Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Review: Nature Valley Cinnamon Brown Sugar Soft-Baked Oatmeal Squares

It's not exactly a dirty little secret that companies like to copy each other, especially in the food industry.  If one company finds a recipe for success, so to speak, then another company will copy it and market it under their own label.  It appears as if that is what General Mills is doing with this Nature Valley Cinnamon Brown Sugar Soft-Baked Oatmeal Squares obviously being a clone of the Quaker line of soft-baked oatmeal squares.  It's funny actually, because who knew that oatmeal squares were something that the market was just so desperate for?  Clearly I didn't, but the snack time people at my work must have known as this was another free product offering.  This square bar itself comes in at 1.24 ounces and has 150 calories and two grams of protein.

Unsurprisingly, as I took this out of the wrapper, I was able to quickly ascertain that this bar was soft.  Wow, I amaze myself sometimes.  Smart alack comments aside, the bar itself is made up of the traditional bread-ish products along with some dried oatmeal pieces, cinnamon and brown sugar in the mix.  Notable is the smell of the brown sugar as it is strong and wonderful, in addition to that same brown sugar giving the bar quite a sticky texture.  The bar is then topped with a molasses icing, so with that and the brown sugar, it was pretty easy to infer that this bar would be soft.

Inferences are often wrong and in this case, mine was too.  This square wasn't particularly sweet at all.  In fact, despite the presence of so many sweet ingredients, the bar had more of a cinnamon flavor that hit right at the front end of the bite and provided a slight bit of heat.  The sweetness from the brown sugar and molasses really didn't hit until the end of each soft and chewy bite.  The molasses did nothing to bring any additional sweetness to this bar and after expecting something that would be powerfully sweet, I ended up with something that was definitively tame.  Odd.  Still, despite the sweetness being tame, this was a particularly flavorful bar that while not delivering a lot of strong flavor, at least delivered some flavor to begin with.

Buy It or Fly By It?  I wasn't overwhelmed by this bar, but it was still a tasty snack and I would certainly recommend it to others, meaning it gets a BUY IT rating.  When stacked up against the Quaker version, I can't really say one is any better than the other, but like the Quaker versions, this one delivers something that makes for a more than passable snack.



  1. I havn't tried these yet but I like the peanut butter ones. They taste really good if you heat them in the microwave for 8-10 seconds. It really makes them taste like a brownie or some kind of dessert.

  2. I love all nature valley products. The peanut butter cookies are great for breakfast or a snack with milk.

  3. The fiber one cinnamon coffee cake is softer than the Nature Valley ones. Nature Valley ones are hard and more calories than Fiber One which is only 90 calories. I like the Fiber One much better, softer and tastier. Nature Valley ones would be a pass for me.


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