With the kids off on their easter break, I decided to loosen up the purse strings and buy a few more snack items.
I do love a nice Alpen cereal bar, so picked up a box of the Fruit & Nut with Milk Chocolate ones today and have already munched my way through my first bar!
These Alpen bars come in quite a slender cardboard package, with a very attractive picture of mountains on the front. There is also a picture of an Alpen bar, sitting unwrapped on a wooden table, surrounded by it's mainly, healthy ingredients! Because the ingredients include milk chocolate, the box is coloured in a variety of shades of brown.
Inside the box, you find 5 bars which are individually wrapped in easily opened, foil packaging. When opened you find an extremely attractive cereal bar, which has a nice coating of chocolate on the bottom, a mix of cereal, fruit and nuts in the centre and finished off on top by a drizzle of milk chocolate. Yum!
The bar does smell sweet and chocolatey, which does get my mouth watering. When you bite into it, you can taste the smooth, creamy chocolate, but my favourite part is the centre. This is where you find the mix of juicy raisins, crunchy hazelnuts and almonds and tasty cereal. These ingredients are bound together by a light syrup, which makes it chewy and sweet, but not in the slightest bit sickly. They really are delicious.
*Nutritional Value Per 29g Bar*
Energy - 125 kcal
Protein - 2.1g
Carbohydrate - 20.2g
of which sugars - 11.0g
Fat - 3.9g
of which saturates - 1.7g
Fibre - 0.5g
Sodium - 0.03g
Salt Equivalent - 0.09g
This product contains wheat, barley, oats, milk, soya, hazelnuts, almonds and may contain traces of other nuts. It is suitable for vegetarians.
Alpen Fruit & Nut with Milk Chocolate cereal bars are available from Tesco in a pack of 5 for £1.65
I can't say I find this particularly good value, as the bars are tiny and are gone in about three bites. They do taste gorgeous though and I would buy them as a treat once in a while.
The only decision I have to make now is whether to share them with my kids : )
I love muesli based cereals as I like to mix them with yogurt and add more fruit and one of my favourite brands is Alpen. Alpen is made by the Weetabix cereal company and was created in the late 1960's. According to an article I read, it was created as a reaction to the natural organic and environmental movements sweeping the US and UK. To me it has always seemed quite a natural, aware product. This might have something to do with their advertising showing rolling hills and clean, fresh countrysides.
I was quite pleased to find that Alpen now produce a range of cereal bars. Apparently they considered them as a brand extension as a reaction to consumer needs for whole grain snacks on the go. The bars come in lots of different variations such as:
Apple & Blackberry with Yogurt
Strawberry & Yogurt
Raspberry & Yoghurt
Fruit & Nut
Fruit & Nut with Chocolate
Alpen Groove Chocolate & Praline
Alpen Groove Raspberry
Summer Fruit (Light Variant)
Chocolate & Fudge (Light Variant)
Chocolate & Orange (Light Variant)
Apple & Sultana (Light Variant)
The variety I tried were the strawberry and yogurt. The bars are packed with lovely Alpen cereal which includes rolled oats, fruits and nuts. The bar was quite thick and the cereal was held together nicely and was lovely and chewy. On the top of the bars was lots of pieces of dried strawberries. It had actually quite a lot of fruit which was really nice and the fruit was lovely and juicy. THe bottom of the bar is dipped in lovely sweet yogurt and really gave the bar an extra sweet flavour which was lovely. The yogurt was nice and creamy and as well as being on the bottom it is also drizzled across the top of the bar too to make it look good.
Each bar weighs 29g so it's big but not too big, enough for a mid morning snack. Per bar there are 121 calories which I think is quite low so definitely a healthy choice.
Those that have read a few of my reviews (thank you :) ) will know that I am always trying new cereal bars and similar snack type products. On a recent trip to a Tesco superstore I was browsing the cereal aisle and at the end was a range of cereal bars so I thought I'd stop and have a look, as I often don't buy such products from superstores.
There was quite a range available but one that caught my eye was a box of Alpen bars. For clarification, I am reviewing a packet of five, not six as the description says, and the variety I have here is Strawberry & Yoghurt.
As I said, the box caught my eye, and it is not surprising because it is bright red! On the right hand side of the box the word Alpen is printed from the bottom to the top of the box (i.e. to read it you have to turn the box clockwise). There is a picture of one of the cereal bars on the box, with a few fresh strawberries around it and a grain, which I think from the ingredients is meant to be wheat. At the top of the box it states that the contents are 'even tastier' and have '30% more fruit'. I like the bright box, the picture on the front and the fact that it is not cluttered with words. I think that simple packaging like this is good because it makes clear what is in the box without ambiguity.
