Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Review: thinkThin Caramel Fudge High Protein Bar

For better or worse, there is a lot of variety in the nutrition bar aisle at Kroger.  Several months ago, I spotted these thinkThin bars popping up in the aisle and put them on my to-do list for bars to review but kept putting it off in favor of doing countless variations of the same product manufacturers.  Finally on a recent trip to the store, I picked up a couple of these bars to review for $1.25 each and today's review of the thinkThin Caramel Fudge High Protein Bar is the first in that series.  This bar itself comes in at a robust 2.1 ounces (not at all thin) and has 240 calories with a solid twenty grams of protein.  It's also gluten free, sugar free and professes on the label that it is natural, so it's got a lot of good thing going for it.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect prior to opening this bar, so I knew it would be a total surprise and because I have seen tons of these protein bars before, I knew it would either be a soft (or at least an attempt at being soft) protein/whey mixture as the bulk of the bar or a soy/rice crisp mixture.  What this bar had was the former as it was a soft protein/whey mixture that carried an extremely strong smell of the namesake caramel smell.  The chocolate fudge covering of the bar had a very slight smell of chocolate, but nothing about it screamed it's presence from the scent aspect.  One thing that was a definite positive is that when I broke this in half for the picture above, it broke incredibly easily and had a softness to it, which is usually a leading indicator that the bar has a chance at being tasty and obviously that it's also not going to break my teeth.  I wish I could say that about all bar, but sadly, I can't.

That leading indicator of softness net me down here because while this bar was definitely soft and chewy, it really lacked any sort of powerful flavors.  That strong caramel smell from the protein/whey mixture did not really translate to the strength of flavor because while this tasted like caramel, it wasn't a particularly potent taste.  It was almost as if it was an afterthought.  To describe that afterthought caramel, I would say that it was not particularly sweet or salty...it was kind of a burnt caramel taste.  While the caramel flavor was weak, but noticeable, I can't say the same about the chocolate.  It was not even really there in terms of flavor and it seemed that it's only purpose was to coat the bar, add calories and add a different texture to everything.  Other than that, it did nothing.  Basically this bar was hearty and dense with a slight taste of almost caramel.

Buy It or Fly By It?  This isn't a glowing review, but it's also not a wholly negative one either.  I would say that this review was boring to type and that properly reflects the bar.  It wasn't bad or good, it was just boring and that's why it gets a FLY BY IT rating.  If you are hungry and need something to fill you up, this would do the trick.  If you are looking for something that will fill you up and be tasty, look elsewhere.


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