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Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > Clif Bar > 2011 Clif Bar assortment > Test Report by Jennifer Koles

CLIF Bars

Test Series by Jennifer Koles

May 31, 2011

Skip to my Initial Report- January 23, 2011
Skip to my Long Term Report- May 31, 2011

Personal Information

Name:  Jennifer Koles
Age:  36
Gender:  Female
Height:  5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight: 140 lb (64 kg)
Email address: jennksnowy at yahoo dot com
City, State, and Country: Orange County, California, United States


Backpacking Background

After getting into the outdoors scene camping while 4-wheeling and day-hiking, I switched to backpacking in the early 2000's. I have backpacked extensively in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho along with California, Pennsylvania and Nevada. I have slowly been cutting my base weight to be able to go longer in duration and distance. I have done so mainly by using better gear and dumping heavy luxuries. I backpack year round in all weather, and usually take a free standing tent and a gas stove on all my trips. I love trying out new gear.

The author

The author in the Narrows at Zion National Park, Utah.


Initial Report

January 16, 2011

Product Information

Product: CLIF Bars (energy bars-nutrition for sustained energy)
Manufacturer: Clif Bar & Company
Year of Manufacture: 2010

Flavors Available: Apricot, Banana Nut Bread, Black Cherry Almond, Blueberry Crisp, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Almond Fudge, Chocolate Brownie, Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter, Cool Mint Chocolate, Cranberry Apple Cherry, Crunchy Peanut Butter, Maple Nut, Oatmeal Raisin Walnut, Peanut Toffee Buzz, and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut


Flavors Tested: Apricot, Banana Nut Bread, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Almond Fudge, Chocolate Brownie, Chocolate Chip, Cool Mint Chocolate, Crunchy Peanut Butter, Maple Nut, Oatmeal Raisin Walnut, and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut


Manufacturer Website: www.clifbar.com

Manufacturer Stated Serving Size: 1 bar-68 grams (2.4 oz)
Each Packaged Bar Measured Weight: Approximately 2.50 oz (71 g)
MSRP: $15.00 USD (12 bar box) individual bars are available for purchase at local retail stores


Product Description

The CLIF Bars are the first energy bar that Clif & Company made. They come ready to eat in a coated plastic wrapper, that is foil lined on the inside. At the top of the wrapper there is an indicator where to open the packaging. It says "tear here" with an arrow, but there is no notch to easily tear the wrapper. I found it easiest to tear the wrapper open by pulling on the back seam. Then the wrapping opens nicely on the top, but it rips down the side; which can be an issue if I do not eat the entire bar.

The CLIF Bars are generally low in fat and sodium. They are packed with protein and some have a good amount of potassium. None of the bars have trans fat or cholesterol. All the bars are made with all-natural, 70 % organic ingredients such as oats and soybeans. The bars are high in fiber and are packed with 23 vitamins and minerals.

Below is the nutritional information on the bars that I am testing.

Apricot

Image obtained from the manufacturer's website

APRICOT

Calories: 230
Calories from Fat: 30
Total Fat: 3 grams (5%)
Saturated Fat: 0.5 grams (3%)
Trans Fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 0 mg (0%)
Sodium: 125 mg (5%)
Potassium: 310 mg (9%)
Total Carbs.: 45 grams (15%)
Dietary Fiber: 5 grams (20%)
Insoluble Fiber: 4 grams
Sugars: 21 grams
Other Carbs.: 19 grams
Protein: 10 grams (20%)

Banana Nut Bread

Image obtained from the manufacturer's website

BANANA NUT BREAD

Calories: 250
Calories from Fat: 50
Total Fat: 6 grams (9%)
Saturated Fat: 1 gram
(6%)
Trans Fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 0 mg (0%)
Sodium: 130 mg (5%)
Potassium: 310 mg (9%)
Total Carbs.: 43 grams (14%)
Dietary Fiber: 5 grams (20%)
Insoluble Fiber: 3 grams
Sugars: 21 grams
Other Carbs.: 18 grams
Protein: 10 grams (20%)

Carrot Cake

Image obtained from the manufacturer's website

CARROT CAKE

Calories: 240
Calories from Fat: 35
Total Fat: 4 grams (6%)
Saturated Fat: 1.5 grams (8%)
Trans Fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 0 mg (0%)
Sodium: 150 mg (6%)
Potassium: 250 mg (7%)
Total Carbs.: 46 grams (16%)
Dietary Fiber: 5 grams (20%)
Insoluble Fiber: 4 grams
Sugars: 21 grams
Other Carbs.: 20 grams
Protein: 10 grams (20%)

