Protein bars are a funny thing, especially if you are looking for one that also satisfies your sweet tooth. A lot of the time, the are really hard and chewy or overly rich. Both of these makes it a struggle to finish the bar. So, ever on the lookout for new foods, I found the Vegan 25% Protein bars by Tom Oliver. The Tom Oliver Chocolate Mint and Chocolate Coconut bars perked my ears up, so how do they stack up?
Before I go on, here’s a quick recap about me and my old eating habits. Before the 2nd week in January 2020, I was predominantly a meat eater. And not good meats, most of it was processed. In fact, the only vegetables I ate were raw carrots and potatoes in a variety of forms. It was a terrible diet, and a scare has forced me to try and change. You can read more about it here. But TL;DR, I’m very fussy, so am looking for genuine meat free alternatives. I decided to write reviews of my findings just in case there’s anyone who wants to try this stuff, but are unsure.
The Tom Oliver Chocolate Mint Vegan Protein Bar
According to Tom’s web site, the bars are
Made with only vegan ingredients, Tom Oliver – Vegan High Protein Bars offer the perfect accompaniment to weight loss regimes. Tom Oliver – Vegan High Protein Bars are made using a specially selected ingredients to offer a high protein, low sugar, low calories and great tasting making it the perfect high protein snack.https://tomolivernutrition.com/collections/protein-bars/products/tom-oliver-vegan-high-protein-bars-pack-of-20-chocolate-mint
Lets be honest, they sound good. I imagine they are made with high quality ingredients and that thought has been put in to their composition. They are priced pretty reasonably too. The twenty bar pack is listed at £39.99, which equals £2.00 per bar. Individual protein bars from most brands are usually priced at £2.00 – 2.50 in shops. However, the price often seems reduced on the Tom Oliver site. I’ve seen it as low as £27.99 for the box, which would equate to £1.40 a bar, which is a good price.
I decided to order a bar of each to try them out. Finding individual bars was a bit of a mission. But I managed to order two of the Chocolate Mint and two for the Chocolate Coconut bars at a price of £3.11 per bar including postage. Massively over the odds, but if I didn’t like them it would have been a bigger waste of money.
So, how are they?
They are packaged in a good looking, though unfortunately plastic, sealed wrapper. The bars I received had a best before date 8 months in the future, so plenty of time to be consumed. Feeling the Tom Oliver Chocolate Mint bars made me think that I had made a bad decision, as the feel really hard. Giving them a squeeze doesn’t have much give.
However, I was mistaken. Biting in to the bar felt much softer than the touch would have you believe. They aren’t overly chewy or hard like other protein bars I’ve tried. The taste is quite nice. The chocolate is more of a dark chocolate taste, but the mint gives it a nice, fresh flavour. As the bar gets eaten more and more, it is evident that the taste is not too rich or the bar too stiff, that it becomes a chore to eat. Overall a very nice and pleasant experience.
How do Tom Oliver Chocolate Mint protein bars stack up to a similar product?
As per usual, I thought it would be useful to compare the nutritional information of the animal free product to a similar traditional product. I pulled the competition straight out of a google search, and as I write this have never eaten one or looked at the nutritional values. So let’s take a look at Tom Oliver Vs. Quest Nutrition.
|Tom Oliver Chocolate Mint Vegan (100g)||Quest Chocolate Mint Chunk (100g)|
I have just started an online nutrition course at the Open University. So in the future I will be able to look back at these charts and give some better insight in to them. At the moment, I can see that on the whole, they are pretty similar. The Tom Oliver bar has slightly more sugar and saturates than the Quest. But the Quest does have a fair bit more protein and fibre. However, I’ve never tasted the quest bar, so maybe packing all that extra protein in there would make their bars tougher or richer?
Overall I’m happy with the bars and will be getting more of them to boost my protein intake and eat after exercise. There will certainly be some taken on my Mount Snowdon trip. They taste nice and aren’t exhausting to eat at all. The only thing I would prefer to see at this stage is recyclable packaging. Traditionally people became vegan because of their love of animals. But these days, more and more, you see people changing their eating habits because of the environment. Other than not having children, or simply not existing; going meat free is the single biggest thing that people can do to help the environmental situation. If people are changing with this as a main reason, they will be looking for recyclable packaging.
If you liked this review, please check out my others for more meat free alternatives.
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