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perfect bar protein bars

If you’re looking for a protein bar that tastes like it’s homemade, but you don’t want to actually make it yourself, the Perfect Bar is the perfect bar for you.

The Perfect Bar, created in 2005, is billed as “the original refrigerated protein bar.”

The Perfect Bar

The story behind the name is a little more humble than you might think for something named the “perfect” bar. It dates back to when the bar was actually homemade, and when the chef got the recipe right, he proclaimed “it’s perfect.”

You can read the full story in this picture below, or read a little more in this profile in the San Diego Union Tribune.

Why keep it refrigerated? Well, probably because food stays fresher in the refrigerator. I think it’s that simple.

This bar uses natural ingredients and contains no preservatives, so keeping it refrigerated will extend its life.

Health & Nutrition

The Perfect Bar is not just a protein bar. It also contains powdered whole foods – superfood powders, you could say.

Ingredients

Let’s take a detailed look at the ingredients list:

INGREDIENTS [Dark Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter]: Peanut Butter, Honey, Nonfat Dry Milk, Dark Chocolate (Chocolate, Cane Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Sunflower Lecithin), Dried Whole Egg Powder, Rice Protein, Sea Salt, Sunflower Lecithin, Dried Whole Food Powders (Kale, Flax Seed, Rose Hip, Orange, Lemon, Papaya, Tomato, Apple, Alfalfa, Celery, Kelp, Dulse, Carrot, Spinach), Flax Seed Oil, Sunflower Oil, Sesame Seed Oil, Olive Oil, Pumpkin Seed Oil.

Now, if you’re used to the ingredients lists on Larabars (six ingredients or less), this might seem like a long list. But it’s really not. At least not in the typical sense.

It’s a long ingredients list, sure, but most of that is due to the added nutrients. It’s not the stereotypical long ingredients list.

There are multiple protein sources – peanut butter, whole egg powder, and rice protein. (I’m amazed they put rice protein in there. You’d never know it, because the bars don’t taste like sand!)

The bar contains mostly organic ingredients and uses free-trade chocolate. There are no artificial preservatives – only honey, which is a natural preservative.

The bar is certified gluten-free.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 320
Total Fat 19g
Total Carbs 25g
Fiber 3g
Sugars 18g
Protein 15g

The Perfect Bar toes the line between protein bar and meal replacement bar. The exact nutrition facts vary by flavor, but the calories and macros fall into these ranges:

320-340 calories
19-21 grams fat
13-17 grams protein

I’d consider it more of a meal replacement bar than a protein bar.

If you’re looking for a snack bar, opt for the lower-calorie “Mini” version of the bar. Then it’s about 200 calories per bar.

Taste Test

I have taste tested ten different flavors of Perfect Bar. Here are my thoughts on each:

Peanut Butter

It’s soft, moist, and tastes like peanut butter. Sweet, sweet peanut butter.

The taste and texture are similar to homemade peanut butter fudge. It even looks like peanut butter fudge! (Just cut it up into little squares and you’d never know.)

It almost melts in your mouth like real peanut butter fudge. During a head-to-head comparison, I’m sure you could tell the difference, but if you haven’t had fudge lately, and you just have this bar, you’ll think it’s nearly as good.

For the most part, it’s very creamy, but it does have some tiny bits of peanuts in there to give it some crunch.

And did I mention it’s sweet? It’s very sweet. Perfect for someone with a sweet tooth!

It’s almost too sweet for me, and unfortunately it didn’t provide the same satiety as other flavors.

Dark Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter

This is a nicely balanced flavor – the bar is mostly peanut butter, with some peanut chunks, and then some chocolate chips on top. The peanut butter is salty and the chocolate is bold and semi-sweet.

Interestingly, this bar does not have the sweetness of the regular “peanut butter” flavor. It definitely seems more savory, dominated by the salty peanut butter flavor and complemented by a dark chocolate chip flavor, with just a hint of sweetness.

It’s a perfect combination though. It’s not too salty, nor too sweet.

And there are no fruits, no coconut, no sesame seeds – all things that might turn certain people away. Making it perfect for a wide range of palettes, for frequent consumption without getting sick of it.

In general, it’s a “safe” flavor. It’s the vanilla ice cream of the Perfect Bar family.

You’d have to hate peanut butter and dark chocolate to not enjoy this one.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (with sea salt)

While it looks similar to – if not exactly like – Dark Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter, it definitely smells like cookie dough.