On the back of the box, the information to note is that there are now a total of six flavours, and there is a long list of ingredients, nutrition information and allergy advice. The product contains wheat, barley, oats, milk, soya and sulphites, and may contain traces of nuts.
I note that each bar is 29g and has a miniscule 121 Kcal! However, there are 10.3g of sugar in each bar but only 1.8g of saturated fat (of a total 3.1g of fat) and 0.03g of sodium. Overall I think this is not too bad but in my opinion the sugar content suggests that in part this has to be viewed as a treat and not just as a snack or a substitute for a healthy breakfast!
Inside the box are five bars which are individually wrapped in sealed packets. I assume that they have done this to keep the bars fresh and can confirm that the packaging does its job! The individual packets have the same style as the box. They're red, with Alpen written across them and a small picture on the left hand side where the manufacturers restate the flavour. The ingredients and allergy information is printed again on the individual packets.
The packet is easy to open and inside there is a medium sized bar of about four inches in length. It is just over one inch deep and about the same in width. I think the bar is very attractive as it has a yoghurt coated base and then has yoghurt drizzled over it in a zig zag pattern. You can see the light brown colour of the cereal and the bright red of the strawberries.
When I bite in to the bar the first thing I notice is the texture, which is a combination of smooth yoghurt and crunchy cereal. When I chew the bar I become aware of the texture of the strawberries. I don't like this texture because the strawberry feels very fake and seems to dissolve on my tongue, almost like a fruit pastille or other fizzy sweet. I thought the strawberries were freeze dried and a look at the ingredients list confirms this. However, there are not many strawberries in the bar and the pieces are very small so for me this is a good thing. If you like freeze dried strawberries, it is not a good thing!
The bar tastes very sweet and has a syrupy flavour to it. I think it is too sweet and would be better if it was less so. Interestingly, most of the sweet flavour seems to come from the cereal part of the bar, or, presumably from the glucose syrup and sugar that binds the cereal together, not from the strawberries.
The yoghurt does not seem to have a taste of its own and the layer on the bottom and zig zags on the top are so thin that this is not surprising.
At 29g the bar is surprisingly filling but I didn't enjoy the taste as much as other cereal bars so I won't be buying these again.
I paid £1.61 in Tesco and they are the same price in Asda.
The box is cardboard and is recyclable. I always recycle the packets as well, although I am not sure if you are supposed to! (We haven't had any problems.)
Thank you for reading!
I cant count how many times I switch my alarm clock off with the intention of getting up right away and then snuggle back under my duvet and just doze off again.
Hence im running late by then so breakfast has to be `On The Hoof`. I`m trying hard to watch my weight, so more than likely I head off to the cupboard to grab a cereal bar. Cereal is a good nourishing breakfast, usually a couple of Weetabix with some cold milk and a touch of sugar goes down well. But if im relegated to a cereal bar for breakfast I would prefer an Alpen bar.
I usually buy my Alpen bars in Sainsbury`s, granted they may cost a few pence more there than buying them in a Discount store but Sainsbury`s is my nearest superstore.
Alpen cereal bars come in packs of 6 and average £1.90 a box.
Just lately I have been buying the Alpen Light bars, the light bars have just under 70 calories a bar, they contain less sugar and half the fat of Alpen yogurt bars. These bars contain a prebiotic which help good bacteria to multiply and keep your digestive system happy.
There are three different varieties of the Alpen light bar, chocolate and orange, Sultana and apple and Light Summer Fruits.
Alpen have yogurt and cereal bars in six different flavours.
Then there are six different Alpen Fruit and Nut bars and last of all the latest bar on the market the Alpen Groove Bar with three different varieties. All of these bars are slightly heavier on the calories though.
The Alpen chocolate and orange light bar is my all time favourite. The high fibre bar has wholegrain flakes, oats and a good tang of orange mixed with some melted chocolate. Overall the texture is on the dry side but the bar still has plenty of taste. I always think that the drizzle of chocolate that sits on the top of the bar is lush, so you don't feel too deprived when you eat it.
The blended grains taste good and at least they do go some way to curb your hunger pangs.
The Alpen yogurt bars are really nice, moist and chewy. If I wasn't weight watching I would make these my first option.
I haven't tried the Alpen Groove bar yet, they have a milk chocolate topping so they are a luxury cereal bar really.
All of the bars are fine for vegetarians, but there are some that contain nuts.
I think with cereal bars that you get what you pay for, I was passing Lidl`s once and nipped in and bought a packet of their cereal bars and it was just like eating a block of dried budgie seed. A mistake I wouldn't be tempted to make again in a hurry.
