*UPDATED* This review was originally published on January 14, 2016. It has since been updated to include each new ONE Bar released since that date. The newest addition to this post is the seasonal Red Velvet bar. Please find my review and rankings below.
Hi, #fitfam. Former Quest Bar loyalist here. Today we will be reviewing every single OhYeah! ONE Bar ever created. But first, let’s explore how we got here.
If you’ve ever stepped foot into a gym, nutrition store, airport, grocery store, convenience store, browsed the Internet at all, or stalked anyone in yoga pants long enough, you’re definitely familiar with Quest Bars. I first discovered Quest Bars over two years ago when I was on the strictest of diet regimens and wanted the cheat meal without the cheating. I instantly became obsessed. Auto-delivery. One bar a day. Then two bars a day. To this day, I still enjoy plenty of Quest Bars, though my diet has relaxed just a tad.
(See Also: Review of Every Quest Bar Ever Created)
Then something terrible happened. In August 2015, Quest changed its prebiotic fiber source from isomalto-oligosaccharides (IMOs) to soluble corn fiber. People were piiiissed. Here’s what we know about IMOs: (1) nothing, and (2) we want them back. Some people said the new bars tasted awful. Others said they couldn’t notice a difference. I go back and forth, and quite frankly I don’t know what’s what any more. Adding to my confusion, I used to know all the macros for each bar by heart; then those changed, too. My entire life spiraled out of control.
While telling this tale to a Vitamin Shoppe sales rep who definitely wasn’t interested in my life story, she recommended I try ONE Brands ONE bars. I didn’t hear a word she said, but I bought a couple of bars anyway because she was cute (Hi Lauren).
My first ONE bar was Lemon Cake. Excellent. Then OhYeah! ONE Peanut Butter Pie. Okay – we’re on to something here. Then the Internet dropped ONE Birthday Cake all over my face, and if you’ve read my full review of that one, you’ll understand why I want to give it out as party favors for all the guests at my funeral.
Today we run through every ONE Brands ONE Bar to see how the full lineup fares.
What do I gain by doing this? Nothing.
I’ll be ranking all flavors from my favorite to least. Here’s the scouting report: ONE Bars are produced by OhYeah! Nutrition. All bars hover around 220 calories, 20g of protein, slightly over 20g of carbs, 8g of fat, and 10g of fiber. They’re gluten-free and contain no GMOs. They have but 1 gram of sugar – hence the ONE name.
But today I’ll be consuming a total of 15g of sugar along and over 300g of protein, for I will be eating all of them for no reason at all.
Let’s pray my plumber can mobilize quickly.
1) Birthday Cake: No surprises here. This is the bar that made me fall in love with the brand. “Confectioner’s glaze” is one of the greatest word pairings in the English language. ONE Birthday Cake uses confectioner’s glaze and tastes like straight vanilla frosting and sprinkles. Though it may look like a unicorn’s turd, the sprinkles on OhYeah! One Birthday Cake make for a delightful textural contrast up against the soft chew of the bar itself. So many products claim to taste like birthday cake and do not – OhYeah! One Birthday Cake tastes so much like funfetti cake.
The only kind of cake that I like better than this is the one that Rihanna sings about; even then, it’s close.
2) Maple Glazed Donut: I guess glaze is their specialty. I pretty much eat donuts for a living, so believe me when I say that ONE Brands killed it with their Maple Glazed Donut Bar. The bar tastes genuinely of maple syrup without being too sweet; it’s probably their most balanced bar. It really did remind me of a cake donut too – one with a touch of cinnamon. A doughnut flavor hasn’t been tackled by any protein bar company before, adding to its novelty.
I almost ranked this one above Birthday Cake, but it’s hard to let go of your first love.
3) Almond Bliss: There is absolutely no way this bar is good for you, but ignorance is bliss. First off, ONE Almond Bliss is completely enrobed in chocolate. Next, it has almonds just hanging out on top (don’t mind us), which are also covered in chocolate. Finally, we have coconut for days. Put it altogether and ONE Almond Bliss tastes like an Almond Joy and chews like a Samoa Girl Scout cookie sans the caramel. You might just bust a nut when you get to an almond. I go through phases where I crave this more than the bars I ranked above it, so consider it a sleeper as a sneaky favorite.
4) Peanut Butter Pie: There is no such thing as a good peanut butter protein bar… at least that’s how I felt up until I tried ONE Peanut Butter Pie.
This bar is a peanut butter lover’s dream – it uses a trifecta of peanut butter, peanut flour, and peanuts to achieve its greatness. It tastes equal parts salty, sweet, nutty, and roasty. It’s so smooth and velvety that it does lend itself to a slice of peanut butter pie. Since my normal pre-workout routine was to make pies from scratch and then eat them, ONE Peanut Butter Pie will make for far more efficient fuel on Leg Day.
5) Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake: When you eat a slice of cake, do you actually want two slices of cake? Of course you do. ONE Peanut Butter Chocolate is an equal mashup of two bars: the aforementioned Peanut Butter Pie, and the discontinued Chocolate Birthday Cake that I enjoyed (RIP). The balance between the peanut butter and chocolate flavors is strong – much better than yours as you struggle to keep consciousness while those heart pumping, lose-all-your-fat-in-one-day supplements kick in.
Hang in there.
