A little about me, I grew up eating your Great, Great, Great Grandfathers chocolate, Cadburys chocolates which I loved as well as Revels & Maltesers so my palate for chocolate is smooth, sweet & milky, no bitterness at all. As time went by I became intolerant & allergic to many different foods including cows milk. So I've been on the search ever since & way before becoming vegan was even a thing to find sweet smooth non bitter Chooclate.
For me Moo Free can not be topped just for the sheer lack of any bitterness & being the most like Cadburys chocolate. I've also tried D & D Chocolates which is way too bitter for me. There are a lot more vegan Chocolate out there but unfortunately I can't eat because of the use of nuts & Chicory root which is a plant based fibre not a good idea for someone who has two chronic bowel illnesses!. So if there are any other manufacturers looking at these reviews to see what the competition is doing stop putting nuts & fibre in your chocolate!.
So that's a little about me & where my taste buds lie. Now onto HIP Chocolates.
The packaging, 100 gold stars for being recyclable!. But that's where the praise stops. I have never seen such a drab middle of the road packaging before. I expected this chocolate to be "Posh Chocolate" as in the other website that this gentleman's chocolate he makes is very posh & expensive we are not talking Cadburys here. So I was expecting some posh, bright, shiny luxurious packaging to match the chocolate inside. This is none of those things. It's also not packaging for the Cadburys lover either, it's bland & I would not pick this chocolate to eat based on the packaging, in fact I don't think I would even notice it on the shelf.
To the taste!. I had one row of the chocolate yesterday I only had a small amount to test if my body will accept it. This does not always happen as quick as that but usually a gradual unhappy symptom over time. This passed the initial stage. When I had the first taste I tasted bitterness & was very disappointed. Today I had two rows of the chocolate & after the initial first taste of bitterness the more I ate the less teh bitterness came through. It is a smooth chocolate that has a little bitterness on first bite which mellows out.
So where does this put the chocolate amongst other vegan chocolates? Smack bang in the middle of the other two I can eat. Moo Free is still my favourite chocolate hands down because there is no bitterness. Then comes HIP because there is a slight bitterness & lastly D & D chocolates because they are more bitter.
Will I be ordering more? The answer at the moment is I'm not sure yet. I will need to continue eating this chocolate for a while to make sure that my body is accepting it before buying more & I'm not completely sure if I like it enough to buy more I think that's going to come with eating more of it to see if that slight bitterness bothers me or not.
The price of the bars of chocolate are what you expect, it's in the same price range as moo free & D & D chocolates as well as the other brands I can't have due to chicory root & nuts. But the price of the Easter egg is way too high. £12.50 for 150g of any type of chocolate is silly money. I love having different shaped chocolates the same as non vegan chocolates are made in but I don't want to pay for the machine to make them with just the chocolate!. I understand the machine to make the eggs with is expensive & can understand it takes longer to make them but it is still the same recipe just a different shape.
I hope this has helped others to make your own minds up to buy it or not, after all this is just one 50 year old cow intolerant chocolate lovers considered opinion