Review Summary: I don’t know that I’ve ever actually used the term, “Melts in your mouth” to describe food, unless literally talking about an MnM, but the other day I had no other choice. I used the term to describe the new CLIF CRUNCH bars from CLIF Bar & Company. Beware that while this new line of bars is delicious, there are a couple of cons. Read on…
Product: CLIF CRUNCH is a new line of crunchy granola bars from CLIF Bar & Company, offering classic and original flavors made with all-natural and organic ingredients. Flavors include Peanut Butter, Honey Oat, Chocolate Chip and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut. We tried all of them.
Cost: CLIF Bar & Company sent me some to review but they were gone in about two days. No joke. Everyone was fighting over them; which rarely happens around here. So we did buy some more at the local store and paid $2.50 per box (5 packs of two bar pouches) on sale which is around 50 cents a pack. Normally they appear to be about $4 a box, or 80 cents per pack. At Amazon, in bulk, I figured they’d cost less, but all the bulk deals I saw worked out to about 58 cents per bar, so I suggest watching for a sale at your local grocer.
Ingredients: Vary by flavor of course. I’m posting the ingredients for Cedar’s two favorite bars, Chocolate Chip and Honey Oat.
Chocolate Chip: Organic Rolled Oats, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Sunflower Oil, Chocolate Chips (Evaporated Cane Juice, Unsweetened Chocolate, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla), Rice Crisp (Rice Flour, Barley Malt Extract, Evaporated Cane Juice, Salt, Calcium Carbonate), Honey, Natural Flavors, Organic Barley Flakes, Organic Rye Flakes, Oat Bran, Oat Fiber, Sea Salt, Inulin (Chicory Extract).
Honey Oat: Organic Rolled Oats, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Sunflower Oil, Rice Crisp (Rice Flour, Barley Malt Extract, Evaporated Cane Juice, Salt, Calcium Carbonate), Honey, Natural Flavors, Organic Barley Flakes, Organic Rye Flakes, Oat Bran, Oat Fiber, Sea Salt, Inulin (Chicory Extract).
Green & healthy benefits:
- 180-190 calories per bar (per various flavors). This is higher than most conventional granola bars on the market. Many granola and snack bars aimed at kids have about 80-100 calories, however, they also lack whole grains, real ingredients like dried fruit and have fewer vitamins. CLIF CRUNCH weighs in with a few more calories because they’re more nutritious, containing one full serving of organic whole grains made up of oats, barley and rye, providing a good source of fiber, 4 grams of protein and other vitamins. Using a calorie comparison is like comparing white bread to whole wheat.
- No high fructose corn syrup, no hydrogenated oils and no artificial flavors.
- Each CLIF ZBaR contains 7 grams of whole grains and 3 grams of total fiber from oats, which is as many whole grains as found in ¼ cup brown rice or cooked barley and twice the fiber.
- Non-GMO sourced ingredients.
- CLIF CRUNCH wrappers can be up-cycled and turned into new consumer products through CLIF’s relationship with TerraCycle.
- CLIF CRUNCH net sales contribute to 1% for the Planet.
- Full disclosure – the company lists ingredients at their website, on the boxes and on individual bar packaging.
- Clif Bar & Company has many eco-friendly perks as a company and very few cons. Learn more about Clif Bar & Company in general.
What we think:
The whole darn family liked these bars. That includes Cedar, Dave, Dave’s two girls and me. I wasn’t surprised that Dave and Cedar liked them. They love most granola bars and energy bars. The girls however have healthy eating issues and usually avoid granola bars or anything that looks like a healthy snack, and as a rule, I don’t eat bar anything. Usually when reviewing bar products, like CLIF Kid Organic ZBaR I’ll taste them, but just so I can weigh in on the review. I just don’t eat bars as snacks or anything. However, these bars taste 100% amazing.
Dave and Cedar loved them mad style, gushing about them more than other bars we tested. The girls chomped them down as if they were potato chips. AND low and behold, I’ve eaten three whole packs this last two weeks myself. Three. That’s more whole granola bars in total than I’ve eaten in the last few years.
Everyone loved all the flavors with Cedar weighing in that Chocolate Chips and Honey Oat are best but so is Peanut Butter. Dave likes all the flavors too, but says the, “White Chocolate Macadamia Nut is amazing!” The girls and me agreed with Cedar, although to be fair I didn’t get a chance to try the Peanut Butter because I’m pretty sure Cedar ate all of them.
I’m not sure how they make these bars (magic?) but most crunchy granola bars taste like TOO MUCH honey or they’re too sweet or too filling and the texture sucks. The big issue with crunchy granola bars is that you have to chew and chew and chew and crunch, crunch, crunch forever. These new CLIF CRUNCH bars really do sort of melt in your mouth. I have no idea how they do it. They’re not hard like rocks but sort of crispy crunchy. CLIF notes, “Our special blend of organic whole grains and rice crisps also creates a lighter-textured crunch than other bars.” Maybe it’s the rice crisps? I don’t know but I love them.
Were there any negatives?
- The lamest thing is that these bars aren’t 100% organic. CLIF makes 100% organic products, like their CLIF Kid Organic ZBaR, but these are only 70% organic, which is cool, but I really wish they were 100%. Note that they’re 70% certified organic which still means real organic though – visit my post about the USDA Organic label to learn more.
- Kind of messy. These are crumbly, which makes them less than perfect for at a work desk; or so Dave relates. Cedar found them messy too, but said he’s good using a bowl if we can just buy more please.
- These contain soy and macadamia nuts and may contain traces of peanuts, other tree nuts, wheat and dairy, making them inappropriate for folks with allergies.
- I think you can make less expensive granola bars at home – although how you might get them to taste this good, I have no clue.
- Overall, people at my house maybe liked these bars TOO much. I think if we got into a habit of buying them for snacks, we might never stop. Since one of our green goals is to cut out more food packaging, that won’t work for us. I’m pretty sure I’ll buy these once in a while, but not too often, but only because of our goal, not based on quality.
4 out of 5 little trees. I took off one point because they’re not 100% organic. I normally would have taken off another half point for packaging, but one, the box can be entirely recycled and the wrappers can be recycled with TerraCycle. Also, the incredible taste of CLIF CRUNCH outweighs the minor cons. I’ve never found such a tasty bar, not ever.
- Buy CLIF CRUNCH bars.
- Visit the Clif Bar & Company website.
- Join Clif Bar & Company on Facebook.
- Read their blog.