CHBC has been my go-to flavor for years and my nightly treat (on an almost daily basis). I may not have lost weight like Patti, but I can confirm that I have saved a fair amount of money by not buying ~ 2 pints / week and B&J has lost a loyal regular customer. As everyone has commented, the new version is vile.

Anonymous said...

I just came across your article after making the mistake of buying the Coffee Toffee Crunch. I actually sent an email to Ben and Jerry's I was so disappointed. Something I have never done for any product ever. I am so sad Coffee Heath Bar Crunch was my favorite.

Anonymous said...

Came across this while searching for a review of the Vanilla Toffee Crunch flavor; I hadn't had Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch since college, when I ate, like, ALL of it. So, after fifteen years, I decided that it was time to see if I could practice moderation. I noticed as I was pulling the pint out of the freezer case that the "Heath Bar" part had changed but didn't think much of it. One bite, and I immediately knew that, fifteen years or no, this was NOT the same stuff that I couldn't keep out of the dorm room freezer. It's a waste of bad calories to do anything but pitch this pint. I'm not even sure that it's JUST the toffee bar that's the problem, though it's definitely a part of it. It tastes like the entire recipe has changed... MUCH less unctuous and creamy and sweet than it used to be. What a terrible decision.

Anonymous said...

Ben and Jerry's really screwed the pooch on this one. I took one bite of the new Coffee Toffe Bar Crunch and had to spit it out. I could give a damn about non gmo ingredients. Coffee Heath Bar Crunch was the best ice cream on the Market. But this new stuff is disgustingly horrible!!!

Anonymous said...

if i'm buying and eating a pint of ice cream - i'm not fooling myself into believing that it's somehow healthy for me and good for the environment. it's ice cream. it's pure indulgence and has nothing to do with nutrition or saving the world. it's supposed to TASTE GOOD. that's it's only reason for existing. so stop pretending that it's somehow worth it to eat CRAP ice cream in order to feel better about GMOs or free trade or whatever current politically correct band wagon you think you should be on. if you want to be known for helping the planet - then get out there and help. if you want to continue to be recognized for having some of the best tasting ice cream in the business - then GET BACK TO IT!! Ben & Jerry's has clearly lost its way.

Anonymous said...

Coffee Heath Bar Crunch has been one of my favorites for 20 years and I've been craving it lately. I bought a pint today and just figured they were going with a generic version of heath bars when I saw the name change. The new flavor is awful. I won't even finish the pint. Yuck.

LaQuitta Cole said...

I can't its gross!!

Anonymous said...

This used to be my favorite flavor, but this new toffee is nasty. I emailed ben and jerrys and they sent me a free coupin, which was very nice. But unfortunately I just don't trust them anymore for a good pint of ice cream. They used to be my favorite ice cream makers, but lately it seems to my palate that their ice cream is soooooo mediocre and sometimes even nasty. It makes me sad. I also seriously question their judgement with this flavor. First they released it (foolish). Now they are still producing it even with all of the negative feedback. Who is in charge over there? Is there something in the water causing everyone's pallets to have dulled? Are they hiring new people with no taste buds? Do they have a few folks with good pallates that they just ignore? This flavor, as well as many other disappointing ones in the last few years, makes me think that they have lost their talent over there. Maybe they are just so busy focusing in fair trade that they forgot they are supposed to be making gourmet ice cream. Whatever it is, they are definitely not foodies anymore :(

Anonymous said...

Until they bring it back, I won't buy a single pint of Ben and Jerry's ever again.

DaveO said...

I hadn't had my favorite B&J ice cream (coffee heath) in quite a while and decided to get a pint. After having a couple bites, I thought I was going nuts. It tasted terrible! Just now I pulled it back out of the freezer to see if I was in some temporary state of tilted taste, but no, it's still awful. I'm glad I found your review explaining that they changed the recipe. The toffee bars they are now using are vile, little things.
Is this the start of a new tagline for Monsanto? "It's the GMO's that make it taste good!"

DaveO said...

HEY! GREAT NEWS! I just posted a comment and decided to do a little more research... I found this post on Ben and Jerry's site:
http://www.benjerry.com/whats-new/toffee-update

Way to go, all of you who complained - you made something great happen!

Dubba Scoops said...

@DaveO: cool find, but the weird thing is, I tracked it down and that update is from July 2nd, 2014. Why are so many people still angry? maybe we need people to start adding in when they had their pint and what the date was on the bottom.

DaveO said...

Observant eye, Dubba! I didn't even think to check the date - I assumed they couldn't get it wrong twice.
I just looked at the date on the pint I threw out and it is MAR2016. Not a good sign.
This is puzzling. How could they recognize there's a problem and the fix be terrible too?

Dubba Scoops said...

@DaveO: With that date, i'm guessing you got new version rev2 which is maybe less horrible than new version rev1? Let's just call this a work in progress....