“ Brand: Nestle / Type: Cereal Bar „
PRICE: £1.75 for a pack of 4 (@ my local Sainsburys) NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per bar): Calories: Chocolate = 114 : Strawberry = 109 Protein: Chocolate = 2.1g : Strawberry = 1.8g Carbohydrates: Chocolate = 20.5g : Strawberry = 21.0g [of which sugars]: Chocolate = 6.7g : Strawberry = 6.8g Fat: Chocolate = 2.7g : Strawberry = 2.0g [of which saturates]: Chocolate = 1.1g : Strawberry = 0.7g Fibre: Chocolate = 1.0g : Strawberry = 1.2g Sodium: Both Chocolate & Strawberry = 0.03g Salt equivalent: Both Chocolate & Strawberry = 0.1g INGREDIENTS: CHOCOLATE FLAVOUR BAR: Cereal grains (46.2%), whole grain oat flakes (31.4%), whole grain wheat rice, oat bran (2.7%), wheat flour, maize flour, malted wheat flour, glucose syrup, milk chocolate (11%), skimmed milk powder, soya lecithin, vanilla flavour, inverted sugar syrup, barley malt extract, sorbitol, vegetable oil, sugar, honey, soya lecithin, partially inverted brown sugar syrup, salt, chocolate flavour, tocopherols, molasses, trisodium, phosphate, niacin, vitamin E, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, riboflavin (B2), thiomin (B1), folic acid, vitamin B12, calcium carbonate, iron STRAWBERRY FLAVOUR BAR: The same as the chocolate variety above, except that the chocolate ingredients are replaced with freezed-dried strawberries (5.5%), cranberries, and strawberry flavouring DIETARY/ALLERGY ADVICE: May contain different types of nuts ============================================== For me, cereal bars are a bag of mixed fortunes. Though most of them are no healthier than a bar of chocolate, some of them do taste quite nice, and have added vitamins & minerals. The advantage for me which a cereal bar (so long as it tastes good) has over chocolate, is that after I've eaten one, I don't want another for quite a long time, whereas if I eat a chocolate bar, it just gives me the taste and I'll keep on and on eating more until my stomach almost at overflowing point with fat, additives, calories, sugar etc. At least with the cereal bar, the satisfaction levels from eating one are much higher, even if they aren't too great in the nutritional department at times, and I thus find it very easy to stop at just one. I spotted Nestle Oats & More Bars the other day whilst ambling around Sainsbury's, and as I'd never seen them before, thought I'd give them a try - I for the most part love Nestle breakfast cereals, so surmised that they probably would be good at making cereal bars too. These cereal bars come in flattish boxes which on the strawberry variety has strawberry-related images on the front, and chocolate related images for the chocolate flavour. The back and sides of the boxes show nutritional information, ingredients, dietary/allergy advice, and Nestle's quality claim together with their contact details. Each bar is quiet small and of uniform size, wrapped individually, sealed at both ends, and the wrapper design is identical to that which is on the box(es). Here, I am reviewing just the chocolate flavour and the strawberry flavour. There is a cherry flavour available too, but as I'm not a fan of cherry-flavoured things, I decided not to buy that variety. CHOCOLATE FLAVOUR This is a strange little cereal bar which is pale coloured, and the oats are quite prominent poking from the top. The consistency is rather sticky, and there is just a smattering of tiny chocolate nuggets embedded in the grain mix. On moving towards my mouth, I couldn't detect any chocolate smell - which wasn't surprising, as there was hardly any inside the bar. All I could smell was a sort of a syrupy aroma mixed with that of rolled oats. On biting into the bar, I wasn't overly impressed. The consistency is rather chewy, yet not in a pleasant way. I felt as though I was chomping on highly sweetened nuggets of polystyrene rather than mixed cereals, and the whole thing felt horribly gluey in my mouth. That wouldn't have been so bad if the chocolate flavour had been strong, but the nuggets of it were so sparse, that I could hardly taste chocolate at all. I did eat the whole of the first bar though (and the others over a period of a few days), and the only thing I can say in their favour is that they filled a little hole in my stomach. I was craving chocolate when I ate the first one, but was left still craving afterwards. I think this bar would be improved a lot if the chocolate nuggets inside was a more generous serving, and the bar were crisped up a bit, texture-wise - not so much that it becomes hard and crunchy - just to remove that gluey sensation I got upon chewing. STRAWBERRY FLAVOUR Now, this was much better. The consistency and size was the same as that of the chocolate flavour, but the serving of little nuggets of dried strawberry inside was much more generous serving than the chocolate nuggets in the other variety. On unwrapping the bar, there was quite a distinctive strawberry smell, mixing in with the oats. For some unknown reason, because I'm sure the two varieties must basically be made to the same recipe and the flavourings added afterwards, the cereal felt different inside my mouth - this strawberry bar was nowhere near so gluey as the chocolate one, and far less sweet. The strawberry bits were quite authentic-tasting, and a pleasantly tangy, blending rather well with mix of oats, other cereals and sweetenings This bar was much more satisfying in that though it was less sweet, and didn't contain any chocolate, it actually did hit my "chocolate spot" which is probably more a craving for the constituents of a chocolate bar, rather than the chocolate itself. The blend of ingredients in this bar is just right, and chances are moderately high that I may buy them again. ============================================ My overall view of these two varieties of Nestle Oats & More Cereal Bars is that the chocolate variety for me was a complete waste of time - edible, but very far down the scale of special; but, the strawberry variety is rather nice.....not mind-blowingly wonderful, but a massive improvement on the chocolate flavour. I have overall tasted better cereal bars than these ones, even the strawberry flavour, and I'd rate them as being not horrible, with the chocolate one being very mediocre, and the strawberry one being moderately nice. The lure of the packaging (which is tasteful and colourful) makes these cereal bars seem a lot more tempting than what they actually are, and though I may buy the strawberry one again some day, I shall nine times out of ten be eating other brands of cereal bar which I prefer - plus, I shall be avoiding the chocolate variety. A moderate offering from Nestle, which surprises me, as I usually find their cereal type products very very good. Thanks for reading!
