The craze is real.
I don’t know if you’ve walked down the snack bar aisle of your local grocery store recently, but the shelves are becoming more and more crowded with each passing day. We have more granola/protein bar options than anyone could ever need. Just to name a few, there’s CLIF, Nature Valley, LUNA, PowerBars, Kind, Kashi, and the list goes on. However, there’s a brand that came about in 2013 that’s making a huge mark on the snack bar aisle today, and that is none other than the humble RxBar.
Even if you’ve never heard of RxBars (where have you been for the last couple years?), you’ve definitely seen their unmistakable packaging. The front of the wrapper cleverly lists out, in a big, bold typeface, the most simplified version of the ingredient list. It might go something like, “3 Egg Whites, 4 Almonds, 6 Cashews, 2 Dates, No B.S.” Frankly, this marketing strategy is pure genius. The most common objection with the average protein or “superfood” bar is that it’s nothing more than a glorified candy bar loaded with tons of hidden ingredients that’s packaged in a way to deceive the consumer into believing that what they’re purchasing is healthy, wholesome, and nutritious.
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Enter the golden child, Rxbar. Its ingredient list actually lives up to its persuasive packaging, as well as the fact that the bars are paleo-friendly, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, and free of added sugars, to boot. Plus, the ingredients fit within the guidelines of Whole30 (although technically, this eating plan does not allow treats, so it’s up to your discretion whether you choose to eat this bar or not).
Seriously, what’s not to love about these bars, right? Well, for starters, their flavor. Don’t get me wrong, these bars are good. They’re filling, wholesome, and chewy—when I’m pressed for time and want something I can easily eat on the go, this is a healthy option that I can feel good about. Compared to any of its competitors however, its sweetness is much more subtle and the flavors are not quite as pronounced. For some, this is ideal, but for me, I can’t help but miss a rich, chocolatey Lara Bar. In my opinion, the flavor of a peanut butter CLIF bar versus a peanut butter Rxbar is night and day. They’re both nutty and roasty, but the CLIF bar is just a bit smoother and more delightful.
Then, there’s another discussion to be had—the different flavors. No two flavors are even mildly similar, and there’s a few that are straight up polarizing (ahem, looking at you, Maple Sea Salt). For me, flavors range from yummy, to palatable, to I’ll-never-eat-that-again. With that said, there is one key to enjoying Rxbars that a lot of people miss—throw them in the fridge! Once subjected to heat, these bars lose their firm texture and the flavors become...weird. Despite my uneasiness with certain flavors, a chilled Rxbar has never failed me.
Whichever flavors tickle your fancy (or don’t), there’s no denying that these bars are slowly swallowing the entirety of the snack bar industry. On a recent ski trip to Colorado, the amount of people I saw toting their handy Rxbar was overwhelming—it almost seemed like a necessity. There’s a very clear following for this brand, and whether you’re on board or not, it doesn’t look like things will be slowing down for Rxbar anytime soon.