So I am sticking to what I know from now on.
Alpen cereal bars do exactly what they say on the box, they are delicious, moist and chewy and paked full of fruit and nut pieces. These are great bars for popping in your bag or pocket for a quick and easy snack through the day - I usually have one to keep me going during lectures at uni, or for between dance classes to keep me going. They really are delicious, and sometimes one just isn't enough! At 110 calories and 2.8g fat per bar - they are a healthier alternative to bag of crisps or a bar of chocolate.
They come in boxes of six, and are also available individually in some shops. They come in a variety of flavours but Fruit and Nut (the only ones I have tried) are lovely! The box is blue and green in colour and have a lovely picture of one of the unwrapped bars, surrounded by the fruit nuts and grains that make up the bar. The bars are individually wrapped in a blue wrapper with the contents of the bar, in my case the fruit, nuts and grain, clearly shown on the packaging. (I've just noticed the latest box is a bright green all over - it took me a while to find it on the shelf, as I was looking for the usual box!)
The contents of the bar are made up mostly of cereals (39%) (Whole wheat, Rice and Oats), Glucose syrup (which holds the bar together as you eat, and makes them deliciously chewy), Raisins (12.5%), Apple juice concentrate (which you can clearly taste in the bar), Sugar, Roasted chopped nuts (4.5%)(Hazelnuts and Almonds), along with a variety of other ingredients including milk powder. These ingredients clearly makes the bars unsuitable for people with nut or milk allergies.
The boxes are not the cheapest on the market - at around £1.99, in my local Tesco (that's around 33p per bar), although I have seen them cheaper elsewhere, and sometimes on special in Tesco - this week they were on 2 boxes for £3.
I would definitely recommend these cereal bars, at 28g they are the perfect size for a quick snack, I think I might just go and have another one...
Need to eat on the go? Cant stop for breakfast? The UK market in cereal bars seems to have grown out of all proportion as manufacturers make us think that eating on the go is the way forward and encourage us to spend more and more on pre-packed processed foods that are a convenience.
If you detect a hint of cynicism in my voice you are not mistaken. I am a firm believer that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should not be compromised. I am also of the opinion that our seemingly hectic lifestyles are not just self-perpetuated, but are actually encouraged by marketing teams anxious to convince us that we need new products to cope.
Sometimes, however, I will have reason to consider cereal bars. Rarely will I eat one at breakfast time but I often have such things in my travel bag (a bag I keep at work for those impromptu business meetings abroad) or in my desk at work as a mid-morning snack.
Alpen launched their own version of the cereal bar in 2002 and it was heavily advertised throughout the London Underground network as well as on TV. Knowing that I used to quite like Alpen cereal I decided to give them a go.
The bars are available in four different flavours, Apple and Blackberry with Yoghurt, Fruit and Nut, Fruit and Nut with Chocolate and Strawberry with Yoghurt. I bought packs of the last two flavours. Each pack contained 6 bars (individually wrapped) and cost just under £2 (I believe) although the bars can also be bought individually.
Each bar weighs in at 29g (so not huge) and looks pretty much like any other cereal bar. The base of the cereal bar is coated in chocolate (in the case of the Fruit and Nut with Chocolate variety) and with yoghurt (in the case of the Strawberry variety). There is a good mix of fruits, nuts and cereal in each bar and the flavour and texture is varied enough to keep life interesting (unlike Jordans cereal bars which taste like stuck together sawdust!).
There is no real smell to these products, possibly a slightly sweet nutty smell but nothing that would lure you or put you off.
The bar is definitely a crunchy bar as opposed to a chewy bar and, if I had one major complaint, it would be that the bar does have a tendency to crumb and you will finish eating one of these needing to have a good brush down! The bar is quite dry, despite the addition of the chocolate or yoghurt layer.
The Strawberry bar had a good number of strawberry pieces in it and these added a lightness to the flavour. The Chocolate variety was heavier in consistency and flavour (not unlike a Cadbury Brunch Bar). The bars are fairly sweet but not too sweet in my opinion. I was impressed with the overall flavours and the bar came across as a good quality product, although, in my opinion, not a good substitute for breakfast!
Since these bars are being sold as breakfast substitutes, I do feel that the nutritional information is important. The available protein, fibre, fat and carbohydrates vary across the range. Interestingly, the most calorific bar is NOT the chocolate variety, but the strawberry. The least is the fruit and nut bar. The chocolate variety does seem to be the loser overall though with the least amount of fibre and the most amount of fat. There are added vitamins but not at levels that are really going to make a difference.
