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Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > LARABAR Jocalat Bars > Test Report by Jo Ann Moffi


INITIAL REPORT: December 20, 2007
FIELD REPORT: March 9, 2008

Larabar Jocalat Bars

Name Jo Ann Moffi Backpacking Background:

I was introduced to backpacking about 15 years ago when I met my husband. We have been backpacking, canoe camping, car camping, hiking, and participating in all sorts of outdoor activities ever since. We live in a border town (US & Canada), so we spend lots of time in both countries for our outdoor excursions. When making a decision on gear, I like to go lightweight and practical. I don't like to carry around extraneous bits and pieces.
Age 34
Gender Female
Height 168 cm (5 ft, 6 in)
Torso Length 50 cm (19.5 in)
Hip Measurement 104 cm (41 in)
Weight 84 kg (185 lbs)
Email Address jomoffi AT gmail DOT com
City, State, Country Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada

Product Information

Manufacturer:  Humm Foods Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Made In: U.S.A.
MSRP: $32 per box of 16 bars
Flavours: Chocolate, Chocolate Mint, Chocolate Orange, and Chocolate Coffee
Listed Weight: 48 g bar (1.7 oz)
Actual Weight: 50 g (1.8 oz) - without packaging

Date: December 20, 2007

Item Received: December 19, 2007

I received four boxes of the LÄRABAR Jocalat Bars: one of each of the four flavours in excellent condition. 

The LÄRABAR literature enclosed with the bars and the packaging outlines the following features for the bars:

INGREDIENTS Organic dates, organic almonds, organic walnuts, organic cocoa powder, organic cocoa mass, organic cashews. Organic dates, organic walnuts, organic hazelnuts, organic cocoa mass, organic cashews, organic coffee. Organic dates, organic almonds, organic cocoa mass, organic cocoa powder, organic vanilla flavor, organic peppermint flavor. Organic dates, organic almonds, organic walnuts, organic cocoa mass, organic cocoa powder, organic orange flavor.
TOTAL CALORIES 190 190 190 190
TOTAL FAT 10 g (0.35 oz) 11 g (0.39 oz) 9 g (0.32 oz) 10 g (0.35 oz)
TOTAL CARBS 24 g (0.85 oz) 24 g (0.85 oz) 25 g (0.88 oz) 25 g (0.88 oz)
TOTAL PROTEIN 5 g (0.18 oz) 4 g (0.14 oz) 5 g (0.18 oz) 4 g (0.14 oz)
TOTAL FIBER 5 g (0.18 oz) 5 g (0.18 oz) 5 g (0.18 oz) 5 g (0.18 oz)

The literature also includes the following health benefits for the Jocalat Bars:
  • 190 calories
  • Antioxidants contained in the chocolate and nuts
  • High in fiber, 20% of the recommended daily value
  • Omega 6 essential fatty acids
  • Plant source protein from the nuts contained in the bars
  • 13 essential vitamins and minerals
  • Phytonutrients to promote a healthy immune system
LÄRABAR emphasizes that the Jocalat bars are 100% organic, contain no added sugar, are 90% raw, are gluten, soy, and dairy free, contain non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms), are vegan and Kosher, and last but certainly not least they contain Fair Trade Certified cocoa.

First taste test:
Since I was hungry for a snack after work when I picked up the bars, I opened the Chocolate flavour box and tore into one. These are tasty bars! The consistency is smooth and the nuts add a nice crunch. They are similar to a brownie in texture. I look forward to getting into the other flavours!

I plan on consuming the bars while hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, canoeing, running, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding and for any other activity that comes my way that I feel I need a nutritious snack on. I will be checking on the taste, texture, ease of use, packability, durability, and appropriateness to the activity while consuming these bars.

March 9, 2008

Testing Locations:
I consumed the bars on outings hiking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowboarding. The hiking, skiing, and snowshoeing have been primarily in the Hiawatha Highlands and Voyageur Trail system areas in the Algoma region. These two areas have many linked trails meandering through red and white pine old-growth forests and dense boreal stands of jack pine and spruce linked by a network of rivers, lakes, and wetlands. I also ate a bar on an afternoon snowshoe trek Goose Creek State Forest, Frederic Michigan. It is part of Michigan's Shore-to-Shore Riding/Hiking Trail. The area I snowshoed in was a relatively flat section of trail that meanders through pine and spruce forest with fairly open areas under the trees.

