The bars are ideal for a low calorie snack being clean with an impressive ingredients listing and macronutrient makeup. Unfortunately, they are just average in terms of taste and texture.
- Impressive ingredients
- Under 140 calories per bar
- Keeps you satisfied
- No taste "wow factor"
- Texture is average
- Transparency could be improved
Slim Secrets is an Australian brand and their Bare Bars are what they claim is their "Clean Protein Bar". Weighing in at 40g per bar, it's high in protein, high in fibre and low in sugar. It's a brand marketed toward females, but if you're a guy, this may well be worth a look.
Nutrition & Directions
You'll notice on the ingredients list that the first ingredient is oligofructose, which is a natural prebiotic fibre. This is the main contributor to the high fibre content and also what holds the bar together. As oligofructose is difficult for the body to digest, it has a reduced caloric value. The benefit of being a prebiotic is that it aids in the healthy balance of a healthy microbiome.
Secondly they have a protein blend which is dairy based from whey protein isolate, milk protein concentrate and calcium caseinate. All very good quality protein which is often rarely found in products marketed toward females.
Following this there are a range of ingredients that contribute to the taste and texture. This includes almond paste and slivered almonds, fruit, flavouring, natural colour, natural flavouring, stevia and vitamin E. This is an impressive listing being all natural and full of good fats from the almonds.
On the flip side, cocoa butter appears in all three bars. Cocoa butter is a high fat ingredient and very high in saturated fat (roughly 60%). It constitutes approximately 4% of these bars based on weight. Besides that, the chocolate and strawberry bars contain chocolate chips and white chocolate chips respectively, at 4.5% of the total bar weight. Worth noting, the salted caramel and banana flavour has "sugar-free" caramel chips.
Overall there is very little to fault about the ingredients contained within this bar. It's marketed as a "clean protein bar" and, besides the cocoa butter and chocolate chips, it is exactly that. High quality protein, prebiotic fibre and all natural - they really excelled in this area.
The macro's in these bars are very good. As the brand suggests, "Slim Secrets" is marketed toward weight loss and each bar comes in at between 127-137 calories.
Each bar has over 12g of protein, 4.4g-6.3g of fat and exceptionally low carbs (between 2.1g-3.5g).
Although I did highlight the presence of the cocoa butter previously, bare in mind that this is only a small percentage of the total weight. Consequently each bar only has 1.4g-2.4g of saturated fat. However on a percentage basis, these bars are up to 15.7% fat (double choc being the highest), which is relatively high. On the flip side, for a 40g bar, the fat (and fibre) does keep you satisfied for quite a while.
For a protein bar it's rare to see something so low in carbs (and sugar) while being relatively high in protein with moderate fat. These bars perform well in this category.
Firstly, the good. It's great to see that several of the ingredients are listed with their respective percentages. The bars are free from any outlandish claims with some relevant statements like "Clean protein bar" and "Gluten free".
While the bars do exceed many other bars in terms of listing percentage of certain ingredients, unfortunately not all ingredient percentages are disclosed. We find that the protein blend groups the three proteins together, so we do not know how much of each there is relative to the other ingredients.
Surprisingly, we also do not know what constitutes the chocolate chips, sugar-free caramel chips or white chocolate chips. There are statements indicating the minimum amount of milk solids and cocoa solids in them, but that's about it.
Here we see that there is some attempt at transparency above what is required on a label. The bars do state "with nothing to hide" and while I don't believe that anything is being hidden, certain things have not been fully disclosed.
Directions & Servings
One bar is one serve and weighs in at 40g. This is a typical bar weight for a low calorie bar. Given how filling they are, it's more than adequate and perfect if you're looking for a low calorie snack.
Taste & Texture
There are three flavours available; Double Choc, Berries & Cream and Salted Caramel & Banana. This is a limited assortment for a bar and they rank in the top 47% of the protein bar category.
Starting with the double choc, it's a dark chocolate taste that is not overly sweet. There is a nutty undertone to the taste thanks to the presence of the almonds. If you're not looking for a chocolate that is super sweet, the taste profile in this flavour is good.
The Berries & Cream flavour is a bit sweeter and there is a strong presence of strawberry flavour. The cranberries and almond in the bar balance out the taste. While I can't say the taste is bar, there isn't much of a wow factor to this flavour. The strong strawberry flavour does tend to linger in your mouth. Of the three flavours, this was my least favourite.
Finally the Salted Caramel & Banana flavour balances the two flavour components out well. While the caramel tends to overpower the banana flavour slightly, it is overall reasonably pleasant. This bar also isn't overly sweet and the almond lays a good foundation to the taste.
My favourite was the chocolate. While none of these flavours are stand outs within the category, they are generally pleasant and are about average for a protein bar.
Flavour Rating Consistency
Both the salted caramel & banana and double choc flavours come in at scores of 100%, while the Berries and Cream are at 80%. A 20% variation in score ranks these bars in the bottom 26% of the category for flavour rating consistency.
Solubility & Texture
If you like bars with a prebiotic base (think Quest bars), then you'll like these. They are chewy and will stick to your teeth a little.
I do like the fact that they've added in little bits of crunch into the bars (like the almonds). This takes the bars from a boring almost "Play-Doh" type texture to something a little more interesting. At the same time, I can't say that this was a standout in terms of texture. It's fine and there's nothing wrong with it, but it's also not going to blow your mind.
These bars are quite popular amongst both females and (surprisingly) males alike. They rank in the top 80% of the protein bar category.
Rate of Repurchase
Customers are overall fairly likely to repurchase these bars. Within the protein bar category, they rank within the top 27% in terms of likeliness to purchase them a subsequent time after the initial purchase.
The average rating comes in at 89% with the berries & cream flavour pulling the rating down quite significantly. This positions the bars in the bottom 26% of the protein bar category when comparing to all other ratings.
Value for Money
The bars come individually wrapped in a plastic and foil wrapper, ideal for keeping the bars fresh. Each box of 12 comes in a box. As a single bar is a single serve, there is nothing to fault here.
After weighing a 40g bar, it came in at 45g. This well and truly exceeded the claim on the package, so full marks here!
These bars come in at under $4 each which is typical for a weight loss focussed protein bar based on price alone.
However given the great ingredient makeup and macronutrients, bonus points are due here. Frankly there' s a lot of junk at this price point and so if you're looking for a low-calorie bar packed full of good stuff, I believe they represent very good value.
These bars perform well above average for the category. They are low calorie, high protein, high in prebiotic fibre, naturally sweetened, naturally flavoured, naturally coloured with added fruit and/or almonds. Although the transparency, taste and texture could be improved, it is a very clean bar (as advertised) that represents great value.