I like to cheat! I’m a corner cutter plain and simple. Well, when it comes to my diet that is. I’m always looking for any way to eat as clean as possible without feeling like I’m eating clean. As a matter of fact, that’s something I’ve always told clients, if you don’t feel like you’re dieting, your nutrition plan will be pretty easy to stick with. That’s where protein bars have always made a difference for me, they offered a way to feel like I wasn’t dieting by allowing me a momentary indulgence, without all of the residual effects such as guilt, feeling like a fat ass, and digestive issues that drinking a pitcher of beer and slamming an entire large pizza tends to come with. So a few years ago when Quest Bars burst onto the scene, I was basically living off of them (Yeah, not only do I like to cheat, but just about everything I do, I do in excess. I wasn’t playing about the whole pitcher of beer and entire large pizza thing). Quest Bars, “Cheat Clean!” as their slogan goes, and rightly so. With their dominating combination of healthy ingredients, superior taste, low calories, low carb and high protein nutrition profile, they quickly became the heavy weight champion of the protein bar world dominating hundreds of competitors. They were the Mike Tyson of protein bars if you will.
But my what a difference a couple of years sitting at the top makes. With changes to the formula that made Quest “America’s favorite protein bar,” it seems as though Quest has lost a step. Maybe they got lazy at the top. They lost their hunger, no pun intended. Whatever the case may be, Quest Nutrition’s new formula, and the perceived lack of quality that’s come with it has customers disappointed and has left the door open for a new challenger to take the title. The OhYeah! ONE Bar.
Tonight we are going to witness the most anticipated matchup in the history of the protein bar battles, for the heavyweight championship of the world.
Fighting in the red corner. Weighing in at 220 calories, 9 grams of fat, 24 grams of carbs, 1 gram of sugar, 8 grams of fiber, and 21 grams of protein. Boasting 11 soft and delicious flavors, the challenger, OhYeah! One Bar.
Fighting in the blue corner. Weighing in at 190 calories, 8 grams of fat, 21 grams of carbs, 1 gram of sugar, 17 grams of fiber, and 21 grams of protein. With 18 flavors. The protein bar champion of the world, the Quest Bar.
In the famous words of Michael Buffer… “Ladies and gentleman are you ready? For the thousands in attendance and the millions watching around the world… LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLLLLLLLLLLLLLLE!
THE TASTE TEST
There was a time when I feel like this probably would have been a close round. Up until about a year ago, Quest knocked out pretty much every bar when it came to taste. But since switching their fiber source from Isomalto Oligosaccharides (yeah, say that shit 10 times fast, took me like 3 tries at writing it, even Microsoft Word doesn’t know what those are) or IMO’s, to soluble corn fiber, the taste of Quest has severely suffered. Quest still has some above average flavors. They also have 7 more flavors than the OhYeah! ONE Bar. Considering this, you would think that with more flavors, “America’s favorite protein bar” would at least stand a chance, but in comparison to the “Birthday Cake” OhYeah! ONE Bar, it tastes like canvas. Which leaves Quest eating the canvas in round one.
The Nutrition Facts
Taste was a critical round. But that’s not the main reason you buy a protein bar. Sure taste is a critical factor in the decision making process, but nutrition is king. If it wasn’t, we’d all be choking down Snickers and Reese’s and the title of this article would be Snickers vs Reese’s. So it’s hard to recover from losing the taste round. But if there’s one round that can get Quest off their heels and back in the fight, it’s nutrition.
On average Quest Bars have 30 fewer calories, 3 less grams of carbs, equal amounts of protein, 1 less gram of fat, and a whopping 9 more grams of fiber than the number one contender OhYeah! ONE Bar. Having 9 additional grams of fiber is huge because fiber helps to keep your insulin levels stable and minimizing fat storage from carbohydrates. Quest comes out swinging hard in this round and while it was close, the champ steals this one from the number one contender.
Once again, if this was a year ago, when the champ was in its prime, this round would be a different story. One of the things I originally loved about the Quest Bars was that they were super soft. Eating the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Quest Bar was seemed like eating actual cookie dough. But the same thing that brought the champ to its knees in round one, seems to be wearing the champ down in the final round. The switch of fiber sources from IMO’s to corn soluble fiber.
Since switching, many of the Quest Bar faithful, myself included, feels that biting into a Quest Bar is like biting into a rock. While Quest touts the benefits of corn soluble fiber, such as its anti-inflammatory effects, it also loses some of the benefits of IMO’s such as being a highly effective prebiotic. Prebiotic's are extremely important in the process of growing healthy gut flora. Which could be argued as being just as important as anti-inflammatory benefits if not more so. The OhYeah! ONE Bar on the other hand, contains IMO’s as its main fiber source, giving it that extra soft texture that makes biting into that birthday cake flavored bar like actually eating birthday cake. In the end, the OhYeah! ONE Bar, steals the champs once patented move and uses it against him for the knock out.
And the winner by KO in the 3rd round…. OhYeah! ONE Bar.
Quest may still be “America’s Favorite Protein Bar” from a sales perspective but when it comes to overall quality and taste it loses the battle. So what happened? Did Quest really switch their formula because it was more beneficial? Or was it because it was the cheaper option for mass production? Did the almighty dollar become more important than quality as it often does when a company gets as big as Quest Nutrition has? Will Quest see the error of their ways and regain the title? Often it takes a worthy adversary to bring out the best in a competitor, for now we can only hope that the best is yet to come by Quest Nutrition.
What side of the ring are you on? Leave a comment below and tell us who you think takes the title! The Quest Bar or the OhYeah! ONE Bar!