Taste Test - Cereal snack bars
Gillian McKeith's Living Food Energy Bar (Soil Association approved) (•)
Yikes. An ‘organic superfood bar’ that smells of wicker chairs and is definitely the least tasty on test. It even looks unappetising. It has a fruity, malty, heavy taste. Eating one would have the health advantage of stopping you snacking on something else. Among ingredients are ‘seeds harvested at the peak of enzyme activity’ and 500mg of ‘energy powder’.
Geobar Fairtrade Cranberry & Raisin Cereal Bar (••)
A bendy bar with more chew than substance. The product is bulked out with puffed rice and although the cranberries are the dominant flavour they can't mask the synthetic sweetness. These are worthy (the Fairtrade elements are honey, sugar and raisins), but not very good value. And, incredibly, the list of ingredients runs to 11, count them, 11 lines of text.
Stoats Porridge Oat Bar – White Chocolate and Hazelnut (••••)
The local champion, made by the Stoats guys who sell porridge from vans at farmers’ markets and music festivals. Less a snack bar, more porridge wrapped in cellophane, this is essentially a dry flapjack (minimal syrup) with pleasant bites of nut and a drizzle of chocolate. A good, solid, wholesome bar with lots of oats but it could feed a family of five.
Slow Puck – Slow Pineapple, Fig & Brazil Bar (Southern Alps) (••••)
Health bars and risqué names don’t make an obvious combo, but the Slow Puck is nutty, natural and, well, nice. It’s ‘slow’, supposedly, because the fruit is slow dried. Good, varied textures and lots of simple sweetness from the fruit. It’s also a bit crumbly so eat it somewhere you can retrieve the bits that fall. All of them recognisable. No funny extras.
Eat Natural – Macadamias, Brazils and Apricots (•••)
A brand now widely available with various flavour combinations. Beset by lots of chummy marketing speak (‘just loads of good natural stuff . . . and nothing dodgy’), the product has a decent, natural taste, moist but with a nice crunch from the large nuts. Coconut is the dominant flavour along with brazil and macadamia nuts.
Cadbury’s Brunch Bar – Raisin ( )
It doesn't claim to be healthy, but the word ‘brunch’ and the prominence of oats and raisins in the packaging is trying to hint at something more wholesome. But it's still a chocolate bar. It’s small, it disintegrates instantly in your mouth and it’s overwhelmingly sweet. There is more chocolate in it than anything else, and overall there’s 15g of sugar in a 35g bar. All in all not a healthy option.