Chocolate Almond Fudge

Image obtained from the manufacturer's website

CHOCOLATE ALMOND FUDGE

Calories: 250
Calories from Fat: 45
Total Fat: 5 grams (8%)
Saturated Fat: 1.5 grams (8%)
Trans Fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 0 mg (0%)
Sodium: 140 mg (6%)
Potassium: 300 mg (9%)
Total Carbs.: 44 grams (15%)
Dietary Fiber: 5 grams (20%)
Insoluble Fiber: 4 grams
Sugars: 20 grams
Other Carbs.: 19 grams
Protein: 10 grams (20%)

Chocolate Brownie

Image obtained from the manufacturer's website

CHOCOLATE BROWNIE

Calories: 240
Calories from Fat: 40
Total Fat: 5 grams (9%)
Saturated Fat: 1.5 grams (8%)
Trans Fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 0 mg (0%)
Sodium: 150 mg (6%)
Potassium: 340 mg (11%)
Total Carbs.: 44 grams (15%)
Dietary Fiber: 5 grams (20%)
Insoluble Fiber: 4 grams
Sugars: 22 grams
Other Carbs.: 18 grams
Protein: 10 grams (20%)

Apricot

Image obtained from the manufacturer's website

CHOCOLATE CHIP

Calories: 240
Calories from Fat: 45
Total Fat: 5 grams (8%)
Saturated Fat: 1.5 grams (8%)
Trans Fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 0 mg (0%)
Sodium: 140 mg (6%)
Potassium: 250 mg (8%)
Total Carbs.: 44 grams (15%)
Dietary Fiber: 5 grams (20%)
Insoluble Fiber: 4 grams
Sugars: 22 grams
Other Carbs.: 17 grams
Protein: 10 grams (20%)

Cool Mint Chocolate

Image obtained from the manufacturer's website

COOL MINT CHOCOLATE

Calories: 250
Calories from Fat: 50
Total Fat: 5 grams (8%)
Saturated Fat: 1.5 grams (8%)
Trans Fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 0 mg (0%)
Sodium: 140 mg (6%)
Potassium: 240 mg (7%)
Total Carbs.: 43 grams (14%)
Dietary Fiber: 5 grams (20%)
Insoluble Fiber: 4 grams
Sugars: 17 grams
Other Carbs.: 21 grams
Protein: 10 grams (20%)

Crunchy Peanut Butter

Image obtained from the manufacturer's website

CRUNCHY PEANUT BUTTER

Calories: 250
Calories from Fat: 60
Total Fat: 6 grams (9%)
Saturated Fat: 1 gram (5%)
Trans Fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 0 mg (0%)
Sodium: 230 mg (10%)
Potassium: 270 mg (8%)
Total Carbs.: 42 grams (14%)
Dietary Fiber: 5 grams (20%)
Insoluble Fiber: 4 grams
Sugars: 20 grams
Other Carbs.: 17 grams
Protein: 11 grams (22%)

Maple Nut

Image obtained from the manufacturer's website

MAPLE NUT

Calories: 240
Calories from Fat: 50
Total Fat: 5 grams (8%)
Saturated Fat: 1 gram (4%)
Trans Fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 0 mg (0%)
Sodium: 220 mg (9%)
Potassium: 250 mg (7%)
Total Carbs.: 42 grams (14%)
Dietary Fiber: 5 grams (20%)
Insoluble Fiber: 4 grams
Sugars: 20 grams
Other Carbs.: 17 grams
Protein: 10 grams (20%)

Oatmeal Raisin Walnut

Image obtained from the manufacturer's website

OATMEAL RAISIN WALNUT

Calories: 240
Calories from Fat: 45
Total Fat: 5 grams (8%)
Saturated Fat: 1 gram (4%)
Trans Fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 0 mg (0%)
Sodium: 130 mg (5%)
Potassium: 310 mg (9%)
Total Carbs.: 43 grams (14%)
Dietary Fiber: 5 grams (20%)
Insoluble Fiber: 4 grams
Sugars: 20 grams
Other Carbs.: 18 grams
Protein: 10 grams (20%)

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut

Image obtained from the manufacturer's website

WHITE CHOCOLATE MACADAMIA NUT

Calories: 240
Calories from Fat: 60
Total Fat: 7 grams (11%)
Saturated Fat: 1.5 grams (8%)
Trans Fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 0 mg (0%)
Sodium: 160 mg (7%)
Potassium: 180 mg (5%)
Total Carbs.: 41 grams (14%)
Dietary Fiber: 4 grams (16%)
Insoluble Fiber: 2 grams
Sugars: 21 grams
Other Carbs.: 16 grams
Protein: 9 grams (18%)

 

Initial Impressions

The only bar I tried so far is the Carrot Cake, and this one is really yummy. It tastes like a carrot cake flavored pastry. The bar was not super moist, but it was not dry and crumbly either. It had enough moisture to hold it together in the packaging and when I was holding it in my hands to eat it. When looking at the bar I can see the textures of the various ingredients. They look wholesome and the bar looks very natural and not overly processed. I ate the bar by breaking pieces off while it was inside the packaging. There is a slight after taste that I can not pin-point the source.

