by Nang Theint Hanni

A new semester back at NUS Law meant more modules to be conquered, more competitions to audition for, and a new culinary selection to fuel us on these pursuits — and I’m not talking about a new stall at the Summit. (Obviously.)

Those of us making our weary trek to our first lectures of the semester would’ve seen some colourful new additions to the Level Three vending machines. MrBeast, in all his Youtube altruism and dramatics, has sent his Feastables chocolate bars all the way to sunny Singapore and its law schools. Why exactly the BTC vending machines have been stocked with the chocolate is hard to say, especially with the eye-watering price tags (almost $17 for a bundle of three full-sized bars).

After briefly considering starting a MrBeast interest group so I wouldn't have to cover the cost myself, this writer incurred mild debt so that we may finally answer the question: is MrBeast chocolate any good?

At the time this good old-fashioned taste test was carried out (8 February), the flavour Deez Nutz was not yet stocked in our machines. (Interestingly, and of relevance to us at BTC, MrBeast had lost a legal battle to Florida-based snack company Dee's Nuts, losing branding rights to Deez Nutz. Deez Nutz would eventually mysteriously show up in our vending machines anyway.)

But no matter, here is a synthesis of some students’ rankings of the flavours Original Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, and Crunch:

Sample size: big enough. It’s chocolate.

Clearly, Crunch – which is milk chocolate with puffed rice – reigned supreme as the popular flavour. Maybe we have some desperation for CrunchTM after having our brains turned into mush every day at school. (Just me?)

Note: “organic chocolate liquor” is apparently a name for unsweetened baking chocolate.

Or maybe it’s that the chocolate is so simple in its composition that the puffed rice is a much-welcomed addition. The Bars seem to set themselves apart from others on the market with the simplicity of their ingredients list. Original, Milk, and Crunch have merely 4, 5 and 6 ingredients respectively, and maybe it shows in the taste:

"It's quite nice, but there are better chocolates out there.”

“Honestly…it’s really mid.”

“Obviously overhyped.”

“It kinda tastes like Cadbury?” (Four people said this. So did this online review.)

Personally, the idea of MrBeast creating organic, better-for-you chocolate is very amusing to me. This is after all a man who opened a restaurant that pays you to eat at it. But hey, don’t judge a chocolate-maker by his Youtube thumbnails, right? To better understand the MrBeast psyche, Justified reached out to a non-NUS member of the law fraternity, who is a self-proclaimed MrBeast fan.

“I never expected myself to be a MrBeast fan. However, he really is a Youtuber you can switch on with your head empty and expect to laugh and be amazed by his discoveries and games! Which is highly appreciated when most of your brain juices have been exhausted upon a hundred pages of readings. Unfortunately, he does pander a lot to maximalism and capitalism to reel in the views. More unfortunately, it is primally satisfying to watch. To justify my viewership, please be assured that he does use his clout for charity a lot of the times!”

Perhaps that is exactly what this venture means to MrBeast (real name “Jimmy”): a lucrative stream of income based on yet another addictive formula. Though it seems that for his audience, the aftertaste of self-loathing (be it from binge-watching or binge-eating) is overpowered this time not by zany altruism, but by a disarmingly healthy snack.

Because as overpriced and underwhelming as it may have seemed for our taste testers, the chocolate has certainly reeled in some long-term initiates, including the Justified editor charged with reviewing this article:

They shall not be named. 

MrBeast is far from the first Youtube creator to launch a line of products ostensibly unrelated to his content (ie. not merchandise, nothing based on his image or a running joke). Veteran Youtuber nigahiga’s beverage brand Ninja Melk was releasing new flavours even amidst his upload hiatus; not to mention the Prime energy drink founded by Logan Paul and KSI. (Which, according to one taste tester, pairs well with MrBeast chocolate.)  

While consumable products have been largely uncontroversial thus far, previous Youtuber side-hustles have raised a variety of concerns relating to quality and authenticity, as creators leverage fans’ obsessions to inflate prices without necessarily delivering. Beyond borderline scamming buyers, Youtubers also exacerbate the issue of over-consumption when they come up with products whose only novelty is being associated with them, but that avid fans will buy in bulk anyway.

As a creator who regularly clocks video views in the millions, one can’t help but suspect that MrBeast’s tasty new creation might be one such cash-grab. After all, it was not that long ago that he was making burgers.

When asked about this, our consultant MrBeast fan had this to say: “Well, he is an entrepreneur who just has the rarer privilege of tapping into a pre-existing, ginormous market base (his audience). I don't think it's a particularly insidious undertaking because a man has to earn his money. Don't hate the game, hate the system, and chocolate is one of the relatively harmless products you can sell (I am not a diehard Beast fan and have not checked on its manufacturing origins). So no, I don't think it's too awful a venture.”

Additionally, MrBeast claims to regularly make losses on the videos he posts on his main channel, so maybe the chocolate simply enables him to keep making quality, charitable content. Like a struggling actor waiting tables in Hollywood.

If that’s the case, Deez Nutz and gang represent a rather noble endeavour indeed — one that we can perhaps support once in a while with our choice of mid-lecture snack.

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