So I've always considered Zone Perfect to be kind of like CLIF in that they have countless variations of their products and I've reviewed many of them. They semi-recently introduced a new variation of bars called "Perfectly Simple" bars that have a premise of being produced with a very limited number of ingredients. Always curious and also always looking for free stuff, I picked up this Zone Perfect Perfectly Simple Peanut Crunch Bar for free via a promotion on the Zone Perfect website. It's 1.58 ounces, 190 calories and has ten grams of protein. Since it is Perfectly Simple, it consists of only six ingredients and those ingredients include peanut butter, cane syrup, soy protein isolate, date paste, rolled oats and coconut. Outside of soy protein isolate, all of those ingredients sound pretty benign and boring to me, but boring does not always mean bad.
Busting into the packaging of this and taking the bar out revealed that the Perfectly Simple line refers not only to the ingredients in this bar but also the look of the bar as well. It was very spartan its appearance in that the oat bits were visible in the peanut butter puree, but that's about all that this bar entailed. It was sticky to the touch, was soft and pliable when broken in half and also contained a nice, but not strong aroma of peanut butter. Outside of that, there's not a whole lot more to see or write about. It is what it is.
In terms of flavor, the it is what it is description pretty much applies as well. The bar tastes like peanut butter with a bit of dryness and graininess from the oats to break up the peanut butter taste. The peanut butter itself was hearty and not particularly sweet, so if you are looking for sweet, this is not an option. The oats broke up the texture of the bar, but outside of that didn't add any real flavor, not that I expected them too. As for the supposed presence of coconut, well, I didn't taste it at all. I'll take Zone Perfect's word for it that they were in there and perhaps coconut pieces are what gave this bar its grainy feel, but they certainly did not give any taste.
Buy It or Fly By It? This bar was not bad, but it was just blah. It was so blah that I really have only one complaint and that is that I wish it was less dry and had a bit more moistness so that it was easier to chew. Outside of that, this bar promised peanut (butter) flavoring and that's what I got. There's nothing wrong with that and sometimes I crave peanut butter, so this bar filling that craving is what compels me to give this a BUY IT rating. This one's not going to win any awards, but it is good enough and worth eating if you are in a pinch or need your peanut butter fix.