14 Nov, 2008


Posted by: Michael In: Marshmallow Treats


I recently took a day trip into the States, and of course, I had to stop by a Cracker Barrel in order to pick up a candy I have a definite love/hate relationship with: Valomilk. Love, because when Valomilk is fresh, it’s delicious and easily among my favourites. Hate, because finding a fresh one is ridiculously hit-and-miss.

Each package of Valomilk contains two chocolate cups – each about the size of a Reese’s Big Cup – filled with a soft, flowing marshmallow centre. The marshmallow in here is very unique; it’s not fluffy at all (or at least it shouldn’t be, assuming it’s not too stale) and is similar in consistency to the caramel inside a Caramilk or Caramello. It has a satisfyingly rich vanilla taste, and combined with the better-than-average milk chocolate, it thoroughly hits the spot.

As you can see from the picture, both cups suffered from a bit of leakage, which seems to be the norm with these (in fact, I think I got lucky with the minimal amount of leaking in these cups – I’ve seen far worse). The only way to ensure that you get a pair of cups without too much damage is to stand there in the store and feel the tops of each package, until you find one that feels smooth.

Of course, this being Valomilk, staleness has reared its ugly head – while I’ve had much worse, these cups were already a bit past their prime. You can’t tell from the picture, but the flowing marshmallow had started to partially solidify in certain areas.

Which leads me to this: I have some advice for the good folks at the Russell Sifers Candy Company: change the packaging. Seriously. Change the packaging. What you’ve got right now, which I can only assume is sealed by hand, is completely inadequate. Maybe it has some kind of old-timey appeal, but I couldn’t care less about that. You need to completely overhaul your packaging to maximize the freshness of the product. When buying your candy is like rolling the dice at a craps table, you know you’ve got trouble.

I have a suggestion: lose the flimsy paper wrapper. It does absolutely nothing to protect the delicate cups, nor does it particularly do much to slow down the product’s disconcertingly fast march towards staleness. Perhaps a small cardboard box would work better; one just big enough for the two cups so they don’t slide around at all. And vacuum pack it. I know this will be more expensive. You’ll have to raise the price. Do it! I’d pay double if I knew that I was almost certainly going to get a fresh product. I don’t buy nearly as many of these as I used to, and it’s only because finding a completely fresh, undamaged one is sort of like finding a four-leaf clover.

Finally, you need to print a “best before” date on the packaging. I know you’ll probably lose some money once the product goes past its date, and people no longer want to buy it, but in the long run I’m sure you will gain sales. People will be much more likely to buy your product if they know it’s going to be (reasonably) fresh. Perhaps I’m wrong, though I suspect otherwise.

This is starting to get a bit long, so let’s just say that I think Valomilk is great, but with a few substantial caveats. I’m going to give it three-and-a-half chips; at its best it easily deserves four, but finding a pristine Valomilk is much harder than it should be.

3.5 out of 4

Manufactured by: Russell Sifers Candy Company
Calories (2 cups, 57 g): 260

5 Responses to "Valomilk"

1 | Russ Sifers

November 18th, 2008 at 7:08 pm


Hello Michael,

When we ship our VALOMILKS they are fresh, usually made the same day we ship them. But once they leave our factory we have no control over how they are handled by the distributors or the retail stores. We (and you) are at their mercy. Our wrapping process does not not have the ability to put the “best by” date on the packages. In the future we will.

Leakers are a constant battle with our basically hand made process. Wrapping is not the cause, a 75 year old production process is. We have a new Savage Brothers melter on order that will help us better control our chocolate temperature and tempering process which should result in less leakers.

Russ Sifers

PS - to learn more, visit http://www.VALOMILK.com.

2 | Michael

November 18th, 2008 at 7:37 pm


Thanks for the feedback, Russ! Obviously I’m a big fan of Valomilks or I wouldn’t get so worked up about them. Though it may not do much to fix the leaking problem, I still think better packaging would help to keep the products fresh for a little while longer. That’s not to mention that sturdier packaging would help prevent the cups from getting cracked or crushed, which does happen.

Any plans to have Valomilk sold in Canada?

3 | Russ Sifers

November 19th, 2008 at 5:01 pm


We sell to two distributors who ship into Canada:
McKeesport Candy in McKeesport PA doing retail as CandyFavorites.com and B.A. Sweetie in Cleveland, OH doing retail as GroovyCandies.com. Both are linked on our web site.


4 | acicchetti

February 11th, 2018 at 7:03 am


I work in a store and we’re checking expiration dates the made on date is 71117 when should it have expired

5 | paul.wall@chickasaw.net

March 2nd, 2018 at 1:42 pm


I can understand the LACK of Distribution control…

I TOO love the melty/messy marshmallow, versus the stiffer whip-ups…

a hard and solid expiration does cause problems, because a few WAY TOO LOYAL customers, prefer them Chilled [even frozen during summertime] and we try to accommodate. For me, that’s changes the overall textures…eh.
as a customer, if I knew a “recommended” window of freshness [given normal Room-Temp distribution, display...] it would be a boon.

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Flickr PhotoStream

  • Reese Fudge
  • Reese Fudge - the inside
  • Reese Fudge - the wrapper
  • Reese Fudge - the cups


Candyrageous is a blog about candy. Candy candy candy! (though mostly candy bars.) Here you'll find reviews of various candies, rated out of four.

This blog is maintained by Michael Nusair, who can be reached at michael@candyrageous.com