Product Type: Weetabix Snacks
Newest Review: ... of Alpen at all, although they do smell like Jordans Country Crisp, which is perhaps not the result Weetabix were aiming for. In a blin... more
The bar that taste forgot.
Weetabix Alpen Fruit & Nut With Chocolate
Member Name: theda
Weetabix Alpen Fruit & Nut With Chocolate
Advantages: Not too high in calories
Disadvantages: Rather tasteless, high in saturated fat, disappointing chocolate, not very filling
I'm not normally a fan of cereal bars unless they come in a box with the words 'chocolate', 'chip' and 'Tracker' on it, but I do like Alpen, not to mention chocolate, so I thought I would give these a go.
The bars are quite a good size - about the size of a small bar of chocolate - and they look appealing, although if you're going by the picture on the box, the amount of chocolate on the bar is going to be a bit of a let down. They are very light though; some cereal bars are quite dense, but these are - appropriately enough, I suppose - of the 'more holes than Swiss cheese' variety, and given that the main ingredient appears to be rice crispies, I'd estimate that they manage to be about 30% air. This does not suggest that they might be the kind of snack that will stop you reaching for the biscuit tin by 4pm. But still, let's give them a chance, they might be a taste sensation.
Actually, I'm not going to sugar-coat it (ha!), these bars are pretty bland. They are nice and gooey, but all they really taste of is 'sweet' which is possibly not surprising given that glucose syrup AND sugar feature as ingredients. Raisins apparently make up 12.6% (really? I only counted five) and nuts 3.4%, but these didn't really make a big impression taste-wise. They don't taste of Alpen at all, although they do smell like Jordans Country Crisp, which is perhaps not the result Weetabix were aiming for.
In a blind tasting, you'd be hard pushed to realise that these are dipped in chocolate, but there is a reason for this: I broke off a piece of the chocolate to try it on its own (purely for reviewing purposes, you understand) and it reminded me exactly of the cheap, synthetic-tasting Easter eggs that were around when I was a child. I'm at a loss to understand how they've managed this as decent chocolate is not exactly thin on the ground these days.
After the sugar hit passed, there was a hint of something oaty, or perhaps wheaty, but this passed pretty quickly to leave a bitter gluten aftertaste and that odd feeling you get in your mouth after too much sticky sugar. Each bar is about two-thirds carbohydrate, of which half is sugars, so one of these isn't likely to keep you going until dinner time. Rather, they have that odd ability to make you feel queasy and still hungry at the same time; I have a banana on standby for the anticipated blood sugar crash.
The rest of the nutrition information isn't terribly impressive, although this is a cereal bar dipped in chocolate, so let's not expect miracles. One 29g bar will give you 125 calories, which isn't bad and 3.9g of fat, of which 1.7g is saturated. This is on the high side; the Food Standards Agency definition of a high saturated fat content is over 5g per 100g, and this comes in at 5.8g per 100g. But still, the recommended maximum (note: maximum, not target) daily intake is 30g for a man and 20g for a woman, so one of these isn't going to break the bank.
Still on the subject of saturated fat, the last item on the ingredients listing is 'antioxidant: tocopherols'. I've noticed this term appearing more and more recently, which is indicative of our new obsession with cholesterol-busting antioxidants. This used to be called E307 or plain old Vitamin E, but it's mildly amusing that it's been specified as an antioxidant here, as if the tidal wave of cholesterol that too much saturated fat will unleash in your arteries could somehow be offset by the presence of this one magic ingredient. A cholesterol-neutral product, if you will (you know, it's only a matter of time).
These are usually around £1.60 for five bars (although they are currently on a '2 for £2.50' offer at Sainsbury's), which seems to be about average for this kind of product.
To sum up, then: tasteless, unhealthy and not very filling. Frankly, you'd be as well off with a handful of oats and a sugar cube.
(No, that's horses, isn't it? A bowl of Alpen and a couple of chocolate buttons then, and that's my final offer.)
Summary: Just say 'neigh'