All of the bars are suitable for vegetarians but not for vegans and clearly, none are suitable for nut allergy sufferers. They contain both soya and gluten.
All in all I would buy these again as a snack. They are firm enough that they will travel fairly well and would be quite suitable for inclusion in an older childs lunchbox. I would not give them to younger children as the nut pieces are quite big and as the product is fairly dry there is a fairly high risk of choking. As a breakfast substitute I doubt their worth (in the same way in which I doubt the worth of Nutrigrain bars or Frosties bars).
Why is it if someone else in the family decides to go shopping with you it costs you more money?
Daughter No.1 was home for Christmas, we had just returned from Malta the previous day, and as the cupboards looked a bit bare, off we went to Costco to stock up ready for Christmas and parties. I was planning on buying cheeses, wines, non-alcoholic drinks, fancy biscuits, nibbles etc. as well as basics like meat and fish. And of course CHOCOLATES, dont forget the chocolates!
As we walked round, sampling bits and pieces as you do in Costco, she spotted a wrapper with 4 boxes of Alpen Bars. That meant 24 bars, she wouldnt eat all those in 10 days holiday, but as there was no mention of oats, which cause me a problem, they were added to the trolley as they sounded quite yummy.
The wrapper was taken off next morning, revealing the 4 boxes more clearly, 2 Fruit and Nut with Milk Chocolate and 2 Strawberry with Yoghurt. On the back of the box along with some other details it says, A moist chewy combination of crispy rice and wheat flakes and juicy raisins, topped with roast hazelnuts and almonds, and dipped in smooth milk chocolate. The other box had similar details but added, Topped with pieces of real strawberries freeze dried at their succulent best, dipped in a creamy yoghurt flavoured coating.
Each box has a piece of trivia, telling us that Chocolate houses were opened in the 17th. Century in London, to provide refreshment for the body and mind. Going on to say they cant promise a spanking new you, but they can put a spring in your step with New Alpen Fruit and nut bars. On the Strawberry box we discover that in the 12th. Century Genghis Khans hordes carried yogurt in gourds (I hadnt realised that rhymed!) to help fortify them as they crossed deserts. It goes on to say, they cant promise world domination but can help battle your hunger pangs with the goodness of New Strawberry and yoghurt bars.
The fronts of the boxes made in glossy cardboard are fairly similar, both have a blue sky with a mountain. The fruit and nut has a chocolate coloured mountain with ALPEN in large letters on it, plus a tempting picture of the bar and some pieces of chocolate, grapes, ears of wheat and hazelnuts and clearly states 6 Fruit and Nut with Milk Chocolate on a purple vertical stripe. First prize to the Strawberry with yoghurt, a blue sky and shaded red, snow capped mountain with a creamy band with the number of bars. Again a picture of the delicious looking bar, and lots of succulent strawberries and pieces of wheat.
Each bar was foiled wrapped with a similar picture to the front of the box and weighed 29g. Easy enough to open, the lovely smell of chocolate, fruit and nuts met us. It was about 9cm long, 2cm. high and 3cm wide. The base and bottom approx. 0.5cm. was covered in chocolate, the top rounded and sprinkled with nuts. You could see pieces of fruit in the biscuit mixture and it was glossy and slightly sticky. Yum! quite a bite and chewy. Definitely worth trying I thought as I bite again and again. Gosh nearly all gone. Probably 4 bites could be 5 if youre careful! The chocolate was good quality. The flavour was a good mixture of chocolate fruit and nuts and the chewy cereals. I wondered what made it chewy, so when my coffee was finished, I went into the kitchen and picked up the box.
EEKS! On the side of the box I couldnt see which had been covered with the wrapper, it had a list of ingredients. The other side of the box which had been visible had a list in 6 different languages. Cereals 30% (Wheat, Rice Oats) Oh. No! not oats I had thought it tasted like them but was enjoying it too much to stop! Feeling safe as it said a combination of crispy rice and wheat flakes.
Too late the deed was done, I would have to suffer the consequences.
Fortunately the percentage was so low it didnt have any awful affect on me, and since then Ive eaten several more. Im a devil for punishment! Because its chewy you feel as if you are having a lot to eat, there are 122 cals in the Fruit and Nut Bar and 3.9 g Fat, and 119 in the Strawberry and 3.1g Fat, for those of you who are counting the calories. Not sure if it put a spring in my step, but it certainly battled with the hunger pangs and having a fruit juice first and a coffee with it, I have lasted until lunch time, which did surprise me.
The strawberry pieces are full of flavour and not at all cardboardy in texture. The yoghurt covering on the base is just like the yoghurt chocolate covered nuts and raisins that were so popular a few years ago. Again a lovely creamy flavour, my son picks off the strawberry pieces which is easy to do!
