Thursday, April 3, 2008

Product Review: Detour Caramel Peanut Protein Bar (both the regular and lower sugar versions)

Apparently Beth (AKA Melting Mama) and I are of somewhat like minds these days while shopping... We both picked up the same protein bar to try--Detour's lower sugar Caramel Peanut Protein Bar. This bar appeals to the WLS postop due to its nutritional counts--just 15 net carbs, 15 grams of protein and only 170 calories. If it tasted as good as the nutrition facts read, it would be a winner! Looking at the wrapper, you are hoping it will be like a Snickers bar with bennies such as high protein and low carbs!
Melting Mama reviewed this bar on her blog and posted about it on as well. It wasn't a good review. She compared it to licking the bottom of a bathroom floor tile circa 1973... You can imagine where that went!

SO, after reading this review and conversation thread, I must admit that I was tempted to give this one to the kiddo and see what she said... If she gave it an okay (remember, she won't eat a protein bar that tastes like protein), then perhaps I'd consider buying another and trying it myself. But, I bit the bullet and tried this one after all. I have considered trying this bar for many months now (each time I stand in Walmart or Sam's Club contemplating the protein bar array) for many reasons. First, it meets my "rules for protein bars" with at least one gram of protein per gram of net carbs (15 of each in this case). The lower sugar bar has just 170 calories. Not many bars will meet that protein versus carbs rule AND still have less than 200 calories. It just doesn't happen often! But, this bar does both. AND, it was only about a buck to purchase! So, what could I lose, right? Well, I bought it. Actually, I bought it AND the non-lower sugar version to try both. The NON lower sugar version actually has just 14 grams of net carbs, still has 15 grams of protein, and has 180 calories. It does, however, have 6 grams of sugars versus the 3 in the lower sugar version.
After trying them both, I must say that if given a choice between these two bars and nothing else for an entire day, I would choose, ugh, the lower sugar version. While they both have a distinct protein taste to me, the regular version has a stronger protein taste despite the higher sugar content. Both give me a nasty after-effect in proteinalicious burps... Ugh again! I hate, hate, HATE protein powders and the way they taste and smell. I also hate protein bars that distinctly taste like protein bars... If I'm eating a bar, I want it to be more of a treat than a protein item. So, that protein taste (whether during or after) is a joy killer for me. Fortunately, despite the protein taste, neither bar gave me the vision of licking dirty, mildewy floor tiles like it did for Melting Mama. Sorry Beth... While I didn't really care for them, you are alone on that one!
I will add though that the truth-in-advertising factor comes into play here too. The pic on the package is a bit more attractive than the actual bar. See above my shot of what it really looked like inside. There is a thin layer of nuts/caramel above a thick layer of nougat. But, if you scroll up and look at the wrapper pics (particularly the regular, not lower sugar one), you see lots of nuts and gooey caramel pictured. As you can see from this pic, that is NOT what you actually get...

They have a buy one, get one free coupon offer on their website right now. The coupon comes by email. Go to to request one.

From the Detour Website:

Original Detour – the #1 Whey Protein Bar

Detour is #1 for a reason. It starts with the core of every Detour product - whey protein, the highest quality protein available. And whey protein has never been more delicious! You’ll love our candy bar flavors, like Caramel Peanut and Chocolate Crunchy Peanut Butter. Of course, our bars are made with only the finest ingredients:

  • 15 – 30 grams Protein
  • High-quality Whey Protein
  • Award-winning candy-bar taste
The candy bars they are thinking of may have won awards, but these protein bars aren't winning any awards from me! Just my opinion (and Beth's I suppose), but I'd rather tell ya'll what I really think!

Product Name: Detour Lower Sugar Caramel Peanut protein bar and Detour Caramel Peanut Protein Bar

Product Type (meal replacement, protein bar, snack, etc):
protein bars

Where Can I Get/Find It? many grocers, Walmart, Target, Sam's Club, etc... Pretty much anyplace that sells protein bars!

Cost: single bar is about a buck, box of 5 is about $5

Pros: cheap, readily available, good balance of protein versus carbs, less than 200 calories

Cons: Distinct protein aftertaste to the lower sugar version, distinct protein taste while eating with regular version, proteinalicious after-burps!

Overall Rating: Lower Sugar version--Maybe Baby! I just might eat this bar in a pinch where I couldn't get one I'd rather have.
Regular version--No Way Baby! I might just go hungry if this were the only other option!

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