Monday, March 7, 2011

Product Review: You Bar - customized nutrition bars

Recently I purchased a Groupon for You Bar. I thought it was a neat idea to make your own customized nutrition bars. This is especially true when you’ve got kids with multiple food allergies that require more specialized ingredients. So, I gave them a try. I created a bar for my kids and I just got the box a couple of days ago. Here is what’s in the bars:

Organic dates, sunflower seed butter, organic clover honey, organic rice protein, cherries, organic coconut, crunchy rice cereal, cocoa, chia seeds, hemp seeds, all-in-one vitamin infusion, cinnamon.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories                145
Fat Cal                  53
Total Fat               6g
Sat Fat                  2g
Cholest                 0mg
Sodium                 36mg
Total Carb            19g
Fiber                     4g
Sugars                  12g
Protein                 5g

I have not been compensated for this review, but You Bar, if you're willing to pay me, I'm willing to accept! Here are my impressions:
1.       It’s a really cool idea!
2.       There are lots of ingredients to choose from so you can truly make a custom creation to your liking. For instance, you can try cashew butter as a base, organic soy protein as a non-dairy form of protein, add in organic flaxseed and organic goji berries, pump it up with a fiber infusion, sweeten with organic agave nectar, and make it fun with organic cacao nibs and granola.
3.       Their ingredients have redeeming nutritional value.
4.       They’re not too sweet and they have a respectable amount of protein and fiber.
5.       They have no preservatives and are made fresh, just for you.
6.       You get to name your bar and have the name printed on the labels. I called my creation Fish Food. 
7.       As you create your bar, the nutrition information is visible with each step so you can see what effects different ingredients have on the nutrition of the bar.
8.       When you have ingredients you like, they taste good. Prince Charming loved them and Monkey thought they were just okay. Oh well, you can't win 'em all.
9.       You can easily re-order your custom creation or you can sign up for their recurring order program and have the bars automatically shipped to you at specific intervals.
10.   They guarantee their products with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. They will make you a brand new order for free if you are unhappy with your bars.
1.       They are not allergy-free. It says right on the package that the bars may contain traces of milk, eggs, soy, wheat, tree nuts and peanuts. This is a big problem for lots of people. Since my boys do not have super severe allergies, we decided to give it a try anyway.
2.       They are expensive. This is why I didn’t buy these prior to using the Groupon. They are convenient and nutritious but are expensive, especially when you add in shipping costs. For example, I pulled information from their Popular Bars section to give you an idea. A medium box of their Variety Pack bars (quantity 13) costs $32.37. When I added this item to the shopping cart and put in a shipping address, the cost was $8.22 via their cheapest mode of transport. That brings a total cost per bar to $3.12. That’s a bit steep for my budgetary comfort, especially when the bars are only 35 grams in size and may have trace allergens in them.
As you can see, there are lots more positives than there are negatives. However, for me to do repeat business with them the cons would need to change significantly. If they could develop an allergy-free manufacturing process and lower the price while they were at it, I’m sure I would buy them again. At this moment, I can’t justify another purchase. It was certainly a fun experiment and was worth the reduced price that I paid. What do you think about You Bar?   
Prince Charming couldn't wait!
Monkey trying the bars.

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