I have also seen an Apple and Blackberry with yoghurt but this hasnt got the same appeal. (Sorry about the pun - A Peel for an apple! for those of you with an odd sense of humour like myself.)
I now happily much away whilst checking my e-mails some mornings, alternating with ordinary cereals.They are excellent bars to give someone, either child or adult rushing out to school or work without breakfast, but do carry a warning about Nuts. Even the Strawberry ones as they are made in an environment were nuts are. They also contain Gluten so are not suitable for Coeliacs, and Cows Milk and Soya.
The warning is there, so in future I will read the ingredients carefully, but it did not appear obvious from the first glance, it goes to show how important the small print is.
Now you are asking what did they cost? They were £3.89 for the 4 boxes plus 17.5% VAT which equals £4.57 or £1.14 a box, or 19p a bar.
Im still a fan 18 months later and often have one of these at lunch time just to have something sweet and low in fat instead of higher calorie chocolate biscuits. If you havent tried them then what are you waiting for --- treat yourself!
I guess like many people I simply don’t get time in the mornings these days to sit down and have a breakfast before I leave for work. The traffic is far too bad and I just can’t face getting up any earlier in the morning! Therefore I skip breakfast and rush straight into work…
Anyway, being not all together happy with missing my breakfast, and being a fan of Alpen, imagine my delight when I came across the Alpen Cereal Bar in my local Sainsbury supermarket the other day.
Could these bars be the solution to my breakfast related problems?
The Bar Itself
These Alpen bars come in a box of six, and are priced around the £1.50 mark in most stores.
There are three different flavours of Alpen bars I believe, although the one I am focusing on is the Fruit and Nut version.
Each bar is individually wrapped in a blue foil style wrapper, with the word “Alpen” emblazoned across the front of the wrapper in large white letters.
The bar is 29g and I guess it is a decent size, without ever making you think you are getting too much for your money!
The bar consists of Alpen cereal, fruit, nut, and at the bottom of the bar, a layer of milk chocolate. Strange this as I don’t remember chocolate being in my normal Alpen cereal box! Never mind, it is quite a welcome addition!
Anyway, I am sure by now you are wondering how the bar actually tastes, so without further ado, onto the test drive.
For those who are interested in the nutritional values of these bars, 100g provides as follows:
Energy: 1771jk / 421kcal
On opening the foil wrapper you are presented with a semi circular shaped bar which features a brownish looking cereal, stuffed with fruit and nuts and a bottom layer of milk chocolate.
On taking a bite of the bar, the cereal has quite a chewy texture and consistency to it. It is also fairly crumbly. It definitely has a “wheaty” taste to it and is very reminiscent of the Alpen cereal. Obviously, it is not going to taste exactly the same as the boxed cereal as you are not adding fresh milk to these bars, (well I guess you could pour a load of milk over the bar if you really wanted to!) That said, Cow’s milk is contained in the list of ingredients so there is obviously some added to the bar.
The addition of the chocolate to the bar is also interesting. As I mentioned before this is not something you will find in your Alpen cereal, but it does seem to sit quite well with the flavour of the cereal bar itself.
The milk chocolate has a pleasing taste to it, I guess it does not quite compare with Cadbury milk chocolate (the king of milk chocolate in my opinion), but it is quite tasty none the less!
The fruit and nut featured in the bar are sultanas and hazelnut. These I believe are the normal fruit and nut you would get in you Alpen cereal, so no significant changes here. They do help to break up the cereal and give a slight variation to the texture of the bar.
Overall the combination of the cereal, fruit and nut and chocolate combine to make, in my opinion, a very tasty bar. You might not want to just have this one at breakfast time, but later in the day too!
I would recommend these bars to anyone who is a fan of the Alpen cereal. I found them to be really quite tasty!
Of course if you are not a fan of Alpen cereal you may not enjoy these bars, although you may find the addition of the chocolate may help somewhat!
Oh yes and if in case you are wondering, these bars have gone some way to helping me with my breakfast related problems. I have a cup of tea and one of these bars as soon as I get into work!
Thanks for reading!
