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Fruity Cereal Bars

Tried and Tasted: Fruity Cereal Bars

The idea of cereal bars seems neatly expressed by what they try to be: all the goodness of cereals and fruit crushed together into a handy bar form. But, with accusations of too much sugar, salt and fat, producing a truly healthy, tasty cereal bar doesn't seem quite as easy.

The cereal bar market is always well stocked and the Taste Team have crammed as many brands as they could find into this test.

 

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Kellogg's Special K Bliss Raspberry & Chocolate

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Hard to say whether this would still have won without the Taste Team's legendary love of chocolate. The raspberry and chocolate do work well together. Though the strong aftertaste is not very refreshing.

  Per 22g Bar Per 100g
CALORIES 88kcal 399kcal
CARBS 16.0g 74.0g
FAT 2.0g 10.0g
SODIUM 0.05g 0.25g
PROTEIN 0.9g 4.0g
FIBRE 0.9g 4.0g

 

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Alpen Light Summer Fruits

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Doesn't stand up to much chewing but the tanginess lingers for a while. Charmed the testers with a gentle fruity flavour that's not overpowering. Could be too Light and not filling enough.

  Per 21g Bar Per 100g
CALORIES 59kcal 283kcal
CARBS 11.9g 56.9g
FAT 0.8g 3.6g
SODIUM 0.05g 0.22g
PROTEIN 1.2g 5.8g
FIBRE 4.7g 22.5g

 

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Fitnesse Strawberry

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A bit of a guilty pleasure for the taste team. Here it is near the top of the list yet most people commented on the sticky, sickly, overly-sweet, manufactured taste. Like a pop band made by Disney. Dipped in sugar.

  Per 23.5g Bar Per 100g
CALORIES 90kcal 382kcal
CARBS 17.5g 74.5g
FAT 1.7g 7.0g
SODIUM 0.1g 0.4g
PROTEIN 1.2g 5.2g
FIBRE 0.9g 3.7g

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Marks & Spencer COU Peach & Raspberry

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Stretching the opinion gamut all the way from "fine" to "a bit bland" even the bright yellow bits failed to get too much attention. Fairly unremarkable, though some could find them too small or too artificial.

  Per 20g Bar Per 100g
CALORIES 75kcal 360kcal
CARBS 16.4g 81.8g
FAT 0.3g 1.6g
SODIUM 0.05g 0.24g
PROTEIN 0.9g 4.6g
FIBRE 0.6g 3.1g

 

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Asda Good For You! Cranberry & Raspberry

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Interesting flavour: you might say 'intangible', you might say 'vague'. For some too gooey; for others too dry. Scored firmly down the middle by the panel.

  Per 25g Bar Per 100g
CALORIES 88kcal 351kcal
CARBS 19.3g 77.0g
FAT 0.6g 2.5g
SODIUM 0.05g 0.2g
PROTEIN 1.3g 5.0g
FIBRE 0.8g 3.3g

 

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You Are What You Eat Cool Cranberry

A nice chewy bar with good fruity flavour. However, the lasting impression for many was a slightly odd aftertaste that's far from 'Cool'.

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  Per 25g Bar Per 100g
CALORIES 84kcal 335kcal
CARBS 17.3g 69.0g
FAT 1.4g 5.5g
SODIUM 0.03g 0.1g
PROTEIN 0.6g 2.4g
FIBRE 0.8g 3.0g

 

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Go Ahead Almond, Raisin & Cranberry

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A rich, heavy taste of raisins creates a sticky, liquorice-like bar. You barely notice the almonds. A mixed response from the judges.

  Per 30g Bar Per 100g
CALORIES 117kcal 391kcal
CARBS 19.6g 65.2g
FAT 3.4g 11.4g
SODIUM trace 0.1g
PROTEIN 2.0g 6.8g
FIBRE 1.3g 4.2g

 

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Tesco Healthy Living Cranberry & Blackcurrant

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You can taste the sweetness before taking your first bite and it can seem quite artificial. The cereal just seems like a means to hold the sweet jam-like fruit bits together. Very sweet.

  Per 25g Bar Per 100g
CALORIES 90kcal 345kcal
CARBS 18.6g 74.2g
FAT 0.7g 2.6g
SODIUM 0.1g 0.2g
PROTEIN 1.3g 5.0g
FIBRE 1.4g 5.7g

 

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Jordans Multigrain Cranberry & Raspberry

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The biggest bar in the test was quite filling and fruity but seemed to lack flair. Could take some effort to get through the dry, packing material-like texture, but it wasn't making much of an effort of its own.

  Per 37g Bar Per 100g
CALORIES 134kcal 364kcal
CARBS 26.4g 71.3g
FAT 2.4g 6.6g
SODIUM trace trace
PROTEIN 1.8g 4.8g
FIBRE 1.8g 4.8g

 

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Sainsbury's BGTY Honey, Nut, Fruit and Seed

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Dividing opinions the most this month; there just happened to be slightly more who hated it. Whilst some praised its natural-tasting nuttiness and consistency, for others it was too slimey and had an odd "squelch" when bitten.

  Per 32g Bar Per 100g
CALORIES 124kcal 388kcal
CARBS 9.9g 30.9g
FAT 7.0g 21.9g
SODIUM trace 0.1g
PROTEIN 3.7g 11.6g
FIBRE 6.6g 20.7g

 

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Ryvita Goodness Mixed Berry

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Failed to impress on looks and, more importantly, on taste. A lot of textures happening but not enough flavour.

  Per 23g Bar Per 100g
CALORIES 61kcal 264kcal
CARBS 12.6g 54.8g
FAT 0.6g 2.8g
SODIUM trace trace
PROTEIN 1.1g 4.8g
FIBRE 5.3g 23.2g

Conclusion

There were few surprises when a bar with the highest calories, from Kellogg's, containing chocolate came out top with our judges. Although the range of tastes and textures was wider than the 'cereal bar' premise might suggest. The calorie content didn't really influence the rest of the rankings though. From the test results we see a few general guidelines for bars (not too sweet, not too dry) but, like a lot of things, personal preference can count for a lot.

Though these bars are not terribly packed with calories, a healthier option must still be, if you have the time, the classic combo of low calorie cereal with milk. And it's best not to think of the bars containing fruit since even with the fruitiest you would need about 10 bars just to get 1 portion.

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