Monday, March 5, 2012

Review: Marathon powered by Snickers Smart Stuff Crunchy Chocolate Crisp Bar

Any time you see a product in the stores that is going for the health market that carries the Snickers brand name, you kind of privately (excuse the pun) snicker to yourself.  The enemy candy bar of every health food addict/expert in the world trying to enter the market.  Well, Mars Company is trying to do just, despite the fact that they are trying to become health friendly by limiting their typical candy bars to less than 250 calories starting in 2013.  In my previous Marathon powered by Snickers review of their Chewy Peanut Butter Energy Bar, I actually found it to be quite good, albeit a bit costly.  With that as my basis I was intrigued to try out this Smart Stuff Crunchy Chocolate Crisp Bar that I found in the aisles at CVS recently for $0.99.  It's 1.23 ounces and comes in with 140 calories and five grams of protein.  The packaging says that it has no artificial flavors or colors, so I guess that throws a bone to the health experts, right?

Looking at this one, it looks nothing like a Snickers candy bar or even a candy bar for that matter.  It looks like your standard rice crisp bar.  It's got a chocolate base layer that is then topped with your typical rice crisp/oat mix.  For coloring, they've apparently added in some chocolate powder (it has a strong scent) to make it more chocolatey.  Outside of that, they've also added in some fairly large almond chunks and some barely noticeable chocolate chips, so I guess their thought is that this will make typical rice crisp even crunchier.

As I bit into this, I was surprised by how much the chocolate base layer tasted EXACTLY like the chocolate used in a classic Snickers bar.  It was both sweet and thick, just like the candy bar.  I guess this is where the "powered by" part of the name comes from.  As for the rice crisp, it was pretty much standard stuff, although it was harder to chew than the rice crisp mixes that I've dealt with in other bars.  The almonds and chocolate chips certainly made it crunchier, but their flavor was not really noticeable.  In fact, the only flavor you could taste in this entire bar was the Snickers chocolate and then the chew of the rice crisp.

Buy It or Fly By It?  BUY IT, especially at $0.99.  It's not a huge bar, but any time you can make a "healthy" energy bar that has the chocolate of a Snickers bar and the near taste of a Snickers bar in rice crisp form, you've got a winner.  I guess using the Snickers chocolate is what makes it the "Smart Stuff" that is in the products name.


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