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olly bar in wrapper

The Olly Bar name may sound familiar to anyone who shops at Target department stores. You’ve probably seen the huge displays of Olly gummy vitamins in their colorful packaging. Those supplements are surging in popularity and now Olly offers protein powder and protein bars, too.

Here we will investigate the Olly protein bar ingredients and nutritional information and then do a taste test to see if these are the best protein bars for you.

The Olly Protein Bars

The first thing you’ll notice is that the Olly bar isn’t a bar at all. It’s round. (In other words, it’s shaped like a cookie.)

Each one contains 12 grams of plant-based protein – much more than your typical cookie.

1.6 ounce size olly bar versus larabar
Size comparison: A 1.6 oz Larabar vs this Olly Bar of the same weight

Flavors include:

  • Peanut Butter Chocolate
  • Sweet Lemon
  • Birthday Cupcake
  • Salted Caramel Chocolate
  • Chocolate Coconut Chip

Health & Nutrition

Olly protein bars contain two main sources of protein: pea protein and soy protein. Pea protein is the #1 ingredient!

The bars are gluten-free. You’ll see a nice mix of grains like oats and quinoa, and seeds like flax and chia. The only flour is peanut flour.

The bars are not vegan; rather, they are considered vegetarian.

Ingredients

Let’s examine the ingredients for the Peanut Butter Chocolate flavor.

INGREDIENTS: Pea Protein, Chocolate Flavored Coating (sugar, palm kernel oil, cocoa powder, cocoa [processed with alkali], chocolate liquor, sunflower lecithin, natural flavors), Isomalto-oligosaccharides (from tapioca), Peanut Butter (peanuts), Vegetable Glycerin, Soy Protein Crisps (soy protein isolate), Soluble Corn Fiber, Peanuts, Peanut Flour, Whole Grain Rolled Oats, Peanut Oil, Coconut Oil, Water, Quinoa, Flax Seed, Chia Seeds, Sea Salt, Almonds, Stevia Leaf Extract, Natural Flavors, Coconut.

Overall it’s a really good ingredients list!

I don’t see quinoa often; typically a gluten-free bar will simply load up on oats (a cheaper gluten-free grain).

For sweeteners, I generally prefer stevia leaf extract over sucralose or sugar alcohols, because those ones may upset your stomach.

olly bar nutrition label

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts for the Peanut Butter Chocolate flavor:

Calories 190
Total Fat 10g
Total Carbs 18g
Fiber 4g
Sugar 4g
Protein 12g

At first glance, this looks like a good snack bar. There’s a moderate amount of fat (7-10 grams), a moderate amount of carbs (18-20 grams), and a half-decent amount of fiber (3-4 grams).

Now here’s the thing. This Olly Bar contains a mere 12 grams of protein, which hardly qualifies as a protein bar in my opinion. I expect 18+ grams of protein.

For comparison, Quest bars and ONE protein bars contain 20 grams of protein with similar calorie counts.

So this would make a well balanced snack. Just don’t think of it as a serious protein supplement.

I also noticed this bar doesn’t really contain any vitamins, which makes sense, because vitamin supplements are Olly’s main product line!

Olly Bar Taste Test

I tried two flavors: the Peanut Butter Chocolate (likely a popular flavor) and the Sweet Lemon (which sounded really good to me personally).

Peanut Butter Chocolate

First of all, this bar looks good. Really good. It looks a lot like the Girl Scout’s samoas, but bigger.

It has a chocolate covered bottom and chocolate drizzled on top, sure to excite chocolate lovers.

So that visual sets some high expectations!

olly bar peanut butter chocolate flavor

There’s a potent aroma of chocolate and peanut butter, as well. (Not as delightful as a Reese’s peanut butter cup, but fairly typical for a protein bar.)

When you bite into it, you notice is has a good flavor that’s fairly strong. Like a chocolate peanut butter cookie, without the moist and chewy texture.

See, as you chew it, you can tell it’s not a cookie. You know it’s supposed to be a health food.

It has this texture that’s sort of soft and stale. It doesn’t taste like the bar itself is stale. Rather, the texture of the bar reminds me of other foods when they’re stale.

On the bright side, there is no unpleasant aftertaste.

Sweet Lemon

Again, thanks to the icing coating on the bottom and the icing drizzled across the top, this sure looks like something from the dessert tray.

olly bar sweet lemon flavor

It has a strong, sweet smelling lemon scent that convinces me it must be a lemon cookie!

Biting into it, the fantastic lemon flavor perfectly matches the aroma. The “sweet lemon” name was spot on.

olly bar sweet lemon flavor

Unfortunately, this bar also has that same sort of stale, soft texture. Since I really liked the lemon flavor, the weird texture didn’t bother me so much, but the excitement was gone.

There was no unpleasant aftertaste.

My Experience With the Olly Bar

Overall, I’m indifferent to this bar. I have no major complaints, nor am I excited about it.

Believe me, I’ve had much worse!

The texture could be improved.

The worst part of this bar was the texture. It reminds me of a stale rice cake when they get soft and rubbery.

Maybe it’s the quinoa?

But still, it’s not terrible. There is no grainy texture. It’s not gritty or powdery.

(Sometimes a vegan protein bar will use rice protein, which is like eating sand. This one uses smooth pea protein.)

Over time I got used to the texture and didn’t dislike it, but I certainly didn’t like it.

Any stomach problems?

Some people have issues digesting pea protein. For them, it can lead to gas and bloating.

At no point did I experience any gastrointestinal distress from the OLLY bars. Not even a hint of an upset stomach. (And sometimes I had two of these bars within a few hours.)

A little messy.

These bars will crumble and drop little crumbs, so you have to be careful of that if you’re snacking at your keyboard.

Also, don’t touch the chocolate coating, because it will melt onto your fingers instantly.

The price? $2 each.

You can buy a 4-pack for $7.99, so the price per bar is about $2.

I haven’t seen them sold individually, though, which means the minimum you need to shell out to try a new flavor is $8.

That’s a tough sell when you can go to the store and buy many other brands of protein bars, individually, for $2 each. Off the top of my head, there’s the RX Bar, ONE Bar, and Perfect Bars.

My final verdict is…

I probably would not buy these again. While the ingredients list is good, that’s all it has going for it. The taste isn’t that great. It doesn’t stand out from the crowd. And today, that’s simply not good enough.

I have a hard time even calling this a protein bar when it contains just 12 grams of protein. For comparison, Quest bars and ONE protein bars contain 20 grams of protein, for about the same price. If you’re an athlete, this Olly bar is not for you. Get something higher in protein.

Official website: www.Olly.com

Buy online: www.Amazon.com

Product Review Details
Company: OLLY
Product: Olly Protein Bars
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Date last updated: 2020-01-25
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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