Let’s take a look at the Chimpanzee Apple and Ginger Energy Bar.
Based in the Czech Republic, Monkey Brothers have a range of products under their Chimpanzee brand:
- Energy Bars – ‘Natural Performance – Made with Love’
- Yippee Bars – ‘Healthy Snack for Active Kids’
- Energy Shakes – Before activity or fast recovery nutritional shakes.
- Protein Bars – From 12g to 14g protein, either vegetarian or vegan friendly.
- Gunpowder Energy Drinks – ‘Scientifically developed to create and stabilise high energy levels during endurance sports’
I picked this bar up at a rather pricey €1.99 for a 55g bar but I was feeling hungry and wanted a quick snack to keep me going whilst doing the weekly shopping run.
In the UK there’s quite a wide range of quick-fix snacking solutions that lean towards the healthier side, from Nakd, Eat Natural and Meridian to Nature Valley. From what I’ve seen, that’s not the case here in Bavaria. Checkout areas have cigarettes, mini bottles of alcohol, chocolate and chewing gum – but nothing that might be misinterpreted as healthy! Even finding Nature Valley bars takes a special effort, as the commonly available brand of breakfast bar in supermarkets here deals mainly with the sugar-soaked puffed rice variety. With this in mind, €1.99 for a one off treat seemed worthwhile.
The packet, which has a rather pretty design, declares the bar to be:
- Performance Nutrition
- Gluten Free
- High in Fibre
- All Natural
- 9g Protein
Taken from the back of the pack (including capitalisation and bold emphasis):
“Power of natural energy” is the core of our philosophy and Chimpanzee as an Active symbol guides us in everything we do. Chimp bars are made of the Best naturally grown ingredients and you will Enjoy delicious real food with every bite.
Check out their ingredients information at their website here by hovering over the yellow and green colours on the wheel and chimpanzee-man. There’s a lot of information there for the curious!
Get to the ‘eating it’ part already!
I’m so used to bars like Nakd I was surprised by its light golden colour! Flecked with lovely bits of orange carrot, the bar contains 6% dried apple, 6% dried carrot and 6% apple paste (made of 46% apples and including both sugar and glucose syrup) as well as almonds and millet-rice crisps.
The bar smelt like gently sweet apples and I was surprised to find it’s not especially chewy. In fact, it feels more like a tougher-on-the-teeth Eat Natural bar, with the millet-rice crisps helping to lighten the texture. Plenty of dried apple pieces added a good hit of appley flavour, though of course as they rehydrated they became stuck in my teeth (along with the bits of almonds). The ginger comes through nicely too, far better than I’ve had in some recent products (Waitrose yogurt, I mean you) and importantly the ingredients lists just “dried ginger”, not dried ginger powder.
Speaking of the ingredients list, it is actually quite long. Is it just me that expects a product that’s keen to impress upon a consumer that it’s ‘Natural’ to be a little more concise and feature less sugar? We have rice syrup, cane syrup, sugar, glucose syrup and evaporated cane juice in here. There’s 13g of sugar in this bar, that’s 3 teaspoons worth to you and me.
Overall, it wasn’t as dense as I was expecting it to be and it felt a little like sugar was holding it together BUT it really did deliver on a good apple and ginger flavour. Because of that, I’d probably buy this one again despite my wavering over whether it’s really worth €2.