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Clif Builder's: Peanut Butter Bar Review

March 28, 2008

clif builders

Tagline: Cocoa Dipped Double Decker Crisp Bar. The Entirely Natural Protein Bar.

Well, I like the sound of that tagline, so we’re off to a good start. Having confidence when tasting protein bars is key, since some of them can be quite nasty.

While Clif Bar packaging may not be the most attractive in the world, I really enjoy that it has a little pep talk on the back of each bar. There’s a little story on the back about how working out is tough on your body and that’s why the Builder’s Bar is “an entirely natural protein bar for those who put their own body ‘through the wringer’.” Gary, the owner of Clif bar makes you feel like he and his bar are there for you. How nice of them!

I tend to like Clif Bars so off the bat I am a little biased. They might be the bar I eat the most often. I’m curious how this one stacks up to the rest of their collection. But the proof is in the pudding, or bar in this case. It’s a filling 2.4 oz (68g) bar with 270 calories, 70 from fat, 20g sugar and 20g of protein. They make sure to call out the large amount of protein in giant text on the front of the package, and why not? 20g is a lot. A bite into the bar shows that their description, “a double decker bar” is accurate. It is divided in half by a top layer of some sort of peanut butter soy protein blend and a crispier bottom layer.

For a second there, there’s something nice going on in your mouth, different textures, sweet chocolate with less sweet peanut butter, but then the chocolate disappears and the peanut butter / soy / protein chunk is left there, and naked and on it’s own, it’s just not so good. It feels like the chocolate is there simply to shield and prepare you for the overwhelming sandy chunk of peanut butter flavored soy that lies beneath.

I’m left with an artificial, chalky aftertaste and little grains in my mouth that coat my teeth a bit- kind of like i just chewed on a bar that had sand mixed in. The chocolate flavor is present in every bite, but the peanut butter flavor throughout is marred by the grainy protein. It says it’s natural but it doesn’t taste natural. My stomach also feels a bit heavy after eating it and like my tastebuds, it doesn’t appreciate the overwhelming amount of protein.

It sounds like they took on more protein than they could handle in this bar and I’m overwhelmed with a mealy soy flavor. Which leaves me to wonder why, if Clif Bar has the ability to make a delicious bar (I rave all the time about their other line of Clif Bars) why did they go ahead and market this mess? I just don’t understand these protein bar makers and their need to serve up blended hunks of long named ingredients. How do they start with natural ingredients and end up with that? It’s just a shame.

I’m sad to report that this is a step down for Clif. It may have more protein than the regular line of Clif Bars that are my standby, but I find the originals to be far superior.

clif builder's peanut butter bar

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