These days the manufacturers have us believe that we are constantly in a hurry with no time to do simple everyday tasks anymore. Even breakfast has supposedly become something we must do in a hurry and that is why we all must eat cereal bars instead of actually going to all the trouble of preparing a breakfast (shock, horror). Many companies have latched onto this area of the market offering us a faster yet ?healthy? breakfast. The manufacturers would like to have us believe that this product is ?like alpen without the washing up? but the reality is that it is just another cereal bar with more fat and sugar than cereal with less fibre and vitamins. The name cereal bar suggests that the product is just that our favourite cereal conveniently packaged up for us into a little bar that we can eat on the move. However look at the second and third main ingredients of Alpen Fruit and Nut with milk chocolate cereal bars and you will find chocolate and glucose syrup hardly a healthy breakfast option I?m thinking. I purchased a box of 6 cereal bars for £1.59 so each 29g bar worked out at 26.5p not to bad I thought for what I had been led to believe was a substantial breakfast. The box has a picture of the cereal bar on the front with a picture of a mountain and the Alpen logo above it. Each bar is individually foil wrapped for freshness. My initial impression was of an unappetising bar with nuts on top (though the chocolate part did appeal!) But then I thought how good can a cereal bar look? so I tucked in. The bar was very sweet far more so than the cereal itself. Despite the fact that it contained a lot of glucose syrup to bind it together the bar still crumbled everywhere. They describe the product as ?A moist and chewy combination of crispy rice and wheat flakes and juicy raisins, topped with chopped roast hazelnuts and almonds,
and dipped in smooth milk chocolate.? But all is not so I?m afraid. I found the product dry and crumbly but very sweet. Too sweet for breakfast, but I suppose it would be suitable for a mid-morning snack. I would also urge you to drink plenty of water as these dry you out! The cereal bar is 30% cereals; wheat, rice and oats. Not much for a CEREAL bar. I found that after eating the bar at 6:30am I was starving again by about 8:00am. So what happened to all that promised energy? The product provides 125kcal per 29g bar with 4.2g fat- quite a lot compared to most breakfast cereals. But quite frankly I think I?d need about 4 of these to constitute a proper breakfast. The product would be unsuitable for may people with intolerances as it contains gluten, cow?s milk, Soya and nuts but don?t worry you really are not missing out on much! Basically this cereal bar would be fine for a snack but definitely not an adequate breakfast. I hardly think it is a huge sacrifice to get up a little earlier in order to eat a healthy ands substantial breakfast so this is what I will continue to do from now on. This cereal bar is certainly not as good for you as a bowl of cereal as it has a higher sugar and fat content and much lower fibre and vitamin content. I personally prefer a bowl of cereal to a bar plus you get calcium from the milk which is essential for both growing children and adults. This cereal bar is more like a substitute for a sweet snack than a breakfast. There are other alpen bars in the range but personally I do not think I will buy this product again as it did not appeal to me
Now, you may have tasted the alpen cereal, and liked it. Well alpen cereal bars are nothing like Alpen. Theyre BETTER. Imagine alpen and milk, very fresh, squished together in to a five inch by one inch by one inch oblong. Now imagine it semi dunked in milk chocolate. Very NICE milk chocolate. It sounds like heaven, doesnt it? Well it is - so much so that I can confess to having eaten eight of the things before in one go. Theres nothing quite like extreme gluttony, eh? The othr great thing is they seem to be a large profit making product for the shops, so theyre constantly on buy one get one free or in three for two offers. Superb.
A while ago I started on a diet and exercise routine. I was at the end of my first day when the longing for chocolate set in. I wandered downstairs and scoured the cupboards searching for a healthier alternative. Fortunately, my dad had been to Morrisons the day before and (him loving special offers) he bought about 20 half price packs of cereal bars. I immediately looked through for the type that appealed to me most. I eventually spotted these Alpen bars. In a box your get six 29g bars and the variety I had chosen was strawberry with yoghurt. The box appealed to me because it was brightly coloured and nice laid out. The box was bright peach, red and blue majorly and the red was a picture of a mountain. In front it pictured brightly coloured and sumptuous looking strawberries with lush, green leaves and also a picture of wheat. Finally on the front, there is a picture of one of the bars, devoid of its wrapping. The hard, white yoghurt is visable at the bottom of the bar and on top we can see cereal (which looks a bit like those rice crispie cake you used to get) mixed with the red strwberry. Above the picture it says 'New-6 Strawberry and Yoghurt.' On the back of the packet, the image is identical but there is, if you like, a synopsis commenting on the bars. It says: 'In the 12th Century, Ghengis Khan's hordes carried yoghurt in gourds to help fortify them as they crossed the desert. We can't promise world domination, but we can help battle your hunger pangs with the goodness of New Alpen Strawberry with Yoghurt bars. A moist and chewy combination of crispy rice and wheat flakes, topped with pieces of real strawberries freeze-dried at their succulent best, dipped in a creamy yoghurt flavoured coating.' I ripped open the top of the box and pulled out one of the bars. The bar was about the same size and shape as a medium mars bar and it was packaged in the same colours as the box.
