Friday, June 12, 2020

Meijer Dipped Peanut Butter Granola Bar (Meijer)

Tastes like other brands of dipped bars and at a decent value. 
Well, like I told an uncaring audience in a previous review, my wife has been doing almost all of her "self-isolation" shopping at  Meijer lately, so now I've been getting a chance to try their versions of products I typically get elsewhere. And today, we've got dipped granola bars, which are a nice, quick snack. 

I’ve tried these from a couple of different store brands, so why not see what Meijer’s have to offer?
Well first of all, what is it with almost all of these having generic, colored wrappers? The individual wrapping on each individual bar is green, with white lettering that says “dipped bar”, but with no identifiable brand information. I’m not too sure about Aldi, but I’m pretty sure Kroger’s version also come in this off-putting packaging—probably a good chance both of them come out of the same factory, if this is the case. And if that is the case, which it probably is, then that means this is probably almost the same product offered elsewhere, too. And if that is also the case, which it very well might be, then that would mean that a comparison between all of these private labels would more or less all come down to taste, considering they would be using roughly the same recipe.

This is just pure speculation on my part, though, so don't go taking it as fact—maybe some day I will gather up enough interest to do a blind taste test off different items across different store brands to finally put some of these to rest. But until that day, "pure speculation" is all that we have.

Also very similar to other versions of this bar is the size: they are really, really small. Smaller than the average granola bar. I don't know if this is to keep the caloric content to a minimum, or what the reasoning is, but all of the dipped granola bars that I've tried are this same teeny size. Then again, I guess you don't need to load up on chocolate and peanut butter first thing in the morning.

After digging in, I've got to say that my above theory could very well be true: The taste is good, but standard for this kind of bar. There’s a soft layer of enticingly melty chocolate on top that gives way to another gentle layer underneath, but this time it’s peanut butter. The story with the peanut butter is the same: it's got a great, soft, pretty creamy texture (at least, for a mass-produced chocolate bar), with a straightforward peanut butter flavor to match. Combined, you get what you should probably be expecting: creamy peanut butter combined with the taste of dollar store chocolate, with some granola thrown in so it can give the slight appearance of healthiness. The granola bar might also be flavored, but I don't think it is: there's so much chocolate and peanut butter covering it that I'm thinking it's to cover the “boring” taste of granola.

To be clear, I actually don't mind the overall flavor—in fact, it was pretty much exactly what I was expecting from trying similar bars—but it’s nothing that's going to make you go out of your way to get these from Meijer versus virtually anywhere else that offers them.

Value here is pretty good, though nothing outstanding, with each 6-ct. box retailing for $1.69. This puts it lower than Kroger's own private label brand, which retails for an excessive $1.99, but far behind Aldi, which offers theirs for $1.29. It's middle-of-the-road, but still cheaper than the national brand, which retails for over $2 when not on sale.


Overall: 7/10. In terms of flavor—and based completely off memory as I did not directly compare them—these are pretty equal to every other similar brand out there, with a combination that plays out like dollar store chocolate (albeit with a nice, melty texture) meets standard peanut butter, meets granola thrown in as an afterthought. About the only differentiator is the price: $1.69 for six bars, which isn't outstanding (and higher than Aldi's $1.29 price tag), but cheaper than other store brands, making it a decent value proposition. It's certainly not worth going out of your way for, but it's a good option if you find yourself already inside a Meijer store, with a desperate craving for a mass-produced granola bar.

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