I can not wait to try the rest of the bars on my upcoming hiking, camping, backpacking, and cycling trips!


Long Term Report

May 31, 2011

 

I have enjoyed consuming this CLIF Bars assortment while backpacking, biking, camping, and hiking since January. They have provided me nourishment in the Southern California Mountains and local parks. The CLIF Bars have also journeyed with me to Southern Utah, Northern Arizona, and Southern Nevada. This means that the CLIF Bars have been exposed to various temperatures and climates. The temperatures ranged from the upper 20's F (-3 C) to the high 80's F (31 C). The bars become harder in cooler temperatures, but I can still bite them and chew them with no issues or broken teeth. In warmer temperatures they became soft, but not gooey.

The package is a little bit hard to open. I would like to see a notch at the top. I either have to use my teeth to open it or use a multi-function tool (scissors or knife). I have tried to open it with my hands and I am still waiting to be successful.

The CLIF bars have been a good substitute for a breakfast meal or a quick snack before an activity. On long outings they gave me that extra caloric boost that I needed. All the flavors are tolerable to consume, but I have a sweet tooth and the fruit flavored bars are a true hit with me. I also enjoyed the taste of the bars with the nutty flavoring. The chocolate flavors are not much of a hit for me. They are tolerable and that is about it. I love chocolate, but these are a little heavy on the flavor and leave an odd taste in my mouth; except for the White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, which I truly love. None of the flavors made me sick in the stomach and they satisfied my cravings while in the outdoors.

My Thoughts on the Flavors:

Apricot: This flavor is a hit with me; well of course it is since I already said I like the fruity flavors. I do not particularly care for apricots, but for some reason I am a fan of this bar's fruity taste. There is the taste of a lemon flavor dominates this bar. Maybe I like it because it does not taste like an apricot.

Banana Nut Bread: This bar has a distinctive nut taste, but it has a mellow banana flavoring. The flavoring is not as strong as the other fruit flavored bars. I really like this flavor as it is not too over powering.

Carrot Cake: I love carrot cake or anything that has the word "cake" in it. I would say that this bar does not have the punch of carrots or cake. It tastes like a sweet desert, but one I can not identify. I like this bar and I would say it is one of my favorites in this line-up.

Chocolate Almond Fudge: Well here we are with the chocolate flavors that I am not a fan of. This bar has an odd initial taste and after taste in my opinion. The almonds do not offer much flavoring to the pseudo chocolate flavoring of this bar.

Chocolate Brownie: This bar has the best true chocolate taste of all the bars in this line-up. However, it has an odd after taste and it is very heavy on the chocolate flavoring.

Chocolate Chip: This bar is the most tolerable of the chocolate bars in my opinion. The chocolate taste is very subtle and not heavy.

Cool Mint Chocolate: Another chocolate bar that I am not a fan of. I am a chocolate fan I swear. This bar just does not do anything for my taste buds. It has a subtle mint flavor, but an odd after taste.

Crunchy Peanut Butter: This bar is one of my favorites. It has a nutty flavor with a slight taste of peanut butter.

Maple Nut: This is a sweet tasting bar with a nutty flavor that I can not pin point. I found it to be tasty.

Oatmeal Raisin Walnut: Mild flavoring all the way here with this bar. However, it is good and has a wholesome taste.

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut: This bar is my favorite of the bunch! It has a nutty flavor with a slight white chocolate flavoring and no bad after taste. Yummy!

Food taste is very objective. What one person may find pleasant tasting another may not. I have enjoyed this test because I got to sample many varieties of CLIF Bars that I would not even think about purchasing. And the funny thing is that I love chocolate, but I am not a fan of the chocolate CLIF Bars as I prefer the nutty and fruity flavors. Maybe I am just nutty :).


Things That Rock:

  • Natural and organic ingredients
  • Good source of protein, vitamins/minerals, and fiber
  • Wide selection of flavors
  • Good quick source of calories

Things That Are So-So:

  • I would like to see the opening notched

Remarks

This concludes my reporting of the CLIF Bars. Thank you Clif Bar & Company and backpackgeartest.org for providing me with the opportunity to test the CLIF Bars.

 



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