REVIEW: Clif Builders Protein Bars

Flavors Tried: Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chocolate, Vanilla Almond

Price: $18 for Box of 12 on Amazon ($1.50 per bar)

Nutrition: 290 Calories, 11g Fat, 29g Carbs (2g Fiber & 17g Sugar), 20g Protein

Clif Protein Bars

Clif Builders Bars have been around for a while. I have avoided trying them for a long time because Clif Bars have long been marketed as energy bars for the likes of hiking or biking, which is not really what I am after.

They don’t strike me as a bar that is going to be delicious, but rather one that is simply convenient. But since Clif Bars have been around for ages, they must be doing something right, so I wanted to finally give them a try.

Clif bar Macros

First off, the macros: each bar packs 280-290 calories, 20g protein, and a decent mix of fat and carbs. This balance works great for a post-workout snack, especially if you’re not shy about carbs. However, the 17g of sugar might not sit well with everyone.

The macros actually compare very closely to Anabar, but they are very different bars. Anabar is marketed as a high-protein candy bar, and Clif Bars are seemingly the exact opposite.

Here’s something I was surprised to learn – Clif Builders bars are plant-based! These may not be news to you, but it was to me.

A gluten-free, non-GMO, plant-based protein bar sounds promising, but does it deliver on taste? Let’s dive into the flavors I tried…

Peanut Butter Chocolate Clif Builders Bar

Clif builders chocolate peanut butter

The texture’s a nice change from the usual chewy protein bars, being thick yet soft with some crunch inside.

But taste-wise, it’s a letdown.

These bars are soy-based, and that soy flavor overpowers everything, leaving little room for peanut butter or chocolate to shine. Peanut butter/peanuts do come through a bit, but somehow the chocolate coating adds virtually no flavor to this bar.

Do not go into this expecting a peanut butter cup flavor profile, that’s for sure.

If you’re looking for a plant-based bar with this chocolate/peanut butter combo, I definitely recommend trying ALOHA bars over there.

Vanilla Almond Clif Builders Bar

Clif vanilla almond

I love vanilla, and the smooth vanilla scent of this bar made it instantly very appealing.

It’s more flavorful than the chocolate peanut butter, with a pleasant vanilla taste, though the soy is still quite noticeable. There’s a slight bitterness because of the soy, but overall, it’s a decent snack.

I love the contrast of the soft and crunchy layers, and there’s enough vanilla flavor in this one to make it worthwhile.

Would I rush to buy it again? Probably not, but it’s not bad.

Chocolate Clif Builders Bar

Clif builders chocolate

The chocolate Clif Builders Bar surprised me.

Despite looking dry and tough, especially when I attempted to break it in half, it’s actually quite the opposite.

The dark chocolate flavor is strong, with a bit of bitterness, and the texture is the best of the lot – think soft bar with crispies, kind of like a KitKat in texture, but not in taste.

The soy flavor is still there, but less intrusive, making this the best of the three. Generally speaking, chocolate makes it easier to mask other flavors (like soy) so it definitely helps in this case.

Final Verdict

Clif Builders Bars

Clif Builders Bars are okay.

They’ve got a great texture – not too dry, not too chewy. But the strong soy flavor might be a turn-off for some.

They’re a convenient source of plant-based protein, but there are tastier plant-based options out there.

If soy isn’t a deal-breaker for you, you can give them a shot, especially considering you can typically find them in grocery stores or gas stations for relatively cheap.

If I were ordering these, I would go chocolate, vanilla almond, then chocolate peanut butter as a distant third. Temper your expectations if you want to try these bars, but you could do worse.

Clif Builders Bars
REVIEW: Clif Builders Protein Bars
Clif Builders Bars are decent for what they are, and they do have great texture. But the soy flavor is simply too strong in each bar, overpowering all of the other flavors.
Flavor Accuracy
Overall Taste
The Good
Enjoyable texture
Balanced nutrition
The Bad
Strong soy flavor
High in calories compared to many bars
Expect better overall flavor considering the sugar content
Give 'Em A Try
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