Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Review: Zone Perfect Chocolate Caramel Cluster Bar

It amuses me how Kroger's Free Friday Download promotion has re-opened my eyes to products that I haven't looked at in a long time because I thought I had covered everything and don't bother to look anymore.  For example, I haven't done a Zone Perfect review in seemingly forever, which is funny since they were a big part of the blog in its early days.  When I went and look at the review archives, I saw that I did a couple reviews nearly a year ago and prior to that, it was all in January 2013 and prior.  So, to say that I'm in a bit of Zone Perfect drought would be an understatement.  Anyway, today ends that drought as the free download forced me to find a flavor that I had missed and never looked at before with this Zone Perfect Chocolate Caramel Cluster Bar.  The bar is 1.76 ounces and has 210 calories with fourteen grams of protein.

Before I even started looking at this closely, I was met with a smell of chocolate, caramel and peanut butter and since those are three of my favorite things, I was immediately delighted with this bar.  After I got over the wonderful smell, I started taking a closer look at this bar and as you can see, it's got a milk chocolate exterior coating and a soy crisp interior that has a thin layer of caramel separating it from the milk chocolate robe.  That soy crisp mix is then bound together with peanut butter, so there's another mark in the positive column.  I'll admit that I'm not the world's biggest fan of bars that are primarily soy crisp mixes, but since this had so much else going for it in terms of the main ingredients, I was not deterred by the appearance.

I will say that my first bite of this was a little tough to get at because the soy crisp mix is so tough.  That said, once I wrestled off that first piece, it did become quite chewy, so that was nice.  It kind of became gummy like I was eating regular peanut butter, which makes sense since this is bound together by peanut butter!  What was also quite nice was the flavor of this as I could detect the presence of all the big three (chocolate, caramel and peanut butter) and all were quite strong and decadent.  The milk chocolate was mildly flavored, but the caramel and peanut butter had strong flavor.  The caramel was gooey and very sweet and the peanut butter brought some additional richness and heartiness.  All in all, while this bar was quite sweet, it wasn't too sweet in my mind.

Buy It or Fly By It?  This was absolutely delicious and is one that I could eat often, so it gets a BUY IT rating.  It's a nice welcome back to the blog for Zone Perfect with this sweet treat.  Now, I will give the warning that while this wasn't too sweet for me since I enjoy things that are very sweet, it may be too sweet for some.  Just a heads-up in case you see this on the shelf and are thinking of taking the plunge and making the purchase.


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