It is plastic wrapping and the majority of it is sky blue except for the mountain again on the front and the strawberries pictured. I split open one end of the packet and was immediately hit by a gorgeous smell-the sweet smell of strawberries neutralised by the smell of the cereal. I could already tell that I was going to love the taste. And so I pulled out the bar and bit into and it was...delicious! I first tasted the sweet creamy yoghurt and then the crumbly basic cereal mixed with the impossible-to-resist strwberry. A chewy, crumbly snack was what I was tasting and it showed me that a cereal bar didn't have to taste like rabbit food! I was now faced with a dilemma though. If I ate a couple more (which I had to!) then my father would open the box to find that I had eaten 3 of his precious bars. But possibly he won't notice a whole box missing-maybe he'll think he miscounted the boxes in the first place. And so it is up to me, Stacey Louise Bullen, to force myself to eat these bars. Woe is me, that I find myself in such a predicament. But is is my duty and I must complete the task at hand! You can buy these bars at any good supermarket and you can usually expect to pay approximately £1.38 for a box of 6. --------Nutritional Information (per bar)----------- Energy 511kJ/121kcal Protein 1.6g Carbohydrate 21.5g Fat 3.2g ----------------------------------------------------- The box says that the products may contain traces of nuts.
I never have time for breakfast in the morning, as I am sure a lot of you don't. Mainly because I spend an hour just trying to wake up, let alone having something to eat. Well, these are perfect for me. I usually eat mine at work about 10am with a lovely cup of tea made by one of the lads in the factory. (I've got them well trained). * Packaging You get 6 bars in a little square box. The front has the Alpen logo, with the mountain shape in red on a blue background, which covers most of the box. There's a picture of some strawberries, which look absolutely gorgeous, (my favourite fruit apart from cherries), and some corns of wheat poking about between them. There's a yellow band down the side, with the contents and a picture of the cereal bars, which look a little like flapjacks with yogurt on the bottom. They do look quite tasty but they always do on the packaging. I just hope they're as tasty as they look. The top of the box has the expiry date, the Alpen logo and a short description of the product. One side has the ingredients in six foreign languages, and the other side has the English version. It also has three symbols and the nutritional values. For one bar it has 121 kcal with 3.2g of fat. Not too bad I suppose but to be honest I never bother looking. There's a suitable for vegetarian?s logo and recyclable logo, and the address to complain to if you have any. The back shows the Alpen logo again with a longer description of the bars. It also shows the other flavours available such as Apple and Blackberry with yogurt, fruit and nut with milk chocolate and fruit and nut. Sound tasty to me. The bottom of the box just shows the Alpen logo. They do like their logo don?t they. The actual bars themselves are wrapped individually, with much the same details on as the box. They've also got the best before date each one which is good. I hate it when you throw the box away and the individual produc
ts don't have the date on them. * Smell and Appearance As soon as I opened it, I could smell a lovely, sweet smell of strawberries. It actually smells like a cereal and a bit like a flapjack. The bar itself, believe it or not, actually looks like the picture on the box. I am impressed with how many strawberries there are. You normally only get a couple dotted on the top but there are plenty of pieces. The bar looks gooey and sticky, maybe a bit sickly. The yoghurt on the bottom just makes it look even tastier. It actually looks like white chocolate. I am eager to taste. * Taste And now for my favourite bit, the taste test. It's quite a bit crumblier than it looks, only slightly chewy, and doesn't taste as sweet and sickly as I first thought. The strawberries actually taste like strawberries. They?re lovely and sweet with a slight twang to them, which gets the taste buds watering. The yoghurt does taste like white chocolate, but this is definitely not a bad thing. It fits really well with the rest of the bar. The aftertaste is quite pleasant. It tastes like you?ve just eaten cereal, with strawberries on the side. You also get bits of strawberry stuck in your teeth which you can munch on later. Lovely! Well, I've finished the bar now, which I'm quite disappointed with. I was enjoying that. I feel satisfied that it has stopped my belly from rumbling, although not full. With cereal I tend to feel full enough to get me through to lunch so I may be picking again before long. Don't worry, I have my stash of chocolate handy. For six bars, they're priced at £1.49 which isn?t too bad when you think its only about 25p per bar. Although this price does tend to change slightly depending on where you buy them from. Overall, I think they are very tasty and quite useful if you're on the run all the time, and don't get chance to eat breakfast. I definitely recommend them.
