Monday, January 16, 2017

Kroger Sweet and Salty Almond Granola Bars (Kroger)


God, I despise the experience of shopping at Kroger. But these are pretty tasty little bars.

My sweet, loving wife picked me up a box of these to take to work as a snack, so I eagerly dug in. Without a big lead-in, let's delve into the details:

I've had the national brand before, but only in the peanut variation...I've tended to stay away from almonds because I'm not really all that into “serious” nuts. Well that was my loss, because this is even better than the peanut version. For starters, that tends to be a nut overload, because the peanut one is dipped in peanut butter, which then leads to a lot of peanut. I really like that one, but I have to be in the mood. This one is still super-sweet, but the almond is joined with a layer of “yogurt flavored coating”. Okay, why they couldn't use something real instead of something made up of "yogurt flavoring" is beyond me, but that's not for me to decide.

Both flavors compliment each other very well. It's very sweet, and don't think for a second it's healthy just because it has “almond” and “granola” in the title, but as a little pick-me-up, it's a great little treat. The almond also seems to be covered in some kind of sweet glaze, so it's not as dry (or healthy) as normal, but I'm not going to complain about that, because I hate plain almonds. I would definitely get these again.

On the flipside, the ingredient list is somehow five miles long, and filled with a plethora of weird ingredients. I'm sure they all serve a purpose, but it's definitely eye-opening, considering oat bars seem to be one of the easier ones to make “all natural”. (Don't you just need oats, toppings, and a binding agent?) There's also a plethora of sugar and fat, with brown sugar (via the oats), sugar, AND high fructose corn syrup appearing relatively high in the list, culminating in a total of 12g for the entire bar. That might not sound like much, and there are certainly things with much more than that, but given the size of the bar, it's not great.

Still, “healthy” isn't always on the list of criteria when selecting something to eat, so despite its weaknesses, I would definitely get these again. If you just want a great-tasting bar that will put something in your stomach to tide you over until you can eat a full meal, this one will help do the trick.

Overall: 7.5/10. It's very sweet, so if you're not in the mood for sweets, stay away, but this blending of granola, almond, and yogurt “flavored” coating is pretty darn tasty. Great texture, too, as it's all so deliciously chewable. Definitely worth a look if you're into this sort of thing; I would gladly get it again in the future. The only unknown variable is the price, as I was not with her when she bought it...assuming these are $1.99 or less, and I'm sure they are, they provide decent value for six bars. Also of note: there is quite a bit of fat and sugar in each bar, so don't think that it's “healthy” just because it has “granola” and “almond” in the title...manufacturer's cleverly try to cash in on health fads by including such keywords in the titles, despite the product being loaded with unhealthy ingredients. But if “healthy” isn't in your criteria and you just want a great-tasting snack to tide you over, this is an excellent choice.

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