Customization seems to be the wave of the customer service-oriented future, at least in the natural food industry. I have seen a few companies creating cereals and granolas blended with the customer’s requested ingredients … but a new company, YouBar is taking it three steps further with made-to-order energy bars, shakes, and trail mixes.
Since so many Go Dairy Free viewers have special diet needs beyond simply dairy-free (which at times can be hard enough to accommodate with convenience foods), I jumped at the opportunity to see exactly how this company works.
YouBar offers a wonderfully easy website to navigate. You can purchase any of the items they readily make, or customize your own with their simple checklist format. When customized, you also get to name your products, making these products a great option for gift-giving to someone who follows a free-from diet or who simply loves nutritious snacks. I like the idea of using them for promotional or motivational snacks too.
Starting with the bar, I made mine milk-free (of course), gluten-free, and soy-free. Since I am not a fan of rice protein, but I wanted a protein bar, I made a special request for using egg protein powder in the bars. It seems the reason they don’t have egg protein powder listed as one of the regular options on the bars is that some people find it lends a slightly bitter taste. I found this very odd. We always use plain, unsweetened egg white protein at home, and if anything it enhances the sweetness … so I persisted with my request and they happily obliged.
From there, I was able to pick every ingredient I wanted, right down to the sweetener (several vegan options available). In fact, they even let you choose how sweet you want them. My mix touted the following ingredient list: Almond Butter, Organic Dates, Organic Clover Honey (somewhat sweet), Egg Protein Powder, Sweetened Blueberries, Cherries, Organic Cashews, Almonds, Nutty Rice Cereal, All-One Vitamin Infusion.
The box the bars arrive in looks just like the store-bought bar boxes, housing thirteen professionally-wrapped bars. I must admit, it is very cool to bring your very own product to life this way.
Inside, I discovered a bar that was a bit littler and chubbier than I had expected (I did get the small 35 gram bars – they can be ordered in medium/45gram or large/55 gram sizing), but fulfilling nonetheless. I loved the flavors … obviously, since I created it. It was a bit sweeter than the bars I make at home (trust me, not a tinge of bitterness!), though it had similar ingredients.
In terms of value, I found the bars a bit on the expensive side for everyday snacking. Though I definitely think the customization and personal touches warrant a higher price tag, at $2.89 per bar, I would expect a bar that is a bit larger. These weighed in at just 150 calories and were somewhat petite. However, I think the medium-sized bar (just $.10 more per bar) and large-sized bar (just $.30 more per bar) might be a much better deal.
However, for gift-giving, I really like this idea and consider the price tag to be quite good.
Note: All YouBar products come with nutrition label including ingredients and full nutrition facts. Since the products are made on shared equipment, those individuals with severe food allergies should speak with the company first, since the products may not be “safe” for them.