In the past five years, Greek yogurt sales have skyrocketed from $35 million to $2 billion, making it the new darling of the food world. Rickland Orchards, looking to capitalize on America’s new found love for Grecian probiotics, has developed individually packaged All Natural Greek Yogurt Bars in six flavors: blueberry acai, cranberry almond, cherry almond, toasted coconut, orchard peach and apple & honey. The bars are layered with Greek yogurt, granola, nuts and honey and each has 160-70 calories, 6-10g fat, 8-12g sugar, 5g dietary fiber and sells for $1.49-$1.79.
The first thing that caught my eye about these bars was the attractive packaging. The colors were so bright they looked like a pack of highlighters. Rickland Orchards was generous enough to send us some samples in six-pack boxes so we could see if the contents of the bars lived up to their wrappers.
The bars are dense, which is nice – no loose, crumbly Quaker Oats granola bars for these guys. From there, though, the flavors were a little unbalanced.
“Too fruity and not enough granola-ey,” said one of my coworkers about the orchard peach. “But maybe that’s what they were going for.” I agreed with her, but in a different sense. I thought the bars were too nutty. The inclusion of unadulterated almonds in the bars may have helped them live up to their “All Natural” name, but raw almonds, at least these raw almonds, were too bitter and overpowered the light sweetness of the honey, fruit and Greek yogurt.
My two least favorite bars of the bunch were orchard peach and cranberry almond. The orchard peach was the thinnest bar, and the fruit in it was candy-sweet - probably due to the added sugar.
“Adding too much sugar seems like a shortcut to me,” said another one of my coworkers. “Like, if you had to cover up the taste with a bunch of sugar…well, these would have tasted great because that’s real fruit in there.”
As for the cranberry almond, the flavor of the cranberry provided the least welcoming flavor palette for the almonds.
Cherry almond, apple & honey and toasted coconut were all respectable, but my favorite bar was blueberry acai.
The sweetness of the fruit in the blueberry acai was perfect-pitch – enough to equalize with the almond but not so sweet that it distorted the flavor of the fruit Jolly Rancher-style.
In the end, I would deem the blueberry acai, toasted coconut, cherry almond and apple & honey worthy granola bar purchases, but not the other two. These are a healthier choice than most for on-the-go snacking. But if you have the time, you might be better off buying real Greek yogurt and mixing in your own granola and honey.