We are all very busy these days, or so the marketing companies tell us. It is an imperative for all of us to save time, take short cuts, do things on the run. We have microwave ready meals, fast food, everything you can possibly imagine in tin cans ready to heat and eat! Up to now one institution of daily life that had been to a great extent immune from this pressure on our valuable time was our breakfast. Part of the reason for this was the fact that the vast majority of us don’t actually have a cooked breakfast anymore most make do with toast, or cereal hardly a drain on valuable time, but no now we are encouraged to even forgo this luxury and to eat our breakfast on the way to work in our car or on public transport! Hence the rise of the latest addition to the fats food armoury the fast food breakfast, the cereal bar. We all know that most types of fast food whether they be tasty or not are usually fattening and generally not considered healthy eating, the difference with cereal bars is that they play on the image of cereals as being a healthy way to start the day even if you are consuming it running for your bus! Alpen is no exception. Alpen cereal bars are marketed as a portable version of the muesli based breakfast cereal and thus possessing all the properties traditionally associated with muesli; Low fat, high fibre, nutritious and generally good for you. So is this true and can this cereal bar really replace a ‘sit down’ breakfast? THE CEREAL BAR- (FRUIT AND NUT VARIETY) The bars come individually packaged shiny plastic foil lined wrappers. The bars themselves weigh 28g and the first thing that struck me is how light they felt. On opening you are presented with a square-edged solid cereal bar, basically a very small portion of Alpen meusli bound together with glucose syrup. The bar itself is fairly sturdy and will hold up to being carried in your pocket of bag without crumbling to bits. The
cereal itself makes up only about 40% of the bar the rest is mainly glucose syrup and concentrated apple juice. When you bite into it the first thing you notice is how crumbly it is and I can guarantee that you will not be able to avoid crumbs flying all over you front and if you are in a packed bus or tube, all over you fellow passengers. The next thing you notice is the complete lack of taste! Alpen is usually quite a sweet cereal, in fact too sweet for my taste but this version is simple tasteless and dry. The bits of dried fruit included in the bar are so small the will invariably get stuck in every conceivable cavity of your teeth and the dryness of the bar in general will leave you gasping for a drink to wash it down with. The final thing you notice is that when you have eaten the whole bar (something, which I reckon would take the average ravenous morning person a few seconds to do) you will feel just as hungry as before. I calorific terms this bar is supposed to provide you with 394kcal/100g so about just lees than 100kcal/bar, that might be great if you are on a starvation diet but it hardly seem to provide for a nutritious meal to start of the working day. The bars I’m describing in detail are the ‘Fruit an Nut’ variety but there are others including ‘Fruit and Nut with Chocolate’, ‘Strawberry with Yoghurt’, ‘Apple and Blackberry with Yoghurt’ some of which I have also tried and broadly speaking are little different in texture or taste from these. IS IT GOOD FOR YOU? The bar does contain cereal nuts and fruit and so it does represent a high fibre food but it also contains a fair amount of added sugar, butter and salt, which is not so good (however this is broadly in line with the majority of so called ‘healthy’ cereals in general) if you also take into account that it has around a 10% fat content it really can’t be considered that healthy.
What amazes me is that despite the fairly high sugar, salt and fat content it is still so tasteless! OVERALL At best this could be a light (very light) snack that you could eat at coffee break enabling you to feel virtuous while others around you are scoffing their chocolate covered biscuits. In no way is it a suitable alternative for a descent breakfast. Personally I’ll stick to my bowl of cereal with cold milk straight from the fridge and if I have to get up that five minutes earlier to fit it into my impossibly busy schedule what the hell! FINAL THOUGHTS These bars contain nuts, gluten, cow’s milk and Soya so people with any food allergies should be warned. I would also say that the bars are not suitable for very young children, (if you could get them to eat it!) due to the crumbly nature you will get quite small solid pieces that could represent a choking hazard. At Sainsbury’s a box of six will cost £1.39 Thanks for reading and rating this opinion © Mauri 2003
If not then don't bother. If you hadn't heard of cereal bars, then your from some strange planet. It the new answer for ultra quick breakfast for people on the move. I have tried most of these and have ended back with good old enjoyable cereal with milk. The best cereal bar I liked was rise crispys, but I always liked rise crispy cakes and these taste just the same. The Alpen ones are very dry and boring with about one microdot of fruit in them and about half a ton of sugar. Yes a slight exaggeration, but thats how it seems. Two mouthfuls and its gone. Reading the packet, they seem quite good for you, but then you realise you need to eat about 40 to make you feel full. Cereal bars seem to work out more expensive than a box of cereal, and cereal and milk seem to fill you up more than a bar. All the big runners in the cereal market are making these quick snacks, but bewared to look at what your eating or feeding your children. The aint necessarily good for you.
Four delicious varieties are available in packs of six and as single bars. They make a fabulous snack with all the goodness of Alpen.