We all know Celebrations are basically the poor kid who sweeps chimneys of the Christmas chocolate and sweets tub world right? Even more so than the particularly peasant-like Haribo tubs if you ask me.

I’ve been pretty critical on this blog about Cadbury Roses and their ridiculous packaging change and I’ve been fairly complimentary about Quality Street too. I thought it was time to see what’s happened this year with the other two, and what better time to do so than to play my own evil trick on the trick or treaters using a big tub of Celebrations.

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Now look, I appreciate there are some people out there who like Celebrations. There are also people out there who eat the cores of apples and the green bits on strawberries, in other words, weird folk. My Dad is one of them weird folk, but I’ll let him off because he hasn’t had taste buds for 40 years and only otherwise eats potatoes.

So, Celebrations then, what exactly do we have:

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A selection of Mars, Twix, Snickers, Galaxy, Galaxy Caramel, Maltesers, Milky Way and Bounty.

It’s 1987, you walk to the local video shop, you pick Predator off the shelf and the dodgy bloke gives you a copy in a library case, you open it, it’s not rewound, but whatever. It’s Sunday night movie night, that means chocolate. You look at the most likely out of date chocolate on the shelf, you go for the only reasonable choice in 1987, a king size Mars Bar for you and Dad with a king size Marathon for Mum.

Whatever happened to King Size chocolate bars…

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And if you think back, that Mars bar back then tasted great. But, try one now…they are sickly, really small and completely unsatisfying. The nougat sticks in your mouth and the thin chocolate coating just tastes of sweetener and nothingness.

So a perfect inclusion in this tub of hate.

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Now, in all fairness, opening the tub I got a real blast of chocolate smell, not entirely unpleasant. Also, check it out, the tub looks pretty packed full (compare that to the ridiculous Roses tub) and, despite previously talking about flow wrapping on Celebrations, these are actually a kind of weird hybrid of twist and flow.

There is no menu, but the very heavy branding and recognisable wrappers really means it’s not needed.

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The Maltesers Teaser isn’t a Malteser though, it should stop pretending. I quite like a bag of Maltesers, and these just taste flat out strange in comparison. Much heavier, I’d prefer if they actually put the real things in here.

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I think the real problem is…who really wants this?

These things are basically what you can buy a bar of on the shelf and be infinitely more satisfied. Surely a tub of Christmas sweets should be special, something different, these are all so boring and normal.

If you like a Galaxy, great, then go and buy one. Why do you want a single chunk of Galaxy from a tub of Celebrations that contains a ton of other sweets you don’t like or can take or leave?

There used to be Topics in here. Nobody likes Topics, that’s why they removed them I assume. So, really need someone to explain to me why they still sell Topic bars. Someone must buy them.

Apart from Topics, the only other things that Mars sell that aren’t in this tub are Tracker bars, M&Ms, Revels and Flyte. None of them would work here, and the theme of the tub is ‘all of the same stuff you can buy in a proper size’. Unless Mars confectionary come up with a new chocolate bar, there is never going to be a surprise and that really is the crux of it.

I think they should mix it up, drop in an Applause one year:

Make these tubs the only way you can get a taste of the retro chocolate bar you just can’t buy anymore.

Cadbury should do that too, they have a much better back-catalogue. They should call it the Cadbury Retro tub and include mini-versions of Fuse, Dream, Timeout, Aztec, Spira etc. That’d be sure to be a hit, there’s a real retro market out there if you ask me.

Anyway…back to Celebrations, truthfully they’re not really that bad.

But they’re just boring, and in the crowded confectionery market at this time of year, that’s just not good enough. Try harder Mars, 3rd place behind Heroes and Quality Street is now very much up for grabs following the catastrophic fall of Cadbury Roses and next week, I’ll check out Heroes to see how far the step is to 2nd place out of the big 4.