Two New Energy Bars Tested and Compared
Two Athlete Driven Energy Bar companies, Bonk Breaker and Picky Bars, recently introduced some new products to the market. These brands reached out to us to give their bars a test, and we happily accepted the offer. We love how these companies were founded by athletes, and both focus on creating great tasting, nutritional products. Let's see how these bars stack up in our very first Gravelstoke bar challenge.
Our categories include: Price, Flavor, Portability, Ingredients, Innovation and Design
First some introductions...
Bonk Breaker is a nutrition company based out of Los Angeles, California. Owned and operated by a triathlete and road cyclist, Jason Winn and Chris Frank. Their experience started originally with creating a tasty PB&J bar, which launched them into a mission to create great tasting bars with fresh ingredients. They currently offer a lineup that includes 14 unique bar flavors as well as energy chews and hydration products.
Picky Bars is an energy bar company based in Bend, Oregon. Founded by professional athletes Jesse Thomas, Lauren Fleshman, and Steph Bruce, they have created a self proclaimed "real food" company. Creating products that highlight nuts, fruits, and grains that you can see and taste. They currently offer both Picky Bars and Picky Oats. The company values carefully balanced bars that pack up easy for those on the go.
Bonk Breaker has just introduced its latest product, Premium Protein Bars now available in two flavors, Double Fudge Brownie and Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Chip. Designed to provide athletes a great tasting, high protein bar for post-workout recovery. The bars are 51g each, include 15g of protein and between 4-8 grams of sugar.
Picky Bars are available in nine flavors – Ah, Fudge Nuts!, All-In Almond, Blueberry Boomdizzle, Chai and Catch Me, Cookie Doughpness, Lauren’s Mega Nuts, Moroccan Your World, Need For Seed, and Smooth Caffeinator. All flavors are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, non-GMO, and plant-based. The bars are 45g each, 6-7g of protein and between 13-17g of sugar.
What the companies say...
On Price: TIE
Bonk Breaker - 12 Bars (51g/bar) per box - Price: $36.00. That's just under 6 cents per gram.
Picky Bars - 10 Bars (45g/bar) per box - Price: $27.50. That's just over 6 cents per gram.
On Flavor: Winner - Bonk Breaker
Just based on overall taste and texture, our favorite bar was the Bonk Breaker Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Chip Bar. Not at all surprising given this brand is most known for what they can do with peanut butter in their bars. Yum!
On Portability: Winner - Picky Bars
These little guys were a perfect size and shape, fitting nicely in our cycling jersey pockets. We prefer shorter and smaller items for carrying, to more easily eat on the go with a smaller volume that gives the opportunity to carry more flavors. To be fair, the Bonk Breaker bar will be more appropriate for the post-ride snack given its high protein content.
On Ingredients: Winner - Picky Bars
Kudos to both brands for making these bars GMO free. This will be a very personal choice, but we love Picky Bars "real food" approach, creating products with simple ingredients like nuts, fruits, and grains. Additionally, five of the nine flavors are vegan. It should be noted that Bonk Breaker does offer a few vegan bars (other than honey) if that is an important consideration to you.
On Innovation: Winner - Bonk Breaker
Certainly unique to the Premium Protein bars is the introduction of collagen. Combined with grass fed whey for a complete protein source, these bars will be attractive to those most interested in essential amino acid completeness for recovery.
On Design: Winner - Picky Bars
We always love when a brand offers good, intentional design. Picky clearly thought a lot about this, and found a way to stand out in a crowded bar market. The wrappers feature customer photos, reimagined as hand-drawn illustrations. They combine this with fun bar names that speak to the people and product, great job!
Our Overall Winner...
Although close, we give a slight edge to Picky Bars in this head-to-head comparison! But seriously, both bars we found to be great options for those who want solid nutritional products on the go, or on the bike. Each creating unique and great tasting products.
What's your favorite bar these days?
Have you tried either of these bars, and what did you think?
Let us know in the comments below, and share this post with your friends if they love trying new bars.