HONEY STINGER BLUEBERRY BUZZ BAR
TEST SERIES BY NANCY GRIFFITH
February 18, 2013
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Northern California, USA
5' 6" (1.68 m)
130 lb (59.00 kg)
My outdoor experience began in high school with involvement in a local canoeing/camping group called Canoe Trails. The culmination was a 10-day canoe voyage through the Quebec wilds. I've been backpacking since my college days in Pennsylvania. I have completed all of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. My typical trip now is in the Sierra Nevada in California and is from a few days to a week long. I carry a light to mid-weight load, use a tent, stove and trekking poles.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Honey Stinger
|Photo courtesy of Honey Stinger|
Year of Manufacture: 2013
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.honeystinger.com
MSRP: $1.69 US for a single bar; $25.35 US for a case of 15
Listed Weight: 1.75 oz (50 g) product only
Measured Weight: 1.8 oz (52 g) in package
Made in USA
Best By Date: 12 months from date of manufacture per website
Best By Date (on wrapper): March 18, 2014 (I can't reconcile that since I received them January 2013.)
Ingredients: Honey Stinger™ (Honey, Sea Salt, Water), Almonds, Crisped Rice (Sugar, Salt, Malt), Blueberries (Blueberries, Apple Juice, Sunflower Oil), Yogurt Coating (Sugar, Palm Kernel Oil, Yogurt Powder [Cultured Whey Protein Concentrate, Cultured Skim Milk, Yogurt Culture], Non-Fat Dry Milk Solids, Soya Lecithin (an emulsifier)], Soy Protein Isolate, Vitamins and Minerals, Rolled Oats, Natural Flavor
Allergens: Soy, Milk and Tree Nuts
May Contain: Peanut, Wheat and Eggs
Fat Calories: 30
Total Fat: 5 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Sodium: 160 g
Potassium: 130 g
Total Carb: 30 g
Cholesterol: 0 g
Fiber: 1 g
Sugars: 20 g
Protein: 5 g
The Honey Stinger Blueberry Buzz bar is made with over 30% honey and is meant to be used as a between meal snack or as fuel during activity. Despite the name 'buzz', there is no caffeine content which makes me happy since I try to avoid caffeine. These bars feature a light crisped rice texture with a bottom coating of yogurt. They contain added vitamins, minerals and electrolytes. The electrolytes (sodium, magnesium and potassium) are to prevent cramping during intense exercise. They are certified kosher.
Per the website the best eat-by-date is set for 12 months after the manufactured date and is printed on each wrapper. The date on mine is March 18, 2014 so although I can't reconcile this since I received them in January 2013, they apparently are fairly fresh.
I found it funny that the ingredient listed as 'crisped rice' doesn't contain rice. Although it may be obvious that it contains rice, it seems like a typographical error to me since the ingredient listed as 'blueberries' does contain blueberries.
INITIAL IMPRESSIONS & TRYING THEM OUT
The size of the bar appears typical to me of most energy bars. The wrapper seems to be a good fit for the bar and is not overly large as some wrappers are. There is little excess air in the wrapper to concern me that they'll come open if stuffed into a pack. The wrapper opens easily and the bar doesn't have a wet or sticky feeling and slides easily out of the wrapper.
The appearance was a bit odd at first. The top is uncoated and the blueberry portion has an odd almost grayish color. The blueberries are apparent. The bottom is white from the yogurt coating which extends up the sides a little. The aroma was pleasing but subtle and mostly smelled sweet with hints of berries.
The texture is somewhat pliable but the crisped rice base is noticeable and provides a nice crunch along with the overall chewy sensation. The taste was very good although somewhat sweet maybe due to the yogurt coating. The blueberries were tasty and the rice provides a nice background.
The Honey Stinger Blueberry Buzz bar is a tasty energy bar that is in an easy-open wrapper. I am looking forward to seeing how the taste, energy provided and nutrition of these bars works for me on the trail.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
I took the Blueberry Buzz bars with me for backpacking, snowshoeing, hiking and mountain biking.
Loon Lake Trail, Sierra Nevada, California: 2 nights; 16.2 mi (26 km); 6,327 to 7,030 ft (1,928 to 2,143 m) elevation; 22 to 50 F (-5 to 10 C); clear to cloudy conditions with light wind. Snow conditions were packed powder of 4 ft (1.2 m) depth.
Mount Rose, Carson Range, Nevada: 8,900 to 9,300 ft (2,713 to 2,835 m) elevation; 29 to 33 F (-2 to 0 C); clear conditions with little breeze. Snow conditions were deep powder.
Donner Lake State Park, California: 5,935 to 6,362 ft (1,809 to 1,939 m) elevation; 35 F (2 C); mostly sunny conditions. Snow conditions were moderate depth powder.
Cronan Ranch East Ridge, Sierra Nevada, California: 4 mi (6 km); 743 to 1,262 ft (226 to 385 m) elevation; 50 to 55 F (10 to 13 C); mostly sunny conditions.
South Fork American River Trail, California: 13 mi (21 km); 800 to 1,200 ft (240 to 370 m) elevation; 50 to 64 F (10 to 18 C); mostly cloudy conditions.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I ate the bars both on-trail for energy and post-hike for a boost. On the snowshoe backpacking trip, I had one bar at the end of the hike in which was a nice pick-me-up for giving me energy to do camp chores. I liked the quick yet sustained energy that they provide. The taste is good and I especially like the blueberry flavor but the yogurt sweetness is a bit too much for me. The sweetness was much more tolerable on the trail when I really needed the energy versus the one I ate at home while writing my initial report. To be fair I generally like salty or savory snacks on the trail and don't like really sweet things like candy. I do eat energy bars and have tried a wide variety but they aren't normally as sweet as this one.
The bars hold up well in my pack and seem particularly good in colder weather so that the yogurt coating doesn't melt. Since we had an unusually warm spell in February I tried leaving one in my car on a nice day to see if the yogurt would melt to the wrapper. I left it on the dash and when we got back from mountain biking it was close to 80 F (27 C) inside the vehicle. I opened the wrapper and the yogurt was melted all over and stuck to the wrapper making quite a mess. I closed the wrapper and when we got home I put it in the freezer to see if the wrapper would release from the yogurt when it got cold. It did great and I was able to remove the bar from the wrapper with no sticking and just a little of the yogurt coating coming off in small pieces. I tried taking a bite to see how hard a completely frozen bar was and it was impossible for me to bite (without risking a broken tooth). However, on the trail in cold weather the bars never saw this low of a temperature and were always pliable and easy to chew.
Overall I'm satisfied with the bars as a good source of energy especially in cooler weather but the sweetness is a little too much for me. I would prefer to see this bar without the yogurt coating since then it eliminates both of my concerns: melting and extra sweetness.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.
Good blueberry taste
Nice sustained energy and quick boost
Easy open wrapper and easy to remove bar
Natural ingredient list
A bit too sweet for my taste
Yogurt coating melts to wrapper
This concludes my Long-Term Report and this test series. Thanks to Honey Stinger and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to participate in this test.
Read more gear reviews by Nancy Griffith