It must contain chunks of cookie dough! I don’t see them, but I taste them. And they’re delicious. They have that raw cookie dough texture where it’s sort of grainy, but in a good way. So they are distinct from the smooth texture of the rest of the bar.

Overall, the bar is sweeter, too. It has that milk chocolate sweetness rather than the robust dark chocolate flavor.

There’s sort of a salty/sweet thing going on and I love it. Some bits are really sweet, others are really salty, and each bite has some of each.

I like this one a lot! It’s exciting. (And since I don’t eat these bars everyday, I want an exciting flavor!)

Trail Mix

This bar has a soft, moist texture, but with some extra crunch to remind you of actual trail mix.

The main flavors are peanut butter and honey, as usual. The main additions are walnuts, cranberries, and chocolate chips. (Of course it already has peanut chunks.) The flavors mix together very well, and I was quite impressed by this bar.

My favorite part is how this one takes much, much longer to chew than any other flavor. Because you really have to chew up the nuts and cranberries. To me, that makes it much more fun and satisfying!

And consequently, this is the flavor I’d want to take on a camping trip or hike.

[Note: There used to be a “Fruit & Nut” flavor and they may have just renamed that one to “Trail Mix.”]

Coconut Peanut Butter

I never expected coconut + peanut butter to be a good combo, but it is! It has a mild coconut flavor, so if you like coconut, you’ll probably like this one.

It’s very sweet. The coconut is sweet, and the peanut butter and honey are sweet.

This bar is soft, like usual, but also a bit more crumbly. That’s from the finely shredded coconut throughout the bar.

My favorite thing about this one is that it has a delicious coconut flavor, but it gives you a wider variety of nutrients than you’d get by eating dried coconut.

Blueberry Cashew

This bar smells great and it is absolutely delicious! It’s totally unique compared to the other flavors that can’t get away from the peanut butter and honey flavors.

The two main flavors here are – spoiler alert – cashew and blueberry. It tastes sort of like a blueberry muffin. Probably because of the little dried blueberries in there. They’re basically the same blueberries you find in a lot of muffins.

The bar is fairly sweet, but not overly sweet. It’s just right.

This flavor is perfect for someone who doesn’t like peanut butter or chocolate (which are present in nearly all the other flavors). I could probably eat this everyday.

Dark Chocolate Almond

They could call this one “double chocolate” or “chocolate lovers,” because that’s what you see. The bar itself looks like chocolate. Not like a chocolate bar, but like they put cocoa throughout the entire mix. Not to mention, the dark chocolate chips on top!

Surprisingly, the chocolate flavor isn’t that potent.

The texture is light and fluffy, but the bar is a little dry and crumbly compared to some others.

So I don’t really recommend this flavor. For chocoholics, the flavor won’t have enough chocolatey goodness. For everyone else, well, it’s kind of pointless to have a chocolate flavor when there are so many better options.

Choose a different flavor or just eat some dark chocolate covered almonds!

Almond Butter

As the name suggests, this bar smells and tastes just like almond butter. With the mild sweetness from the honey, it’s a wonderful combination!

It’s not too sweet, not too salty. I also thought, “hey, there is a nice sesame flavor as well. Like tahini.” That’s when I remembered there are sesame seeds on top!

It’s so much better than I had expected it to be. I assumed “almond butter” would be a pretty boring flavor. They could call it Sweet Almond Butter Sesame Crunch or something like that instead.

The texture is, well, interesting. The bar seems to be a little dry and crumbly compared to the others. More specifically, it’s less moist than the peanut butter based flavors. But somehow it leaves an oily residue on my lips. It’s like all the oil migrates to the outside of the bar. (On one occasion I had to put two napkins around the bar so I could hold it! The wrapper was just oozing oil.)

Otherwise, the texture is great. The sesame seeds provide a light yet consistent crunch, and there are a few chunks of almonds for a bigger crunch.

Overall, this was one of my favorite flavors. If it wasn’t so oily and messy, I’d buy this one by the box!

Chocolate Hazelnut Crisp

This limited edition flavor is rumored to be like eating a Ferrero Rocher candy!

I did indeed taste the chocolate, the hard and crunchy ‘crisps’ things, and occasionally, the potent hazelnut flavor! But it’s so strange. The flavors don’t blend together. It’s chocolate and crisp… and then hazelnut.

