In some ways, today’s review and giveaway originated nearly a couple of years ago – so if you can do me a favor and imagine the screen reverbing for a few seconds, I’ll get right to my back story.
On my first visit to CLIF Bar headquarters, one of the many cool things the company reps allowed us to do was raid the in-house stash of CLIF products that are available to employees free of charge on an everyday basis (I know, right?). While stuffing my box like a maniac, my eye fell on a couple of Builder’s Bars I hadn’t seen before: Lemon and Vanilla Almond flavors. I packed a few of them home with me, and when my wife and I tried them, we were in love. (With the bars, I mean. But with each other too – I'd better clarify that. Basically there was a lot of love going around.)
|CLIF geek heaven|
Part of what we liked about them was that the flavors were pretty unique in the world of “10 variations of chocolate” that most brands pushed upon the market. I’ve documented how my wife in particular uses Builder’s Bars as breakfast quite often, and her favorite flavor was lemon, because she likes starting the day with a fruity taste as opposed to a chocolate one. I was partial to vanilla almond for basically the same reason – in general, I like my bar flavors more natural and less chocolatey. That’s not to say we don’t like chocolate – it’s just that when we get a craving for chocolate, we typically just, you know … eat some chocolate. Call us snobs, I guess.
(OK, end of back story – imagine the screen reverbing back to the present now.)
So both of us were understandably concerned when my wife called to me from the computer room several weeks ago, “Hey – the website won’t let me buy any more lemon Builder’s Bars. Is something going on with them?” Of course, I didn’t know – I’m close with CLIF, but not that close – so I fired off an e-mail to my rep. Her reply contained the news my wife and I both feared: the lemon flavor is being phased out.
Her e-mail continued: “However, we’re introducing three new flavors very soon, so hopefully you and your wife will find a new favorite.” Which brings us to today’s giveaway.
|New CLIF Builder's Bar flavors, Spring 2012|
This spring CLIF introduced three new varieties of Builder’s Bars: Chocolate Chip, Crunchy Peanut Butter, and S’mores. The flavors themselves aren’t necessarily anything groundbreaking for the company, as chocolate chip and crunchy peanut butter are also original CLIF Bar flavors, and S’mores is already my kids’ favorite MOJO Bar flavor. Like all Builder’s Bars, each flavor provides 20 grams of protein and 23 vitamins and minerals to fuel you like a meal on the go or to assist in muscle recovery after intense workouts.
And for the most part, they taste exactly as you would anticipate: S’mores combines chocolate with a strong graham cracker flavor, Crunchy Peanut Butter is chock full of peanuts, and chocolate chip tastes remarkably like chomping down on a cookie. There isn’t a dud in the bunch, and if you have a soft spot for any of these flavors in particular, you’ll love the new Builder’s varieties. (In a related story, we’re locking the S’mores flavor away from our kids.)
Here’s the thing, though: even though the new flavors are wonderful, in our opinion they’re not in the same ballpark as our old favorite Lemon. It’s not a fair comparison, really – instead of apples to oranges, let's call it lemons to cookies – but unfortunately the fact that the new flavors are great doesn’t diminish our disappointment that the old ones are gone. Furthermore, if you look at the Builder’s lineup with the lemon flavor removed, here’s what you’re left with:
Chocolate Peanut Butter
Cookies and Cream
Crunchy Peanut Butter
In other words, something dangerously approaching “10 varieties of chocolate”, with the exception of Vanilla Almond – which, the way things seem headed, will probably be the next one to be axed.
But that’s enough griping for now, because this post is intended to end on an upbeat note: yes, we’re doing a giveaway! Maybe you’re not like my wife and me, and there’s no amount of chocolate flavors that’s too excessive. Maybe you’ll fall in love with one of these new flavors and it will be the best thing that ever happened to you. Or maybe you could care less what I think, just as long as you get to put your name in the hat at the end.
So here we go: leave a comment below this post to enter, and this weekend I’ll choose three winners at random to receive a sampler pack of the three new Builder’s Bars from CLIF. Despite my issues, I'm pretty sure you’ll love them. As always, thanks very much to CLIF for sponsoring this contest, and good luck to everybody!
*Products provided by CLIF Bar
**See other product reviews on sidebar at right. If you have a product you’d like reviewed, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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