Friday, December 02, 2011
YouBar: Energy Bars Made Your Way
While I have long claimed that I am not a nutritional role model and once compiled a list of the various odd things long distance cyclists actually eat, I don't claim that tasty junk food is better than tasty good food. I will, however, argue that the way to get people to eat better food is to make it tasty and appealing. Those of us who travel extensively by bicycle know the value of tasty, well-packaged food that can be eaten while rolling. Over the years I've eaten more than my share of Power and Clif Bars and I've found some I like, some I can't stand and some that I've liked initially and then gotten sick of.
I recently took a gamble on something that intrigued me: a box of custom energy bars from a company called YouBar. YouBar lets you pick and choose what goes into your bar and what stays out. Like peanuts and chocolate? Put them in there. Hate raisins? Leave them out. An interactive web page lets you build the bar and as you go a nutrition label updates showing you calories, fat, protein, vitamins, etc. The page also gives guidance as to how the various ingredients effect the bar's taste or texture.
I say that I gambled on YouBar because you can't make just a single bar. I had to order a box of the things and there are 13 bars in a box. Just as a custom suit costs more than something off the rack, custom energy bars are bit more than your average ClifBar, but I figured I'd take a chance. Of course, I wasn't just gambling on YouBar making a good bar, I was betting on my ability to pick the ingredients I like that would combine to make a good bar. I figured as long as I was ordering, I'd also get a variety pack to see what some of the bars other people had designed as well.
The ordering process was easy and in less than a week I had two boxes of bars. My bar, which I'd decided to call the "Nutty Turtle Bar", actually turned out great. Hey, it's hard to go wrong with nuts and chocolate. The bars taste very good and have a good texture. They come with a good wrapper that is actually fairly easy to open(!) and each bar comes with its own nutrition label.
The custom bars also come with their own reorder code so reordering your perfect bar is simple. I'm working my way through the sample pack of bars designed by other folks and have found some great ones, some that almost work and so far, one dud. I got a little postcard with my order telling me that if I wasn't 100% satisfied with my bars for any reason, the YouBar staff would make me a free order at no charge. I'm not at all dissatisfied with the sample pack, it is worthwhile to me to learn what does & doesn't work.
I'm very impressed with YouBar as a food and as a company. The ordering and shipping was fast and the company communication (email, FedEx tracking, etc) is all top notch.
I don't do a lot of advertising on this blog but when somebody is doing something right, I'm happy to spread the word. I put YouBar in the "good people doing good stuff" category so there is now a YouBar link on the right side of the blog. If I didn't like their stuff, I wouldn't say good things about them, but I do like their bars so I am recommending them. If you go to their site and order anything, enter the coupon code "kentsbike" and you'll get 10% off your purchase. If you do that in addition to your savings, I'll get a 5% commission. I don't think I'll get rich doing this, I'll probably just spend the money on YouBars.
Keep 'em rolling,
Kent "Mountain Turtle" Peterson
Issaquah WA USA