Friday, March 29, 2013

Review: ZonePerfect Kidz Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bar

ZonePerfect recently launched a new line of nutrition bars just for kids, created by kids at a workshop earlier this year. These Kidz bars have 5 grams of protein and come in three kid-friendly (at least they sound like it) flavors: Yellow Cupcake, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, and Caramel Crunch.

I learned about these through an email containing a coupon. They’re available at Target, so when we scoped out the Super Target across from one of the apartments we toured in North Carolina, I went searching, even though I forgot to print the coupon. Since they were out of Yellow Cupcake, I picked the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip and immediately ripped the box open.

It’s nicely drizzled in chocolate, with no coating, and is slightly sticky and soft. It reminds me of the cookie dough bar; the only thing I can say is that I wish it was bigger! But then again, it is meant for kids. Just for size comparison, that’s a Quest bar on top:

So it’s not tiny, but small enough that I know it won’t completely fill me up. But it’ll be a good snack.

It smells less like peanut butter than chocolate, with a little bit of that fake peanut butter-protein smell I always detect with peanut butter nutrition bars. That carries over into the taste, which could pass for peanut butter if you take what you’re eating into consideration and don’t set your expectations too high. There is some “nutrition” taste, so you won’t be fooling your kids (or yourself) into thinking it’s dessert or anything like that. But it’s pretty sweet too. The taste is so hard to describe; it’s like peanut butter with a weird but tolerable twist. Not bad, not great, just...different, I guess.

The texture is almost exactly like that of the cookie dough bar. In fact, I’d say this is pretty much a miniature of that bar with a hint of funky peanut butter. It’s doughy and chewy, although there are little oat pieces mixed in. These give a weird soggy thud and hang around after the rest of the bar, so maybe it would be better without them. Certainly more like cookie dough, which would appeal to kids. The chocolate chips provide a good hard thud, but not much taste. They get swallowed up by the base.

Eating this bar alongside a bowl of Reese’s Puffs (that’s my inner child for you), I realized just how much it didn’t taste like peanut butter. But still, there’s something about it that’s slightly addicting. Perhaps the feeling of eating cookie dough. For a nutrition bar, it’s very well done, but for a kid who wants peanut butter...I think, unless they’re obsessed with nutrition (which I hope they aren’t at a young age!), they’ll go for actual PB or something like Reese’s Puffs. But for me, I’ll be back for more, and keeping an eye out for the other flavors!

Taste: 7.5--sweet, but slightly proteiny; peanut butter is not very strong.
Texture: 9--soft like cookie dough, and chewy; the oats are an odd inclusion, but the chocolate chips give a nice thud.
Health: 6--the sugar content is pretty high when compared to the other nutrients, probably due to the “kid factor.”
Eat Again? Yes.

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