10-POINT UNBIASED REVIEW OF BUILT BAR – SOURCE OF PROTEIN AND ENERGY
November 29, 2019
Do you rely on protein bars like Built Bar to appease your hunger and boost your energy? You are not the only one. Nearly 45 million Americans consume protein bars and energy or diet snacks every year. Analysts expect these numbers to grow significantly within the following years.
Unfortunately, healthy, nutritious, clean-label and tasty protein bars are still rare on the U.S. market. Many brands make impressive health claims while their ingredient labels are dominated by sugar or dangerous sweeteners, additives, and preservatives.
In the meantime, Built Bar focuses on taste but seems to have some of the most attractive nutritious profiles on the market. Do they deliver on their promise and are their products really healthy?
We decided to answer the question through an in-depth, 10-point review of the brand, from the company behind it to the products themselves and the reactions (and testimonials) of those who have tried them. Check out our findings below:
BUILT BAR REVIEW: “TASTY AND HEALTHY” OR BETTER AVOIDED?
The company that manufactures these protein bars is based in Utah, close to Salt Lake City. Although information on it is scarce, the founder and developer is Luke Tolley, who has a Ph.D. in molecular chemistry and a solid reputation. Apparently, he makes the chocolate himself, from cocoa beans, using his molecular chemistry knowledge and his two decades of experience.
According to our research, Luke Tolley was also behind The Other Nutrition Company, which produced and sold The Other Protein Bars, and worked with companies like Tranxend and Axcend Corp. In times when many companies invent stories and people to sell their products, we were thrilled to discover a that Built Bar has a reputable professional as founder and developer.
2. PRODUCT PRESENTATION
At the time of this review’s publication, the company primarily focuses on protein bars. They promise excellent taste an exceptional nutritional and take pride in using 100% real, dark chocolate and only natural flavors and coloring agents. Their products are free of major allergens. There are 8 flavors available. The bars weigh 53 grams and are available for sale in boxes of 16. Those who find it difficult to choose one flavor can opt for the mixed box containing two bars of each flavor.
Besides protein bars, the company does sell other related items: such as Built Bar men’s T-shirts and women’s tank tops. These are made of white 60% poly/40% cotton jersey knit. During the following part of our review, we will focus on the company’s flagship product – their protein bars.
3. FLAVORS, TEXTURE, AND TASTE
As mentioned above, the protein bars are available in eight different flavors, all having chocolate as a starting point:
- Double Chocolate Mousse
- Vanilla Chocolate Creme
- Raspberry Chocolate Creme
- Salted Caramel Chocolate
- Orange Chocolate Creme
- Mint Chocolate Creme
- Lemon Chocolate Creme
- Coconut Chocolate Creme
Although it would be nice to have even more options to choose from, the available ones should cover most tastes and preferences. It is important to note that, unlike many protein bars on the market that stick to your teeth and are difficult to chew, these ones have a light, fluffy texture. They melt in your mouth, releasing natural, delicious tastes and flavors, superior to anything you would expect at their nutritional profile.
4. BUILT BAR NUTRITIONAL PROFILE
Each 53g protein bar contains 110 calories, 15g of protein, 7g of net carbs, 6g of fiber, and 4g of fat. This means more protein and fiber and fewer calories and carbs than in most competing products. The fat content is among the lowest on the market as well. To better understand what the protein bars have to offer and how healthy they are, it helps to look at the ingredients.
Before we review the ingredients list, keep in mind that, unlike many protein bars on the market, these ones contain no artificial preservatives, colorings, or flavors, no major allergens (gluten, nuts, soy), and no GMOs. Here are their ingredients:
- Whey protein isolate
- Dark chocolate (chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, sugar, lecithin, vanilla, and vanillin)
- Citric acid
- Natural flavors and colorings according to variety
As you can see, the list of ingredients is quite clean and healthy. We wish we had more information on the content of the dark chocolate, as its quality depends on the amount of cocoa or cocoa butter. Also, we were disappointed to find vanillin, an artificial flavor on the list, and we’re not maltodextrin fans either.
This is not to say that the protein bars are not safe or healthy. These are small flaws common in many competing products. In fact, Built Bar has one of the safest ingredients lists, surprisingly healthy if you take into account the delicious taste. Moreover, the company does a great job explaining their choice of ingredients on their website.
6. PRICING AND SHIPPING
The price of a protein bar ranges between $2 and $1.50, depending on how many boxes you order, reaching the lowest value for orders of minimum 6 boxes. Taking into account that each box contains 16 bars the price per box ranges from $32 to $24. It is important to note that shipping is free in the U.S. no matter how many boxes you order, so you have no additional costs to worry about.
The price may be slightly higher than that of some competing products. However, the free shipping, convenient packaging, and clean ingredients list totally make up for the difference. It would be nice to see an auto-delivery option with additional price discounts like those available for other protein bar varieties.
Of course, that would involve a long-term commitment, and Built Bar seems to be all about flexibility and convenience. With their sample box offer, they drop the price per bar to $1, allowing everyone to get a taste of their products, no strings attached.
7. SAMPLE BOX
This box is a unique offer for first-time customers. It includes 6 protein bars in different flavors. At the time of this review, the cost of the whole box is only $6, which drops the cost per bar to $1, as mentioned above.
It is a great way to find out if these protein bars are right for you and find out what flavor you prefer.
Keep in mind that you can only order one sample box per household, and shipping may take a little more than for regular orders. However, the wait should be worth it.
8. BUILT BAR TASTE GUARANTEE
We are pretty sure you and your friends or family will love these bars. Just in case you do not, the company offers a taste guarantee. This means you can contact them and request a refund. They only offer refunds for one line product on first orders.
To receive the refund, you have to contact the company within 14 days from order placement. The company does not accept returns and will only allow exchanges in rare cases of defective or damaged products. This practice is common among food producers. Moreover, considering the qualities of the products under discussion, it is difficult to believe you will ever have reason to ask for a refund or replacement.
9. BUILT BUCK$ REWARDS
Built Bar has quite an attractive rewards program. It gives participants six ways to earn built buck$ and use them to pay for their orders. If you decide to join the program, 100 built buck$ will get you $5 off on your order. You get $10 off for 200 built buck$ and $25 off for 450 built buck$.
As ways to earn built buck$, try the following:
- Sign up for the program – it will get you 50 built buck$
- Order protein bars – you get 1 built buck for every dollar you spend
- Recommend Built Bar to your friends and family – you will earn 100 built buck$ for every referral ordering a 16-bar box
- Share the Built Bar offer with your Facebook or Instagram contacts every month and win 50 built buck$ per share
- Follow the company on Instagram and Facebook and earn 25 built buck$ per follow
- Stay a built bar member until your birthday and earn 200 built buck$ as a gift
10. BUILT BAR REPUTATION
Despite the over 1,000 reviews on the official website, the company and its products are not as popular as we expected. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing. The protein bars have only recently been launched, and they have not benefitted from the extensive marketing their main competitors received. Although not as numerous as we hoped, the available reviews are predominantly positive. Consumers are thrilled with the protein bars’ taste and nutritional value.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON BUILT BAR
Based on the above-presented facts, we have every reason to believe that you’ll be thrilled with these protein bars yourself. To avoid disappointments, we recommend starting with the sample box, since it is cheaper and benefits from free shipping. It is a great way to try different flavors at half price. If you like what you get, you can easily other more protein bars later on.