ONE Bar Review — Best Tasting Protein Bar?
ONE’s ‘Oh Yeah!’ protein bars are meant to be both delicious and protein-heavy, which is a nice change for a market that usually relies on bland, chunky bars that all have the exact same flavor and texture. But how do they compare to some of the other top protein bar brands, and what makes them stand out from other nutritional snacks?
ONE’s website states their goals very clearly – “great taste and good health are not mutually exclusive”. It seems like their efforts to make legitimately tasty protein bars aren’t just limited to a single product range, and it carries over into every type they produce, rather than being relegated to their own product name and packaging.
They also show off a lot of flavors, some of which are surprisingly refreshing: everybody knows what almond-flavored bars are like, but have you ever tried birthday cake or maple-glazed doughnut protein bars? It’s definitely a nice change of pace, and sets a good precedent for what’s to come.
What are their bars like?
Not all bars are made equal, so you’ll sometimes run into one that’s a little bit too crumbly or chewy for your liking, but there’s not really a way to tell until you’ve started eating it. Thankfully, One’s bars seem fairly solid, in a good way – there’s no sticky mess or jam-like flavoring that can get stuck in your teeth (or even worse, on your clothes), and the outer shells are all fairly sturdy and mess-free.
Obviously, any chocolate-covered bars will still be at risk of melting, but that’s a problem that every kind of snack bar can have anyway. Speaking of which, all ONE bars follow a similar design – there’s a solid block of inside filling, then a thin outer layer of chocolate (or a similar dessert), sometimes with some extra bits and pieces in it for more authenticity.
Each bar is relatively small, so they also make for great hiking or running snacks. The thin chocolate layers don’t melt as quickly as regular chocolate bars, and the solid center reduces the chance of them snapping or bending in your bag, unlike ‘gooey’ snack bars without much solid filling.
As a side note, all of their bars are completely gluten-free and don’t use any GMO ingredients. They all have roughly the same ratios of fat (eight grams), fiber (ten grams) and protein (20 grams), and usually clock in at somewhere around 220 calories.
Tasting the bars
So, how do some of their individual bars actually hold up?
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup
This is probably the most “familiar” of the bars ONE currently have on sale, and it’s definitely one of their least extreme flavors they stock. While it’s definitely not exactly the same as eating a real peanut butter cup, the flavor is still definitely there, and it does a good job of emulating the taste with the limited space it has: it’s not perfect, and it could use some more sugar or a lightly sweeter overall taste, but it’s definitely not as bland and dry you might expect a protein bar to be.
Obviously, it’s not suitable for people with peanut allergies, since the bar uses real peanuts as an ingredient.
Another conventionally-flavored one of their high protein bars, these chocolate-covered snacks manage to recreate a taste that you don’t see very often in this market. The caramel itself isn’t too strong, and it’s definitely not as sticky as real caramel, but you might actually prefer it that way if you’re trying to avoid getting a craving for regular caramel snacks – the texture difference makes it feel less like an unhealthy treat, which could be either a huge let-down or the bar’s saving grace depending on your preferences.
This is one of the most chocolate-heavy bars sold by ONE, which helps mask it’s protein-heavy origins and makes it taste a lot more like a conventional snack bar or treat. It’s a nice change from a lot of the other chocolate-flavoured protein bars on the market, especially when you consider that it’s not just a chocolate shell covering up a regular bar: the whole recipe uses chocolate, and there are even tiny pieces of chocolate inside the bar itself to give you a more authentic texture and taste.
While almond-based bars are nothing new, this particular flavor tastes more like an almond dessert than just a mixed bag of nuts. The bar uses a mixture of coconut, real almonds and chocolate to create something that genuinely doesn’t feel like the kinds of bars you’d find in just any old supermarket.
There isn’t much else to say about this, other than that it’s covered in chocolate – again, while this might not sound healthy on paper, it makes for some of the best tasting protein bars on the market, and the chocolate layer itself is thin enough to avoid making a dent in your meal plan.
One of ONE’s most adventurous flavors, these may be some of the best tasting protein bars on the market, using a mixture of confectioner’s glaze and sprinkles to create a bar that legitimately tastes like a piece of birthday cake. However, unlike actual birthday cake, it doesn’t contain extra fat or sugar that can get in the way of a perfect diet, making it perfect as both a workout snack and a diet-suitable treat.
Maple Glazed Donut
This is another of the flavors that really sticks out, and it’s not hard to see why. While many snack bars go down the route of trying to taste like generic desserts, very few are able to get as specific as naming an exact type of donut – but, somehow, ONE did it.
Although they might not sound like the healthiest protein bars around, this flavor is actually no different to any other ONE bars, even keeping the same amount of calories! If you’ve got a craving for donuts that you want to satisfy without falling into the trap of eating junk food, these can make a great stand-in, and might actually bridge the gap between your old and new diets fairly well.
Why are they different?
There are so many protein bars on the market that they usually need a key selling point or gimmick to stand out, and ONE knows this all too well. Unsurprisingly, one of the biggest points in their favor is the taste and texture of their bars, which are definitely much better than the majority of healthy protein bars.
However, one of the biggest differences you might notice is that their bars aren’t just a collection of different nuts stuck together with some kind of syrup – they’re fully-fledged bars of protein-heavy ingredients, meaning that you’re not just eating a bowl of almonds condensed into a smaller package. This makes it a lot harder to get sick of them if they become a regular part of your daily routine, and it also means that the different flavors can get a lot more varied than with other bands.
Obviously, certain types are better for you than others (the Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake bar comes to mind), but they’re all still equally packed with protein and energy-boosting ingredients that don’t just feel like they’re giving you a sugar rush. The fact that all of the bars contain roughly the same amount of fat, protein and calories make them basically interchangeable with one another, so you won’t need to worry about a certain flavor being, say, twice as many calories as another.
In terms of their value as a pre-or-post-workout snack, they’re actually quite useful for restoring your energy and giving yourself the extra boost you need to keep going, especially if you’re spending most of the day in a gym or out on a long-distance run. They’re compact, full of protein and have just enough calories to keep you from getting hungry without making you feel slow and overloaded.
Should I buy ONE protein bars?
Hopefully, this Oh Yeah! bars review has helped you understand why ONE’s protein bars stand out from a lot of other brands on the market. Still, it’s entirely your choice on whether they’re a product you’ll end up trying out, and sometimes the taste or texture of a particular snack just doesn’t mesh with you in the way you were expecting.
Still, ONE has clearly put a lot of effort into creating bars with great, consistent flavors that aren’t just repeats of products created by other brands, and that’s something worth respecting at the very least. If you’re in the market for some protein bars, either because of a new diet, an exercise routine, or simply to try them out as a snack, ONE is definitely one of the brands worth returning too.
The high protein contents and lack of much ‘padding’ in the ingredients definitely help, especially compared to some other bar types – there’s no sugar-filled syrup or sticky innards holding everything together, so you always know that you’re getting a solid, easy-to-eat snack right out of the packaging.
Since their product line is always changing, and new flavors are released every so often, it’s hard to really tell what they’ll come up with next. Even if the existing flavors on offer are turning you off, they might eventually release something that’s perfect for your particular tastes or preferences.