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Balance Bar Review: Chocolate Peanut Butter vs. Honey Peanut

April 20, 2008

Would you rather eat:

Balance Bar: Honey Peanut


Balance Gold: Chocolate Peanut Butter


I’ll help you decide. Find out which bar is better after the break.

The Packaging Under the bars names, it says, “Natural flavor with other natural flavor” …Huh? Someone want to explain that to me? The first ingredient in both bars is “Balance Pro 4 Protein Blend,” which is scary sounding. This immediately lets me know that I’m going to be eating a blended hunk of something, coated with chocolate. Sigh First up is the Honey Peanut…

Balance: Honey Peanut

Balance Bar: Honey Peanut Tagline: Nutrition Energy Bar / High Protein … not a very creative tagline, but informative nonetheless. The Facts: 1.76 oz (50g) 200 calories, 60 from fat, 17g sugar, 15g protein.

The Anatomy When it first hits your tongue, its a little bland tasting, but it’s got enough chopped nuts inside it’s blended-hunk-of-protein center to make it interesting. After eating it, I’m left with a bit of an artificial aftertaste which,… well… i don’t like so much, but have come to accept as sort of the norm with protein bars. Does that make it acceptable? No, not really but the bar is decent enough that I’m willing to forgive it for this. It’s a little crumbly and a little chewy, but not too much of either, creating a nice texture.

Overall: This is one of those, don’t love em, don’t hate em bars That I would eat again but wouldn’t be the first bar I’d reach for off a stocked shelf. Here’s where it sits in my order of preference so far:

Bars I Like: (The top three are actually tied for first)

  1. Clif
  2. Odwalla
  3. Honest Foods
  4. thinkGreen
  5. Zone Perfect
  6. Balance

Bars I do not like:

  1. ProBar
  2. Clif Builder’s
  3. Detour

It just barely makes the cut. Congrats, Balance! Let’s see how your other flavor does…

Balance Gold: Chocolate Peanut Butter

Balance Gold: Chocolate Peanut Butter The facts: 1.76 oz (50g) 210 calories, 60 from fat, 16g sugar and 13g protein

The Packaging The wrapper has a seal on the top that says “New Look! Improved Taste!” It also calls out that it has a Low Glycemic Index (GI), 23 Vitamins & Minerals and No High Fructose Corn Syrup.

The Anatomy This Balance bar is made up of three layers as opposed to the 2 that make up the Honey Peanut. Some might be swayed by this, but I’ve always been a consumer that seeks quality over quantity. There is a layer of chocolate that has the consistency of caramel, but tastes like cheap chocolate syrup. You’d think i’d choose this one over the honey peanut for any addition of chocolate but I’d rather go for the honey peanut. Did I really just pass up the opportunity for extra chocolate? Have I gone bananas? No. The syrupy layer seems to be there more for show than flavor and doesn’t add much of anything to the bar.

And confusingly enough, the base of the Peanut Butter Bar doesn’t taste more peanut buttery than the Honey Peanut. It also doesnt have the chunks of peanuts that I enjoyed in the Honey Peanut Bar. Lame!

The Verdict It seems as though these two bars have been misnamed. The “Balance Gold” line, which includes the Chocolate Peanut Butter sounds like it would be superior, however names prove to mean nothing as the regular Balance Bar defeated it in the taste test. The Honey Peanut has a more dominant peanut butter flavor and a more interesting texture. And no, it’s not just the lesser of two evils. It is alright for a protein bar and I would buy it again.

Buy yourself some at the Balance store.

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