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THINGS NO ONE ASKED FOR: CAFFEINATED SNICKERS

I think it's only a matter of time before Red Bull gets into the food business and starts making awful-tasting candy bars and snack cakes to go with its awful-tasting drinks. Which might be why Snickers has decided to beat them to the punch:

That's right. Snickers Charged. Snickers with caffeine.

I love Snickers, but come on, what consumer is pleading for a candy bar with a caffeine boost? Are we supposed to substitute this for our morning coffee?

These bars taste the same as regular Snickers bars. Apparently the point is simply to let them juice you up.

The question is: Do they?

The answer: Possibly. I ate one (or should I say, I took one?) at around 2 p.m. on a recent Monday and noticed my leg was extra-bouncy for the next couple of hours. I felt like pacing, and my fingers were flying on my keyboard.

I asked a colleague for a second opinion. His take:

"It tastes like a regular Snickers, but less gooey, like the random oil content has been skimmed off.

"Also, there's an indecipherable aftertaste, a bitterness somewhere between coffee-pleasant and those nondescript dark centers in a Whitman's Sampler. It is making me jittery, but that may just be wishful thinking."

So we have no consensus.

Despite my deep confusion about why a product like Snickers Charged is necessary, I can't really find major fault here. You've got to hand it to Mars: They deliver what they promise - a Snickers bar that gives you a caffeine boost. If this helps keep Red Bull Candy Bars off the shelves, I'm all for it. Grade: B

Jay Cridlin is part of a foursome of snacking journalists that rates new products at www.blogs.tampabay.com/snacks.

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