Optimum Nutrition Opti-Bar Review
When you do it, do it right. I think that’s the first and last… and only impression that Optimum Nutrition (who I’ll refer to as ON for the rest of the article) wants to make. Even though they only have a few products with the name “Gold Standard,” it’s obvious that they want their name associated with being the best. For the past few years, you might have found your cabinet filled with their Whey Protein, Multi-Vitamin, and Creatine. More recently you might have added their BCAAs, AMINO Energy, Preworkout, Protein Water, and newer flavors of whey to your collection. Now, you can really take ON with you anywhere you go; meet the OPTI-BAR.
A protein bar is a protein bar, right? To a certain degree. While we shouldn’t need to explain to you that a protein bar is a few bites of nutrient-rich food that generally has a single texture, we do want to highlight some of the things that make the Opti-Bar stand out, or at least make you feel more comfortable consuming it. The reality is that when you go to a convenience store like 7-11, you don’t want to be inconvenienced trying to figure out which option to choose. You consider a few things so let’s address those directly.
1. Price point – As much as I love some other brands that make absolutely delicious bars that contain enough calories to be considered a meal replacement, they’re extremely expensive. It’s a good deal for someone like me who can eat the whole bar, but not so much for someone like Fit who doesn’t need all those calories. Opti-Bar’s contain about 250 calories and sells for a little over $2 a bar. You could get two if you want more calories, but you’re not forced into getting more than you need. The value is there.
2. Flavor – There’s no way of telling how good a bar will taste if you’re not familiar with the company and haven’t actually tried it before. The flavor choices for Opti-Bar are Cookies n’ Cream, Chocolate Brownie, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Cinnamon Pecan, and White Chocolate Raspberry. If Fit stating that the cinnamon pecan bar is the “best tasting protein bar” she’s had in her entire life isn’t enough then I don’t know how to convince you. Personally, I don’t have the sweet tooth for the white chocolate raspberry, but the fact that the bars taste differently really is a good thing because of reason three.
3. Nutritional content – Have you ever had a variety pack of protein bars that show different names for flavors but all taste the same? Even worse, have you ever compared a few different flavors and realized that the ingredients are slightly different but the nutrients are the same? Even worse than that have you ever compared a few different flavors and realized that the ingredients are the same… wait what? Seriously, those products exist. Opti-Bars have anywhere from 230 to 260 calories depending on the flavor and while the protein remains the same at 20g per bar, the amount of fats range from 7 to 10 grams and carbs range from 20 to 24 grams. From those carbs there are 8-10 grams of dietary fiber and 1 to 4 grams of sugar. Yes, there is some cholesterol and the label shows that and there are also some micronutrients (vitamins/minerals) but I love to see that the flavors actually make an impact on the nutrients. It makes it seem more real.
4. Aesthetics – Far less important than the first three for a more mindful consumer, but this could be the deciding (or only) factor for someone who runs into the store. Remember, as much as people in the fitness/supplement industry live off of protein bars (not everyone) people on vacation and commuting to work rely on the grab-n-go as well. ON uses vivid colors and images on their packages to entice the consumer and attract their eyes. If you look at the picture above with the three bars in my hand, you see how striking the images are. The red and white contrast on the white chocolate raspberry bar will catch anyone’s attention. The “oreo” cookies and cinnamon rolls are very familiar and comforting for most people. There is nothing fancy here. Just smart marketing.
5. Brand recognition – Unfortunately, most people outside of the fitness industry don’t know what ON is and while they’ve made a push to become more of a lifestyle brand lately, that transition will take some time. People will start to recognize the ON logo, but I think Opti-Bar might be able to survive on its own. My prediction is that Opti-Bar will be ON’s most successful product since their whey and will have a huge impact on their presence in the food industry. This will really bring them out of the specialized supplement industry because it’s more relevant for Average Joe. If they distribute this to 7-11 and every other corner store, it could have a major impact on their future.
Now, it’s time to buy Fit a few cases of the Cinnamon Pecan bars before she gets hangry. And as always, stay hungry and fit!
BONUS KITTY PIC