Picky Club Energy Bar Subscription Box – March 2015
Picky Bars was founded by professional athletes who grew tired of having to choose between performance bars (that were often full of gnarly ingredients) and real food bars (that weren’t balanced for sport). They set out to make real food bars that could stand up to the needs of serious athletes. After lots of testing, they developed a range of soy, dairy, and gluten-free bars with a 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio that provides nutritional recovery after a hard workout. Each bar is 200 calories.
This box was sent to us for review purposes. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: Picky Club
The Products: 12, 18, or 24 Picky Bars per month in your choice of flavors
The Cost: $29.95 per month for 12 bars; $39.95 per month for 18 bars; $49.95 per month for 24 bars
Ships to: US (Shipping is free.)
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Each Picky Club membership includes a T-shirt. I selected a women’s large (they also have unisex sizes available). The shirt is from American Apparel and the material is very soft. I like the design a lot, too, however the sizing runs small. I’ll probably pass it along to a friend.
My shipment included 12 bars, 2 of each flavor Picky Bars currently offers and a sample of their new, unnamed flavor.
I don’t often eat nutritional bars, but my brother is an extremely active guy who reaches for them regularly. Matt was excited to try Picky Bars and to see how they would stack up to the bars he normally eats.
Before we got started, we did a quick scan of the Picky Bars’ nutritional information and compared it to that of a Cliff Bar, my brother’s usual go-to bar. Here’s a comparison of the nutritional info:
The first thing we noticed was that the Picky Bar was smaller than the Cliff Bar (45g per bar vs. 68g per bar). The Picky Bar was also higher in fat. While the higher fat content isn’t necessarily a deal breaker for my brother, he noticed and pointed it out right away.
After our brief discussion of the nutritional content, we opened up the bars to try them. The first thing I noticed about Picky Bars was that they really do look different from other nutritional bars I’ve had.
The texture is a little different too. They’re soft and made with identifiable nuts, seeds, and/or dried fruit.
Cookie Doughpness – 2 bars, value $6
We started out with the Cookie Doughpness bar, which is inspired by the flavor of cookies. One of the Picky Bars founders is a marathon runner who has been known to fuel the occasional run with cookies. While this is not a practice they endorse, it inspired this bar, packed with walnuts, cinnamon, peanut butter, currants, and dates. I liked this flavor, and I thought the cinnamon flavor did make it taste a little like cookie dough.
Blueberry Boomdizzle– 2 bars, value $6
Blueberry Boomdizzle is a mix of almond butter and blueberries and is the “fruitiest” of the Picky Bars. There’s also a touch of vanilla, which I thought was nice. Matt liked this one, too.
All-In Almond– 2 bars, value $6
All-In Almond blends almonds, cranberries, and chocolate chips into a base of almond butter. It’s one of their top sellers.
Lauren’s Mega Nuts– 2 bars, value $6
I love pepitas (pumpkin seeds), so I was really excited to try this bar. Lauren’s Mega Nuts was the first bar created by Picky Bars, and it’s a blend of peanut butter, chocolate, pepitas, walnuts, and almonds. I really liked the nutty flavor and addition of whole seeds and nuts.
Smooth Caffeinator – 2 bars, value $6
As someone who can’t function in the morning without coffee, I love the idea of a caffeinated bar. It’s made with coffee, hazelnuts, dates, chocolate chips, and cranberries. Picky Bars recommends this bar for early-morning, pre-workout snacking. This bar was my favorite. It was a little bit crunchy, and I enjoyed the flavor of the coffee.
Need for Seed– 2 bars, value $6
Need for Seed is made with honey-roasted sunflower butter and lots of seeds.
Picky Bars also included their new, unnamed peanut butter and chocolate bar in the box.
They need help naming the bar and have asked for suggestions to be posted on their Facebook page.
Verdict: Both Matt and I agreed that it’s difficult to find nutrition bars that taste great. They can often have an unappealing flavor or texture, and, happily, that wasn’t the case with Picky Bars. We both liked them (some flavors more than others), but I don’t think Matt will be changing his nutritional bar allegiance anytime soon. While Picky Bars tasted better than most of the bars he’s sampled, he still thought Cliff Bars were much tastier. Overall, I have to agree (though, I thought the concept and flavor of the Smooth Caffeinator was great).
I really like the concept behind Picky Bars, and I enjoyed learning a little bit about the nutritional science that led to their development. I can see how serious athletes who eat bars regularly would be attracted to the idea of a “real food” bar that’s balanced for their nutritional needs. For the average consumer, however, I think the greater fat content and higher price point might be a problem. All that being said, for those who regularly eat Picky Bars, the Picky Club does offer a good savings. Picky Bars purchased through the online store are $3 each, while a 12 bar monthly subscription breaks down to only $2.50 per bar.