As I've lamented on the blog, it's that time of year for pumpkin-flavored products and why shouldn't Zone Perfect add to their review collection with a pumpkin-flavored product too? It's only fitting since everyone else is doing it. So, I saw this limited edition Zone Perfect Perfectly Simple Pumpkin Chai Bar on sale at my local Kroger for $1.00 and snatched it up to once again be over pumpkined. This bar comes in at 1.41 ounces and has 180 calories with ten grams of protein. It's also gluten free, so there's that going for it too (besides its seasonality).
Even though the pumpkin flavor profile is definitely overplayed, I will give all of these manufacturers credit that they all come up with different ways to present it to the consumer. In this case, Zone Perfect decided to incorporate pumpkin seeds and also white chocolate chips. Obviously pumpkin seeds are part of the pumpkin and that make sense to include them (although it is a first for me, I believe), but I don't think I've ever seen white chocolate chips included in a mix. That was a new twist and a very welcome one since I personally am a big fan of them. Both of those were spread amply throughout the bar and both had a very noticeable smell with a salty smell coming from the seeds and a sweet sugary smell coming from the chips and also the brown sugar that was mixed in. Also spread throughout the bar were some barely noticeable tiny pecans and sprinkles of cinnamon. The rest of the bar was just a standard mix of crisps and other materials that typically make up one of these bars.
When I took my first bite, my initial observation was that this had the texture of a soft oatmeal-type bar. I liked that because it not only made it chewy, but I very much enjoy that type of bar. My next observation was that this bar alternated between sweet and salty with a small punch of heat at the end. It was hitting everywhere. The heat was at the very end of each bite and it lingered slightly, although it didn't have a chance to linger too long because the saltiness from the pumpkin seeds packed quite a punch. Also packing quite a punch, but not nearly as much of one, was the sweetness coming from the three different sweet sources: white chocolate chips, brown sugar and of course pumpkin. Other than the soft chewiness and that punch of flavor, there's not much else to say other than the chips and seeds added a slight degree of graininess to this.
Buy It or Fly By It? There were some flaws to this bar like they could have made it sweeter or they could have made it saltier, etc., but in general, this was a bar that I enjoyed eating. That enjoyment gets it a BUY IT rating. It isn't the best pumpkin player out there and it's more salty than sweet, but it's one that I wouldn't mind putting in my pumpkin lineup frequently