Pearson’s Salted Nut Roll has been around since 1933, so trying to reinvent a classic comes with challenges. Do you change the recipe? Try different ingredients? Mix up the marketing? Instead they’re taking a page out of food business 101: extend the product line with new flavors. (See: Cheerios, Oreo, Cheez-It.)
I’ve tried both new flavors: a Spicy Salted Nut Roll and a Cinnamon Churro Salted Nut Roll. First, chili pepper and paprika seasonings combine to give a spicy note to contrast with the sweet caramel and nougat of the nut roll. This isn’t “set your mouth on fire and call 911” heat, but it is a little zippier than your average Minnesota spice. The heat from those spicy roasted peanuts lingers, and plays pretty well if you’re a fan of spicy/sweet/salty. The kids who love hot Takis might enjoy the spicy candy bar.
I was skeptical of the Cinnamon Churro flavor, but the initial burst of sweetness was quickly balanced by a low heat from what they’re calling “hot cinnamon.” It’s not spicy, but it does have a heat to it. I like my candy bar to taste like candy, and this does. Very nice.
Pearson’s is playing up the protein in these bars (5 grams per 1.8 ounce bar) and calling them “protein-packed” and “hard-working.” At 230 calories, they’re not as overloaded as some of the supposedly healthy protein bars on the market. And these are clearly hot food trends. Pearson’s says that “77% of consumers prefer foods that are moderately or very spicy” and 2/3 of Americans are interested in spicy-sweet food combinations.
Made in St. Paul, you’ll find these limited-edition flavors at local stores, or you can get them online at Amazon.