Since I have had to provide my own lunch at work for the last year, I have experimented with different things to take with me in my lunch box. One thing that remains a stapole of my box are cereal bars as, if I don't have time to stop, these are a quick snack, supposedly healthy-ish, which can keep me going till I do get 5 minutes to wolf down a sandwich. I have tried several varieties, all of which share the advantage of being able to be eaten on the move, but had never tried Oats N More until recently in my generic supermarket I saw new cherry flavoured bars..... Now I quite like cherries, well I say that- I am not keen on the fruit per se but I do enjoy the flavour, so decided to give these a go. Although quite nice, they are pretty tough to chew and not for anyone who hasn't got an extremely sweet tooth!! The Cherry flavoured ones I recently tried tasted a little like those Cherry Drops- y'know those sweets you used to buy in newsagents, the same ones that sold those boiled sweets known as Frosties!Only sweeter still...yes, I very much doubt there is much healthy about these bars..... They are also smaller than other bars on the market and a lot less fullfilling. One of my favourite cereal bars are the Jordans Frusili and Breakfast bars as these often help to seal a hunger-pang sized hole! These did nothing similar and were gone in a fraction of the time! Yes they were a tad cheaper than my usual Jordans snack but you don't get much for your money!! Maybe I should try one of the other flavours before I make my final judgement but I am not sure any of the other flavour varieties would appeal so much as I am not keen on Strawberry and as for the chocolate ones...well, lets just say I would probably be better off just eating a bar of chocolate! The only reason I purchased these was because I am fond of artifical Cherry flavours but I did not really find these all that satisfactory and no replacement for other bars on the market. If I bought these, it would be as well as my normal cereal bar not in replace of. I think from now on, I will stick to brand loyalty and tried and tested favourites! These were okay but nothing that amazing and a bit too sweet even for my teeth!!
I bought these strawberry flavour Oats & More cereal bars from Tesco recently as they were reduced in price to £1 for a box of four. I find cereal bars useful to keep in the cupboard as they are generally sweet enough to make me feel like I'm being naughty, yet are low enough in calories to snack on them without ruining my diet. These bars are made with oats which have been compressed into a long block, Nestle have added strawberry pieces to this bar although I believe you can buy other fruity flavours in this range. I'm actually in two minds as to whether I like it or not, the taste is great as the bar is a pleasant strawberry flavour which I love. It's not too sweet but has a kind of natural sweetness, which I'm aware probably isn't natural in the slightest but is a much nicer taste than some of the sugary cereal bars available at the moment. It's the consistency of the bar I had trouble with as it's very, very chewy. Too chewy to be enjoyable really as by the time I was into my third bite my teeth were aching a little bit, I finished the bar later that evening as I couldn't have eaten it all in one go even if I wanted to. There are lots of oats in the cereal bar and these are compacted together really hard and it takes an awful lot of chewing, even biting through the bar is tougher than I'd like! The strawberry pieces are chewy too, but this is in a nice way as they are more like little strawberry sweets than pieces of fruit and they compliment the oats perfectly. I found the bar fairly filling, admittedly I ate it in two servings but it's so cloying and stodgy that I actually did feel as though I'd eaten something more substantial than my usual Special K or Alpen cereal bars. Each bar contains 109 calories and 2g of fat, which is about right for this kind of bar. Do you see why I'm torn? The bar is filling and would certainly stave off any mid morning hunger pangs and it tastes delicious, BUT the consistency just isn't right for me. In fact I'd worry about one of my teeth coming out in the sticky, hard mass of oats!
