When I first began my fitness journey many years ago, I found myself at GNC quite often. When you’re new to bodybuilding, I believe it’s a rite of passage.
Over the years, I’ve learned that GNC follows a lot of questionable business practices, so I rarely pay them a visit. In my eyes, they take advantage of many consumers who don’t know any better, so I don’t love them.
But they carry protein snacks, and that’s what this blog is all about, so sometimes I pop in to see if they have anything unique that I have yet to try.
I’ve been seeing their Girl Scout Cookie protein bars for quite some time, so I decided to finally give them a try.
And since Samoas are my favorite cookie of all time, that was the obvious place to start.
Nutritionally, these protein bars are pretty similar to other options out there. For 200 calories, you’d like to see a little bit more protein, but 16 grams is still solid.
The other nice thing about this bar is that it’s not loaded up with a ton of fiber, which had me hopeful that it wouldn’t be insanely chewy like other protein bars.
The bar itself looks a lot like Fit Crunch Bars, which I personally don’t love, but are a very popular line of protein bars.
But when you give this GNC protein bar the smell test, you are immediately hit with a very strong artificial smell. If you’re expecting this to smell like Girl Scout Cookies, or chocolate at the very least, you’re in for a disappointment.
Inside and out, this bar definitely seems like they were trying to mimic what Fit Crunch Bars have done. The inside is soft but very dense, and the crunchy pieces coating the outside of the bar are exactly what Fit Crunch Bars have.
Unfortunately, that artificial smell I described is exactly what this bar tastes like, too. I didn’t see sugar alcohols on the label, so I was hopeful it wouldn’t have a strong artificial sweetener taste, but I was very wrong.
If this protein bar had a delicious chocolate coating, the dense interior and strong artificial flavor might be a little bit more tolerable.
But the chocolate coating of this bar tastes exactly like chocolate protein powder and not at all like true chocolate.
Overall, I get absolutely no Samoa flavor in this bar.
You can taste a ton of sweetness, which I guess is supposed to be the caramel, but there is no distinct flavor of Samoa. The shortbread, coconut, caramel, and chocolate that combine to make a delicious Samoa cookie are nowhere to be found here.
If you were doing a blind taste test of this protein bar, it would just taste like a mediocre chocolate protein bar.
This one is a huge miss for me. Maybe some of their other flavors taste more like what they are supposed to taste like, but I’m not willing to take the chance.
REVIEW: GNC Total Lean Layered Lean Bar
I have to be completely honest... these bars are really bad. If you want an overpriced, generic-tasting protein bar that does not resemble Girl Scout Cookies in the slightest, then you'll love these.