Snowboarding this year has been exclusively at Searchmont Ski Resort in Searchmont, Ontario. 'Searchmont' as the locals call it is an 18 run mountain with an elevation of 488 m (1600 ft) about 45 minutes north of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

The section of the Appalachian Trail we hiked on over the holidays meanders along ridges with an elevation range from 762-1372 m (2500-4500 ft) through the Chattahoochee National Forest. Most of the leaves were off of the trees and the trail was leaf covered, thicker in some areas and slippery when damp. There were muddy sections and several creek and river crossings as well as some beautiful areas of fast moving water and waterfalls. The forest is mostly hardwood. The creeks and rivers have dense rhododendron bushes lining their banks. The trail we traveled on was well marked and relatively clear of downed trees, branches and other such obstacles.

In addition to consuming the bars while doing outdoor activities, I used them as a snack in a pinch while at work or running errands.

Testing Conditions:
Weather conditions in and around Sault Ste Marie, Ontario that I have been out in have ranged from 5 to -20 C (41 to -4 F). We have had the whole gamut of winter weather conditions from cold, clear days to full on snowfall. We have also had a few milder days thrown in as well. Although we have had much colder temperatures (-30 c (-22 F)), I generally limit my outdoor time when it is that cold out. Temperatures around -15 C (5 F) are about my limit.

In Georgia over the holidays, the temperatures ranged from 19 to 9 C (66 to 48 F) during the day, with wind speeds around 13 mph (20 km/h). The skies ranged from brief periods of sunshine and light cloud cover to overcast, and rain.

Before Consuming the Bars:
Over the past three months, I have endeavoured to keep at least one bar with me at all times in case a snacking opportunity arose. Many times a bar would spend a few days bouncing around in my day pack with all the other small items I carry in the top pocket. The packaging always held up well with no tears or holes occurring. After a few days of being with my stuff in a pack or pocket, the bar would sometimes be a little mashed around the edges, but they still tasted great!

The packaging is very easy to open, just grab a corner and tear it open. I was able to accomplish this easily with and without gloves on. The consistency of the bars remained the same whether they were room temperature or colder from being in my pack while skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing. They were just 'cold'

The ingredient listing for the bars indicates that each one is a full serving of fruit. There is no sugar added to any of the flavours. I also noted they are high in fiber, which can be a challenge to get enough of at times. Every item on their ingredient list I can identify, a definite plus in my books. 

While Consuming the Bars:
There was nothing complicated about eating the bars. Once I had the package open, I would just munch away. Sometimes I would use the packaging to hold the bar instead of touching the bar with my fingers, especially if I was wearing gloves, mostly to keep any food residue off them. For the most part, the bars were consistently the same texture. Some bars had a few more nuts than others and some nuts were larger than others. They have a similar consistency to a really moist brownie.

In order of preference after consuming all 64
Chocolate: After eating as many of the LÄRABARs as I did, I found this one to be my favourite out of the four flavours. It was the chocolatiest.
Chocolate Orange: This flavour has a bit of a tangy bite to it. I liked these almost as much as the plain chocolate ones.
Chocolate Mint: Normally this is my favourite flavour to be combined with chocolate. This was tasty enough, but it had a bit of an aftertaste. I still liked them, but I given the choice, I would reach for the plain chocolate first.
Chocolate Coffee: After eating a few of these ones, I finally connected this flavour to post snack acid reflux. I'm not normally a coffee drinker for many reasons, and acid reflux when drinking coffee on an empty stomach is one of them. Since most of the time I was eating the LÄRABARs as a snack on an empty stomach, I discovered fairly quickly it was the culprit in my discomfort. These were the last of the bars I finished. The flavour was fine; they kind of reminded me of a chocolate covered espresso bean.

After Consuming the Bars:
Other than the acid reflux caused by the Chocolate Coffee flavour, the bars provided me with a full feeling for a couple of hours with normal activity provided I had eaten an adequate meal earlier in the day. By normal activity I mean walking, hiking, easy snowshoeing, or working. On snowboarding days or heavy cross country skiing, I found I needed more than just a
LÄRABAR to get me through an afternoon. When hiking or backpacking, I would eat one bar as a snack mid morning and another mid afternoon. I also sometimes ate one as an after supper dessert treat.

At no time did the 
LÄRABARs leave me with a gassy, bloated, or upset stomach.

The packaging of the bars was minimal enough to crumple up and stow in a pocket until I could find a garbage can. I'm still finding 
LÄRABAR wrappers in the pockets of my various jackets and pants!

This concludes this test series. Thank you to BackpackGearTest and Humm Foods, Inc. for the opportunity to test the LÄRABAR Jocalat Bars.

Read more gear reviews by Jo Ann Moffi

Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > LARABAR Jocalat Bars > Test Report by Jo Ann Moffi

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