Unreal dark chocolate peanut butter cup

If you’re in charge of buying treats for spring parties or Easter baskets, candy is traditionally on the list. It doesn’t have to be, but if you’re making candy part of the seasonal festivities, here's an option that you may want to check out.

Unreal is “reUNventing your favorite candy” with what it says are the best ingredients on earth. The brand has been around for a few years. Back in 2012 Unreal released a video with celebrities like Matt Damon and Gisele endorsing the better-for-you candy. The company recently redesigned its packaging and added some new options to its offerings, including a vegan dark chocolate peanut butter cup.

Focusing on alternatives to kid favorites like M&M’s and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, UNREAL is creating its own versions of these traditional candies by “unjunking” them, making them with less sugar and non-GMO, real ingredients.

  • Unreal sources all of its cacao beans from farms in Ghana and Ecuador that have been audited for human rights and best growing practices — and all cacao, cocoa butter and sugar in Unreal's chocolate is Fair Trade USA certified. 
  • Unreal uses many organic ingredients like organic puffed quinoa, organic coconut oil and organic sunflower lecithin — which it now used instead of soy lecithin. Unreal also uses organic blue agave inulin, a natural agave extract used to add sweetness and fiber to its candy (instead of using additional sugar), sourced from a sustainable community co-op in Guadalajara, Mexico. 
  • All of the dairy used in Unreal candy comes from grass-fed cows and contains no antibiotics, no artificial hormones and no rBST. Unreal's whey protein concentrate is also sourced from U.S. Jersey Cows, which have a lower carbon footprint. 
I sampled the new dark chocolate peanut butter cups and the dark chocolate coconut peanut butter cups, both vegan. The look of the candies is familiar. The taste is not. The Unreal peanut butter cups are very good; I really enjoyed them. I didn't think I was eating a Reese’s, though. In fact, the coconut version has more flavors in common with a Mounds candy bar than with a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

When my boys were younger, I attempted to find organic or more natural versions of their favorite foods that tasted the closest to what they were accustomed to. I ran taste tests on foods like macaroni and cheese, chocolate ice cream and cheese crackers to see which they thought tasted as close to the version I had been giving them.

Over the years, though, I’ve come to realize that the good foods I feed my kids don’t need to be carbon copies of their conventional counterparts. They just need to be made with good ingredients and taste good.

Unreal is made with good ingredients and tastes good. If you give them a try, don’t go in expecting them to taste exactly like the candies they’re made to look like. There’s no reason they should have to. If something is made with different, better ingredients, it should taste different.

When I was a kid, I loved Reese’s. I would trade all of my Halloween candy for everyone else’s peanut butter cups. Now when I have one, I’m disappointed. They don’t taste like I want them to. So it’s a good thing that the Unreal versions don’t taste identical. They taste better.

Unreal candies are in about 1,000 stores right now, including many Whole Foods and Super Targets, and you can find a store that carries Unreal using the website’s neighborhood guide. You can also order Unreal candy online.

The company doesn’t make special packaging for Easter or for spring, but as you can see from the photo above, the colors used on the everyday packaging would fit right in with an Easter basket.

Disclaimer: The products I received from Unreal were complimentary, but I was not monetarily compensated by Unreal for writing this post nor did I agree to a positive review in exchange for the products.

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Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.