Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Review: Sunbelt Bakery Golden Almond Chewy Granola Bars

Sunbelt Bakery is a product manufacturer that I found out about by accident.  I had never heard of them until one day they were passing out some of their granola bars in my office snack time and that led to a prior review.  Since then, I've seen their products in several stores and on a recent stroll through Walmart, I saw what I deemed to be a crazy good deal where I could get a box of ten of these Sunbelt Bakery Golden Almond Chewy Granola Bars for $2.00.  Each box in the bar is 1.0 ounces and has 130 calories with a minimal two grams of protein.  Sunbelt Bakery's whole spiel is that they have bakery-fresh taste, so I'll obviously put that claim to the test.

Honey and almonds are wonderful and seeing a bar that proclaimed those as the two main ingredients ("Golden" in the name stands for honey, obviously) kind of excited me.  When I took this bar out of the wrapper, I was decidedly less excited as it just looked like a typical granola bar and unless I took a deep look, I really didn't see many almonds at all.  The ones I did see were exceptionally tiny and that was wholly disappointing.  Also, the honey part of the bar was virtually non-existent as well in terms of touch, look and smell.  I understand that honey would be difficult to see when mixed into a granola bar, but is it out of line to expect the bar to smell like honey or at least be sticky like honey?  I don't think that's out of line, but this bar had neither of those characteristics, so that was disappointing as well.

Before I took my first bite, I was already inclined to be disappointed with this one and truth be told, I really was not disappointed.  In fact, I was kind of pleased with one aspect of the bar and that was the almond flavor.  Based on their lack of presence visually, I wasn't expecting much.  Instead, what I got was a bar that had a distinct almond taste and not only was that unexpected, but it was also quite tasty as it added a bit of a different flavor to the standard tasting granola that was chewy with the occasional textural difference from the almond.  The one thing that was still missing, unfortunately, was the honey flavor as it was still nowhere to be found.  Outside of that positive almond taste, there's not much else to say here as this was pretty basic.

Buy It or Fly By It?  I can say one thing without question here...this did not taste like it was bakery-fresh like Sunbelt Bakery proclaimed.  That said, it really wasn't a bad bar and the fact that the granola and almonds were tasty enough to be passable earns this a BUY IT rating.  Also, the fact that I was able to get these at the dirt cheap rate of $2.00 was definitely a positive mark in their column, although I'm sure Walmart had more to do with that than Sunbelt Bakery, especially since the box had a suggested retail price of $2.69 stamped on it.  LOL, way to go in cutting prices for your customers Walmart!


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