Meijer Oats and Honey Granola Bars (Meijer)

If you're a honey fan, these are the ones to get.

Another week, another breakfast bar needed. This week, we found ourselves at Meijer, a chain of supercenters found entirely in the Midwest; think a slightly more upscale Walmart, and you pretty much have the idea (although with higher prices). I’d actually gone here a lot as a youngster with my mom, but dropped off as I got older, and discovered places like Aldi on my own.

After quickly perusing the aisle, and finding the usual suspects (chocolate-dipped and regular granola bars, sweet and salty bars, etc.), my eyes settled on a blast from the past: oat and honey bars. I remember having the name brand version years ago, and enjoying the combination of lightly sweetened oats that break apart with the slightest touch and make a complete crumbly mess within a 5 foot radius of wherever you’re sitting. It didn’t hurt that Meijer’s version was over half off compared to the national brand...the savings alone were reason enough to pull the trigger.

These smell pretty sweet...I’d say they smell sweeter than my memories of the national brand which I must confess to not having tried in a very long time. And, after opening up the wrapper and being greeted with the familiar site of crumbs falling out all over the place - just from opening the wrapper, mind you - then I have to say it would appear they at least have the texture down pat. After brushing myself, and the desk, off, I grabbed one of the two included “bricks” of oats and decided to dive right in...

The taste...oh wow, yeah...this is definitely not what I remember, or what I was expecting. And this time, I mean it in a good way: these are pretty much overloaded with honey, and I’m not going to complain about that. From what I remember of the national brand, it was more an equal balance of both oats and honey, making the taste more on the side of boring. This one, however, amps up the “honey” quotient to “10”, leaving the oats there in little more than appearance...and spirit.

I’m not really complaining about that, but it definitely hits the tastebuds different. If you like the national brand for its somewhat straightforward neutrality - its somewhat bland flavor allows it to pair well with yogurts and a variety of other applications, without the taste interfering - this one might throw you for a loop a little bit. On the other hand, if you thought the national brand was a little too “boring”, this one at least gives you some added sweetness, and with a pretty believable honey flavor that clings to your tastebuds like the sticky-sweet “food substance”.

The last variable I like to look at is value: each 12 bar package retails for just $1.49, which is not only half the price of the national brand, but also a full quarter cheaper than Walmart’s store brand! And if that’s not the very definition of value, then I don’t know what is.

As long as you don’t mind the increased honey flavor, then Meijer offers up a good product at an excellent price.

Overall: 7/10. The sweetness quotient is turned up a few notches over the national brand, with the taste of honey leading the way; however, it’s a relatively realistic honey taste that gains some points for accuracy. The trademarked “fall apart” texture is also here, with the slightest touch leading to granola crumbs all over the place. But perhaps its biggest strength is in the price: each 12-bar pack is just $1.49, making it a cheaper buy here than most other store brands. If you can take the difference in taste, this is a good buy at a special price.

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