In this post we share the samples and our opinion of the savory bars that we saw at Natural Products Expo West 2022 with you. We found three:
JUST THE CHEESE BAR
Is it a bar or a roasted slice of cheese? Whatever: the shape is a bar, so this is a bar. Can it be this simple? The answer is: yes it can!
Are you the person that likes to eat the cheesy crispy part that sticks on the outside of a Grilled Cheese Sandwich or to the gril itself? Then this is for you. Personally we feel a whole bar is a bit too much but hey, who are we?
There are several flavours on their website and next to the bar shaped version (2 bars of 11g each in a pack= 22 g in total) you can shop for round shaped mini’s in a bag of 14g.
A simple concept and it just might work. The flavour is not artificial like most of the savoury bars. Nutritionally speaking it is low carb and it has protein (and the same or higher amount of fat), fits into a Keto Diet.
Highly priced at almost $2 for 22g of cheese per kg this is much more expensive than a good protein bar. Trying to turn cheese into gold it seems.
Final verdict: good and simple idea, if you like grilled crispy cheese this bar is a good fit. In our view the price however seems a bit high on the long term.
A vegan, gluten free Savory organic Snack made out of 6 ingredients: red bell pepper, cashew, kale, chia seeds, lemon juice and sea salt. Bars are dried at about 70°C / 155°F to keep the nutrients intact it states on their display carton.
With the main source of protein being the cashew nuts it is not extremely high in protein and it does contain quite some fat.
The product is quite brittle, it falls apart when trying to open the pack. The smell and flavour are not bad for a savory bar, very good to be honest. The texture is nice and crunchy and makes this a good fit for a savory product. We like it! This bar is not bound with sweet ingredients and this makes this bar quite pleasant to eat.
Price is about $ 2,- for a 28g bar, which is quite high but doable. Taking into account that the company probably is young, we would go for that.
The brittleness will be a hurdle to buy this bar as it is not really an easy product for ‘on the go’.
Next to that, although we believe that for a savory bar this one is actually quite good, it still is nicer to eat a nice and sweet chocolaty bar or a bag of nuts instead. Actually when packed in a bag as clusters this already comes closer to our expectations.
Anyway, give this one a try!
Medbar: a range of bars of which at least two are savory.
The packaging of these bars looks great. It gives you the Mediterranean feeling and that is what they designed it for. So a good start. The bar itself, in this case with Thyme and Oregano has a mediterranean scent as well, but it is mixed with something sweet. It is the same scent as many of the former savory bars that did not make it. The flavor is not bad, but again is mixed with something sweet, that does not exactly fit with the concept. The texture is soft with a crunch. The brain (our brain at least) does not mix these aspects well, and tells us it is funny, but not positively funny per se.
The bear bar above, had a much better mix of savory flavor and texture than this one. That aspect, combined with the price of almost 2.5 USD for a 38 g bar, we are afraid that Medbar’s current savory bars soon can be added to the list of ‘failed’ concepts.
We checked in again in August 2022, and all bars on the website ‘Are currently sold out’, which can mean that the sales are doing well, or maybe that we can update the list of failed concepts already. We tried to reach out to ask, but received no response.
Out of the many protein bars that we saw on Natural Products Expo, we found only three that were savory. With this a savory bar is still a stranger in our midst. The Cheese bar like the Jerky bar in Post 1 on savory bars, is built around an already existing concept, which is smart. It simply is a good tasting product and might open the consumer’s mind for savory concepts in bars.
The Bear Bar is good in flavour and texture, the brittleness is an aspect to work on. However, we are afraid that this bar is too special to gain big traction. That would be a pity. We hope that the owners give it enough time to grow and that consumers give it enough sales to keep going.
The Med Bar is very similar to earlier concept from other brands in taste and texture (see post 1 on this subject) and this makes it a difficult fit with consumers’ expectations.
Out of the three we expect to see ‘Just the Cheese’ back when we return to the US. We are worried about the other two, and will try to keep following this.
Come back to us for the third post on the subject of savory bars. The most difficult part as we have to admit, with do’s and don’ts. Not 100% sure whether we have the wisdom, but let’s see. Happy to hear your thoughts on this!