I only purchased this four bar pack from Tesco Online because it was on an attractive special offer, reduced from £1.75 to £1.00. The chocolate and strawberry flavours were included in the offer but I opted for the cherry because it's new and I have a love for most cherry flavoured foodstuffs. ***Packaging*** The first thing that struck me was the excess packaging. The bars are much smaller than I expected just 8.5cms length by 3cms width. Each is individually wrapped in foil and these wrappings exceed the length of the bar by four centimetres. The recyclable cardboard box in which these are packed is 14.5 cms height by 16.5 cms width, well in excess of the space needed to enclose the four bars. (Okay you wonder why I omit the depth. Well that's about right - bar 1.5cms, box 2.5cms). This may seem to be anorak speak but whilst many people are concerned by excess packaging in these environmentally aware days, I am more concerned that the consumer is duped into thinking they are purchasing more than they actually get! The design on the box is quite inviting with the now familiar Oats & More logo in blue against a white background, an illustration of the bar to the left and a swirl of red to the right displaying juicy looking cherries and a few stems of 'sun ripened' oats. I just have to observe that the bar, oats and cherries are all larger than life! Caveat emptor! ***Appearance, Taste and Texture*** Although smaller than expected the bars look inviting with the whole grains and fruit closely packed and looking very wholesome under a glossy glaze. There is a slight syrupy aroma. I tried to bite into the bar but ended up having to pull a bite size piece in my mouth. Maybe my teeth are too blunt through age or my jaw is too weak to make this an enjoyable experience! I can't say! But this wasn't an ideal introduction and I wouldn't want to consume one in polite company where facial contortions whilst eating might be unacceptable. I like a cereal bar that is crisp enough to crunch with chewy as a side order. With these the accent is definitely on the chewy with a few crisp bites along the way! As you pull it apart you can see short thin 'strings' adhering to all the grains and fruit. Presumably these are the evidence of high quantities of syrup, honey and molasses in the mixture and are the cause of the soft stickiness of the whole bar which made for quite an unpleasing feel and texture. However this is a personal thing and it may be to some people's taste. As to taste it has to be said it is overwhelmingly sweet and as each 30g bar contains 7.1g sugar it is to be expected! There is a cherry flavour lingering underneath the sweetness but it's really not as strong as I would have liked. In the interests of research I pulled the bar apart to extract a few of the deep red pieces scattered throughout the bar. (I washed my hands first!) On the box the blurb states that these bars are "bursting with juicy cherries". Well to start with these red bits are small fragments, the texture of which resembles low quality raisins (not much juice there!) and when I bit into them they did not taste like cherries. I put it down to a failure in my taste buds until I looked at the ingredients and there, as well as freeze dried cherries, I found mention of sweetened cranberries. I pulled out a few more pieces and maybe I was unlucky but I am sure all of the half dozen or so I sampled were cranberries. I can only assume that the cherry taste is more due to the cherry flavouring listed in the ingredients than the presence of the actual fruit. It's puzzling that there is no mention of cranberries anywhere in the product description. As cranberries are generally regarded as goodies in the nutritional field, why are they hidden away in the ingredients list? Cherry and Cranberry has a good alliterative ring so why not call a spade a spade? Maybe cherries sound a little more expensive and luxurious? Overall I was less than impressed with a product which I was looking forward to eating and for which I had high hopes. ***Nutrition*** Those who like to study such information can find all the ingredients and nutritional values at http://www.cerealpartners.co.uk/brands/oats-and-more-bars.aspx I will just highlight a few points starting with the most impressive which is that one bar contains 20% of the recommended daily allowance of eight vitamins ( including E, B1,B2, B6, B12, niacin and folic acid) and 20% of the calcium RDA. However the calories content is quite high at 109 kcal per bar as is the sugar, which I have already mentioned, at 7.1g. Interestingly the latter is higher that that of its chocolate and strawberry equivalent. Even the fat content is quite high at 2g although, to be fair only 0.7 of this is saturates and they contain only 0.1g salt. There is no mention of potential allergens on the web page so I have to screw my eyes up to consult the small print on the box. The warning runs "may contain milk, peanuts almond and other nut traces". However it should be noted these contain whole grain wheat and wheat flour. I can find no mention of suitability for vegetarians. Looking at the ingredients nothing jumps out as unsuitable but I am no expert in such matters. ***Price*** At their normal price of £1.79 (nearly 45p per bar) I thought these were expensive and would never have purchased them if they had not been on the Tesco) special offer which finishes on 10th March 2009. As I don't buy cereal bars very often I wondered if I was out of touch with prices so I ran a short comparison on the Sainsbury website. The following comparison (ranked in price order lowest to highest) is based on 100g for each