by Matt Weik
If you’ve been following my contents for a long time, you know I love protein bars and protein shakes. Having worked for a large nutritional supplement company many moons ago that pretty much dominated the bar market for years, it can be said that I am always on the lookout for protein bars. Well, I got my hands on a Built Bar and it just took me a bite to find out my thoughts on this protein bar.
The built bar – a big opponent
My brother-in-law and I are very similar in that we love protein bars and drinks. His job doesn’t allow him to take long breaks or lunches, so he relies on protein supplements to get him through the day. I met him last weekend and he gave me a built bar. He said, “Here, try this.” I wasn’t sure if that was a positive or if it was some kind of plan and he wanted to laugh at my reaction when I bite into it.
I looked over the profile and was actually pleasantly surprised. I wondered if this bar, having a decent profile, would taste like the end of a skunk’s ass, or be rock hard or not – it was nothing like that, either. My first bite in the Built Bar was like sinking my teeth into a chewy and soft brownie. Granted, the taste I tried from the Built Bar was mint brownie (so they nailed it).
What I found was that the Built Bar is delicious. I didn’t get a weird aftertaste. I didn’t have to check that all of my teeth were still there after chewing. And the taste was really impressive.
After getting home that evening, I did a little more research on Built Bar as I wanted to see what else they had to offer with their bars from a taste standpoint. At the time of this writing, there are currently nine flavors – orange, strawberry, coconut, mint brownie, salted caramel, raspberry, double chocolate, cookies’ n cream, and cherry barcia.
For those who love protein bars but want something smaller than a healthy snack option, Built Bar also offers the same protein bar flavors in “Bites”. Essentially, it’s a bite-sized version of their bar that’s about half the size of their standard protein bar. One thing I did notice, however, is that the carousel on their website had different flavors for the bites (one that I want but doesn’t even show up in their drop-down menu). Flavors such as toffee-almond, apple-almond crisp, banana-nut bread, caramel brownie, carrot cake with walnuts, German chocolate cake, lemon-almond cheesecake, peanut butter brownie and peanut butter. I hope these flavors are available in the full-size bars.
It should also be noted that you DO NOT want to keep Built Bars in your car when it is hot outside. If you do, you’ll (literally) have a mess on your hands when you try to eat one. The chocolate will liquefy and become a massive disaster.
What does the profile look like?
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, I worked for a brand that to date has one of the best-selling protein bars in the United States. Built Bar actually compares (on their website) their protein bar to four well known competitors in the industry. Honestly, that requires some serious problems as most brands may create a table comparing different brands to theirs, but they tend to use “Competitor A” and the like to disguise who it actually is. Not built bar. They went ahead and called their competitors directly for whom I have to give them props.
The Built Bar all have roughly the same profile, regardless of taste. You see 130 calories, 2.5 g fat, 4 g net carbohydrates, 4 g sugar, 6 g fiber, 17 g protein, and no nuts in their bars. The total size of the bar is 49 g. They also go a step further and compare their Built Bar to different candy bars as well, which seems kind of irrelevant as people who eat protein bars don’t tend to eat candy bars and vice versa.
Another thing I noticed is that they sell their Built Bar in boxes of 18 bars. Most protein bars these days come in boxes of six or twelve. I’m curious why that is. If they were to sell their bars in carton sizes similar to their competition, it could tempt people to buy a built bar when prices are about the same. When people see a box of bars for one and the other at a much higher price, many tend to tend to default to the lower price, even without understanding that they are getting more bars per box at the Built Bar (some people like that not math … I’m a couple of people).
A purpose greater than the built bar
I could write a whole section about Built Bar being the “Official Protein Bar” of US Ski & Snowboard as well as USATF (USA Track & Field), but these days everyone is trying to connect their brand with athletes and sports programs to help their brand and To make products visible. But that’s not what caught my attention.
What I noticed is that Built Bar (or better: Built as a company) works with brands that help feed children. They have their own Built for Good program that goes out to the community and ensures they feed children at risk or honor our nation’s heroes.
Built Bar as a brand has partnered with Five.12, which helps feed children outside of the typical school lunch. Many children go home from school and their lives change dramatically. Many families cannot afford to eat and these children (especially on weekends) do not get enough food nevermind strong nodes. That’s why Built provides food every week for children who need it. Built buys groceries, volunteers pack weekend bags, deliver food to schools that need it, and teachers and counselors distribute food to students in need. They deliver around 2,136 weekly pressure bags every week. That’s damn great.
All in all, I’m incredibly impressed not only with the Built Bar itself, but also with what the brand is doing for the industry and the community. If you have the opportunity to acquire some of these bars, I highly recommend you try them out.