Serious Eats: Sweets
Taste Test: Chocolate-covered Toffee Bars: Heath, Daim, and Skor
What kind of battle pits an American against a Swede against an American sort of posing as a Swede? The battle of mass-market, chocolate-covered, almond-flavored toffee bars. In other words, Heath vs. Daim. vs. Skor.
Heath is the grandfather of the bunch, started in 1928 by brothers Bayard Heath and Everett Heath of Robinson, Illinois. In 1953, Swedish candy company Marabou released their version of the Heath bar, called Daim (pronounced "dime"), after Heath refused Marabou's request to license the Heath bar and instead gave Marabou a list of the candy bar's ingredients. Hershey didn't join the chocolate-covered toffee bar world until 1981, when they released the Skor bar to compete against Heath.
Hershey differentiated Skor from Heath by advertising it as having "the taste of Sweden"—you know, where they have Daim, in turn a version of the good ol' American Heath bar—so much so that eating it would bizarrely transform the eater into a Swedish woman, according to a commercial from 1983. (I'd guess they probably weren't marketing the candy to Swedish people or else they wouldn't have nonsensically named it after the Swedish word for "shoes.")
(While it's not crucial you see this video, I felt this Skor bar commercial from 1987 needed to go somewhere. This one, quite different from the Swedish-woman-metamorphosis of years past, is geared towards high rolling businessmen who play squash and own Jaguars and boats. But what's a man to do when his car, boat, and squash game are unavailable? Eat a Skor bar! The ones you store in that snifter in your liquor cabinet. Savor it in your dimly lit bachelor pad as smooth jazz plays in the background. What a baller.)
Today, Skor doesn't need to compete with Heath; since 1996 Hershey has produced both Skor and Heath after buying the North American branch of candy company Leaf, which in turn had bought Heath in 1989. Daim is now produced by Kraft, who bought Marabou in 1990. Everybody with me?
Heath and Skor are pretty easy to find at convenience stores, and, once upon a time, Daim was fairly easy to get too, as long as you had access to an Ikea. But Ikea's Daim (and Bilar and Kalles, among other things) selling days ended last October when Ikea stopped selling non-Ikea-branded food products, to the disappointment of anyone who goes to Ikea for cheap imported Swedish food in addition to cheap Swedish-designed furniture (that would be me), or anyone who's doing a taste test involving Daim and takes a trip to Ikea just to get Daim (that would also be me).
We did a blind tasting of the three bars at Serious Eats HQ. Here are the results:
Heath may be the longest produced chocolate-covered toffee bar in our taste test, but that didn't do anything for its flavor. Tasters described the chocolate as chalky and generic, while the toffee scored some points for its especially nutty and crunchy texture. Heath's ingredients are almost the same as its sibling, the Skor bar, but unlike Skor, no one chose Heath as their favorite.
Daim came in second place, with three choosing it as their favorite. Most people thought its toffee was the sweetest and most buttery, with a nice bit of salt, but that the chocolate was mild. Detractors thought the toffee could use more flavor and didn't like its high level of sweetness.
Skor came out number one, with four tasters choosing it as their favorite. People praised it for having the richest chocolate flavor, for being less sweet than the other bars, and for having a crunchy texture.
Which bar is your favorite?
Skor: Milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter; chocolate; nonfat milk; milk fat, lactose, soy lecithin; salt, vanillin; artificial flavor); sugar, dairy butter (milk); almonds (roasted in cocoa butter and/or sunflower oil); milk; salt
Heath: Milk chocolate (sugar; cocoa butter; chocolate; nonfat milk; milk fat; lactose; soy lecithin; salt; vanillin, artificial flavor); sugar; palm oil; dairy butter (milk); almonds (roasted in cocoa butter and/or sunflower oil); contains 2% or less of: salt, artificial flavor; soy lecithin
Daim: Sugar, vegetable fat, cocoa butter, cocoa liquor, butter fat, almonds (3%), whey powder, skimmed milk powder, whey product, sweetened condensed skimmed milk, salt, emulsifiers (soy lecithin), flavoring; at least 30% cocoa in milk chocolate
Nutrients per 100 grams
|Calories||513 kcal||538 kcal||545 kcal|
|Protein||2.6 grams||2.6 grams||2.9 grams|
|Carbs||64 grams||61.5 grams||60.5 grams|
|Fat||31 grams||33 grams||32 grams|
About the author: Robyn Lee is the editor of A Hamburger Today and takes many of the photos for Serious Eats. She'll also doodle cute stuff when necessary. Read more from Robyn at her personal food blog, The Girl Who Ate Everything.