So, it doesn’t really remind me of a Ferrero Rocher. Nor Nutella. To me it’s like eating a snack size Nestle Crunch bar, and just before you finish it, you pop a hazelnut into your mouth.

It’s not bad, but it was a disappointment after all the hype. (I’m not a huge fan of Ferrero Rocher candy, but I do enjoy them, and would prefer one over this bar.)

Pumpkin Pie

Like the infamous pumpkin spice latte, this “limited batch” flavor is available in September. Unlike the pumpkin spice latte, this treat is actually good for you.

When you open the wrapper, the smell is unreal! It smells like a cross between a molasses cookie and a pumpkin pie!

The taste itself is pretty close to a pumpkin pie. There is a lot of true pumpkin flavor. The spices are all there, but they are mild. They complement the pumpkin, rather than overpowering it. I’m not hit with an overwhelming blast of cinnamon or nutmeg.

I’d be surprised if even ONE Bar – known for their amazing flavors – could outdo this pumpkin pie flavor!

They gave this one a smooth texture, so it’s surprisingly similar to eating a slice of pumpkin pie. At least, as close as you can get for being a protein bar.

That’s very impressive considering all the superfood powders they put in this bar. I can’t taste one hint of those. I can just barely taste the honey (too much honey would not be authentic pumpkin pie flavor). The other varieties usually have a noticeable honey flavor, which is fine, but wouldn’t be welcome in this one.

It’s amazing to be eating mostly peanut butter and honey, yet it tastes like a pumpkin pie!

Practical, Real Life Testing

These are delicious protein bars that taste as fresh and natural as homemade, yet you can buy them at the store for convenience. What else is there to know?

Satiety

Perfect Bars are surprisingly filling. Sometimes having one of these for lunch is more filling than an actual meal.

Portability

The bars are good for one week without refrigeration, so they don’t lose any points for portability. You can stick one in your backpack like you would any other protein bar.

But there is a degree of personal preference here. I prefer to eat them right out of the refrigerator.

And even though these last for up to a week on the go, within just a few hours they get oily and the chocolate starts to soften and melt against the wrapper.

(I only take them on hikes in the winter months.)

Mess

Some of these do get messy. When they warm up, the chocolate chips melt. So there will be some melted chocolate sticking to the inside of the wrapper. That’s not terribly messy, but it has potential (especially if you accidentally tear the wrapper).

And like I mentioned earlier, some of the flavors are just so oily. You don’t want to touch them, but then the plastic wrapper rips apart and you get oil on your hands… and maybe your desk, maybe your pants.

It’s so dang oily. You can even see the layer of oil sitting underneath the wrapper.

Crumbs are unlikely, but they are a possibility.

Also, the wrapper is noisy.

Best For

This is NOT something for your workouts. I wouldn’t eat one immediately before, during, or immediately after a big workout. There is too much fat content.

They are great for weekend camping trips or as a snack at the office. Anywhere you might have a refrigerator or cooler, or at least air conditioning.

I like them for winter hikes because then, nature provides the cooler!

Where to Buy

I don’t see these that often out here on the east coast, but some grocery stores stock them. You have to check the refrigerated section. I know that Trader Joe’s, Wegman’s, and Walmart carry them.

With the company based in San Diego, CA, you might see these more often on the west coast.

The bars are priced $1.99 each at Trader Joe’s. These days, that’s not expensive. Really, that’s the typical price for a bar with any decent amount of protein.

The only way I’ve seen to save money is that Walmart sells 4-packs for $6.98. (Basically you save $1 if you buy the box.)

You can buy on www.Amazon.com as well, but I wonder if they come packed with dry ice? Or is the clock ticking on your “one week on the go?”


Ordering straight from the company, the bars are $3 or $3.50 each. That’s when it gets expensive. (There are certain flavors, usually limited editions, where you have to order online direct from the company to get them. And those ones you have to buy by the box (in boxes of 8). And it comes out to $3.50 or more per bar.)

My final verdict is…

These bars taste great and they’re filling. They’re also relatively natural, healthy, and contain lots of micronutrients you don’t get in most bars.

They don’t make sense to carry on a bike ride or use immediately after a gym workout, but they make a fantastic snack for the workplace and for camping trips.

Official website: www.PerfectBar.com

Buy online: www.Amazon.com

Product Review Details
Company: Perfect Bar
Product: Perfect Bar
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 4.0 out of 5
Date last updated: 2021-04-19
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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