Kroger Slim Rite Chocolate Meal Replacement Shake (Kroger)

A closed tub of Kroger Slim Rite Chocolate Meal Replacement Shake
A good, albeit rather standard, chocolate replacement shake.

If anything, I'm always trying to gain why in the hell would I even care about meal replacement shakes? After all, their main purpose is for dieters to cut back on the amount of food they eat, by replacing one meal per day, with one of these vitamin-riddled beverages. Thus, you get a load of “good” nutrients, but without the potential for added cholesterols, fats, and other unwanted additives that a large meal can provide. 

So then what could they possibly do for a guy like me? I've mentioned it before in previous meal replacement reviews, but for those of you new to this blog, I'll fill you in right quick: laziness. Sometimes, I get so caught up in parenting, or my own head, that I completely forget to eat. (Or, a more realistic reason is sometimes we have nothing in the house worth eating and I'm either unable to leave, or just don't want to.) Pair this up with my new work schedule—which eliminates a paid break for snacking—and that means I have even less time in the day to remember to eat. While actual food is always preferred, I figure it's best to get some kind of nutrition as opposed to none at all—and that's why I like having some kind of meal replacement shakes on hand at any given time. It gives me some peace of mind that I can at least get something in my tummy to keep me going long enough until I can get some real food. And for anyone with a three-year-old can attest, a lot of energy is needed to be able to keep up and make it through a full day.

Prepwork for these is pretty standard: add one leveled scoop per 8 ounces of milk, stir, and voila! Meal in a cup. The taste is pretty chocolatey and pretty good; it's a rather standard flavor for these kinds of drinks that tastes pretty similar to chocolate milk, and should go down easy for most people. There is a weird “wooden” kind of aftertaste that hits the back of the throat occasionally, but that seems to be fairly normal, as I've gotten the same aftertaste with other chocolate-flavored powdered substances. Overall, it's immediately drinkable and an easy way to get some vitamins and minerals on the go.

The thing I don't like about this is that, no matter how long or hard I stir, there always seems to be a huge clump of leftover chocolate that sits at the top, creating a kind of chocolate foam that is pretty unappetizing on its own. The first couple of times it happened, I just assumed that I had used too much powder (or too little milk), but no matter how I adjust the ratio, it still happens. It's pretty frustrating, considering if I use too little, the milk is lightly flavored, but there's still enough stupid mix collected at the top to perfectly flavor it; apparently, just no way to actually get it into the liquid to do so.

I thought it was still just me, because let's be honest here: I'm an idiot, especially around the kitchen, something my wife likes to remind me from time to time. However, she also had a couple servings, and the exact same thing happened to her—and let's just say that woman can stir, fold, knead, whisk...if it's a talent that can be used in the kitchen, she can do it, and do it well. So it's really just a flaw in the actual product itself, which might help to explain why rather large containers of the stuff were marked down 50% on clearance. (No, it surprisingly has nothing to do with the expiration date, as these expire in July, 2021—almost a year out from when my wife bought it for me.)

That means I got a large 13 oz. tub for just $1.49. Even at its regular price of $2.99 there are a lot of servings in here, but halving the price means that I managed to get even more for less which, lest you forget, is one of the main focuses behind this blog.

Overall: 7.5/10. I'd probably deduct half-a-star if I bought this at full price, but getting it for half-off makes it feel like an outrageous steal. The taste is pretty average for a chocolate powdered product, but that's not a complaint: it's delightfully sweet, fairly akin to chocolate milk, but with the added benefit of vitamins and minerals—needless to say it goes down almost too easy. The worst thing about it is that, no matter how long or hard you mix it, there's always a clump of chocolate powder that sits at the top of the glass. I thought this was due to adding too much at first, but it happened no matter how much or little I added, and did the exact same thing to my wife—it's kind of dumb, considering you have to add more than you typically want to get a good chocolate flavor, and then just waste the huge glob of rather unappetizing chocolate that accumulates at the top. If it weren't for this issue, we might be looking at a top-tier product; instead, it will have to settle for being “really good” instead.