product:- Sainsbury's Basics Oat and Raisin Bars £0.62 Kellogs Nutrigrain Morning Bars £0.74 - £0.77 (depending on flavour) Jordans Multigrain Fruit and Nut Bars £0.81 Sainsbury's Raspberry Bars £0.88 Kellogs Nutrigrain Elevenses £0.89 Jordans Frusli Raisin & Hazelnut Cereal Bars £1.01 Oats and More £1.49 Special K Bars £1.59 Maybe this is not an exact, like for like comparison but it does suggest that my initial impression was correct and these are not cheap! No wonder they put them in a big box! ***Conclusion*** I felt very let down by this product. The bars are tasty enough but rather too sweet for me. They certainly have a cherry flavour but it is not that strong and I really prefer more crunch in my cereal bar. From a nutritional point of view the message is mixed as these are high in vitamins and calcium but also high in calories and sugar! The larger than necessary box and the fact that I am eating cranberries posing as cherries makes me feel I am being duped. They are not a cheap option even at the special offer price. I won't be buying them again or sampling the other two varieties, chocolate and strawberry. However if you like a bit of stickiness, a very chewy texture, cranberries with cherry flavouring and you don't need to count the pennies, do give them a try. ***Postscript - the Nestle Debate*** I have deliberately avoided any mention of the manufacturer, Nestle, until now because their ethical credentials are a contentious subject. Personally I have always disliked the fact that this Swiss company through advertising robbed us of the established anglicised pronunciation of Nestle (as in wrestle). It has such lovely warm snuggling connotations! Suddenly all the TV adverts changed and gradually indoctrinated us into acknowledging the acute accent over the final 'e' by pronouncing it Nestlay. The Nestle's Milky Bar Kid was never the same after he assumed the identity of the Nestlay Milky Bar Kid. Of course this is just a light-hearted and flippant point! There is a much more serious debate about Nestle's ethical credentials and a call to boycott their products, which has gone on for some thirty years. It mainly centres on the company's alleged "unethical methods of promoting infant formula over breast-milk to poor mothers in third world countries". There are other allegations including unacceptable labour practices, the purchasing of chocolate from plantations using slave labour and aggressive marketing practices. I have friends who would not give any Nestle product house room and would probably boycott me if they knew I sometimes strayed! However firstly I find it difficult to keep track of all the products which come under the Nestle banner - from Purina Animal Feed to Perrier Water and including in their portfolio household brand names such as Rowntrees, Findus, Crosse and Blackwell and Libbys. Secondly I am not really sure of the efficacy of such boycotts. Thirdly I sometimes feel that if I restricted my purchasing to 100% ethical products I would be starving and naked! Therefore I am not crusading on this issue but feel it should be mentioned. Those requiring further information can find factual (as opposed to emotive) accounts on Wikipedia which include links to other relevant sites:- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nestl%C3%A9_boycott http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nestle That said, although this is a quite an unfavourable review, I have tried to ensure it is completely impartial. I was just not impressed!
These cereal bars were on offer recently in Sainsbury's at half price for a packet of four. I thought this was reasonable but they are maybe a tad too expensive at around £1.70 for a box of four if you buy at full price. The bars themselves are a nice mix of oats and cereal/grains, combined with good sized chocolate chunks if you go for the chocolate flavoured ones which are my favourite. The sticky consistency used to combine everything together is not too sweet and the overall taste and texture is really delicous. Some cereal bars are too knobbly for me and this one is a little knobbly but overall it doesn't hurt the roof of my mouth as I bite into it which is good. My daughter loves these and I put them in her lunch box for school as they are a nice alternative the usual Penguin or Kit Kat and she is happy with the swap. Calorie wise? Well each bar has 114 in them which is fine for a snack. Tasty treats to replace more traditional chocolate.
The picture shown is for the strawberry ones, I am reviewing the chocolate ones. I bought a pack of 4 individually wrapped 30g bars for around £1.70 this week from Tesco. Each bar contains: 114 calories 2.1g protein 20.5g carbohydrate of which 6.7g is sugars 2.7g fat 1.1g saturated fat 1.0g fibre 0.03g sodium 0.1g salt equivalent On the bar is written " delicious chewy oat cereal bar packed with scrumptious chocolate chunks", so the question is does it live up to that promise? In my opinion, pretty much yes! When you take a bite into the oat bar it is really chewy and very tasty even without the chocolate. The chocolate chunks are on top of the bar and you get a fair few chunks of nice choccy for the low calories and fat content, I wouldn't class it as packed with chocolate chunks though! It takes a while to munch the bar and I always try to accompany dry-ish chewy foods with a glass of water to help fill me up for longer. The bar is just about the right size for a mid morning snack or for breakfast on the go I would have it with a piece of fruit and it would keep hunger away until lunch. Great for people who want in indulge in a bit of chocolate but still want to watch the calories