6) Cinnamon Roll: If you’re reading a lengthy protein bar review, chances are you haven’t had a Cinnabon in a while. The next time your knees buckle when you enter the mall and are assaulted by the scent of fresh baked Cinnabons, reach for the ONE Cinnamon Roll bar to recover.
ONE Cinnamon Roll captures the dessert better than any cinnamon protein bar on the market. The taste of buttery dough is omnipresent, the cinnamon isn’t overpowering, and the sweetness of vanilla glaze is just right. Its greatest strength is its balance, something you definitely need in your life if you read every paragraph of a protein bar review and then torture yourself looking at pictures of Twinkies on my blog.
7) Blueberry Cobbler: Well, we had to have some fruit today didn’t we? ONE Blueberry Cobbler comes hard on blueberry – slightly tart, slightly sweet, authentic, delicious. It’s another outstanding addition to the lineup, even if the white coating makes this feel more like blueberries & cream than it does cobbler. There’s no flavor of butter or streusel or cinnamon or anything like that.
Relax, we’re moving onto cake in a second.
8) Lemon Cake: Bear with me – I know the word “lemon” makes you cringe because you’ve definitely spent a few days drinking nothing but lemon water, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup in attempt to fix an entire lifetime of terrible decisions. But ONE Lemon Cake is out of this world good, even ranked all the way down here. I don’t even love lemon cake, but I’m in love with ONE Lemon Cake. It blends the sourness of lemons with a gentle vanilla creaminess to create a true diamond in the rough. It’s light & refreshing, yet still manages to be quite indulgent. If you’re afraid of this one because it doesn’t have chocolate, quit being such a sour-pussy.
9) Red Velvet Cake (seasonal): Sexy and decadent, the Red Velvet Cake ONE Bar is “I’m here to f*ck” good. They smartly focused on the frosting, as this bar’s distinguishing feature is a rich and creamy tanginess that emulates cream cheese frosting pretty damn well for a protein bar. The chocolate undertones are subtle but effective. All ONE bars possess a cake-like quality to me, which could be why so many are actually named after cakes. It’s especially appropriate for this flavor.
Just remember that the Red Velvet Cake Bar is (sadly) for a limited time only.
Sale’s Period: Circa Valentine’s Day
10) Salted Caramel: ONE Salted Caramel fills a void left by many top competitors, as neither Quest, Combat Crunch, or FIT Crunch offers a caramel flavor. It performs very admirably with an accurate caramel taste. Despite being accurate, though, the caramel is only moderate – this bar would rank much higher had it been more intense. It finishes with the familiar ONE sweetness common to all their bars, but also a dash of salt.
Remember salt? You gave it up when you started this stupid diet. Also, your social life.
You’re doing great though!
11) Chocolate Brownie: The most chocolatey of the offerings by a landslide, ONE Chocolate Brownie tastes like a milk chocolate candy bar more than it does a protein bar. That’s good news if your spirit animal is also Chunk from The Goonies. ONE Chocolate Brownie is rich and luscious and generally wonderful. A touch of added saltiness might be a mere suggestion of “brownie,” but I’m not going to complain about any excuse to eat chocolate instead of another bowl of egg whites. T
his bar gets brownie points for having tiny chocolatey bits just so you can feel something… anything.
12) Pumpkin Pie (seasonal): ONE Brands favored sweet over spice with this one, so I hope you like whipped cream with your pumpkin pie (you do).
A satisfying cinnamon flavor is the primary complement to a creamy vanilla sweetness. While it’s the best pumpkin protein bar in the game currently, ONE Pumpkin Pie is not without its flaws. The remaining spices are difficult to identify. Is it that difficult to sprinkle nutmeg, ginger, allspice, & cloves into the recipe? I genuinely don’t know… if it were up to me, I would dump some whey into a slice of pumpkin pie and stick a wrapper on it. Word to the wise: do not take fitness advice from a guy who runs a junk food blog.
As a pumpkin spice lover, I admit ONE Pumpkin Pie could have been so much more.
Sale’s Period: Fall
13) Key Lime Pie (seasonal): The first key lime pie protein bar I can recall, ONE Brands got the tart lime right in this one. A truly accurate lime flavor is the first thing to greet you with ONE Key Lime Pie.
While it’s certainly pleasant, the sweetness never quite materializes to fully pass as key lime pie filling or whipped cream. There’s also no graham component or any play on crust whatsoever. This bar would be a killer with a little more sugar, but hey… I guess that’s why they don’t call them TWO bars or THREE bars.
(I hate myself.)
Sale’s Period: Summer
14) Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough: ONE Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough features a decent balance of sweet and salty, but it’s not what it should be. There’s an underlying butteriness that stands out when compared to other flavors. ONE Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough suffers from the lack of chocolate chips or any crunchy bits to break up the soft texture.
Perhaps I’ve been eating too much Gourmet Edible Cookie Dough (I have), but OhYeah! One Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough left much to be desired. Stick with Quest Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough if you crave a cookie fix but your normal diet only allows you to eat lettuce or anything from that article on how Chris Pratt got ripped for “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
15) Cookies & Creme: I think they forgot the cookies. ONE Cookies & Creme is so silky and sweet that I feel like I’m drinking heavy cream, which is unnecessary because that’s exactly what I’m washing this review down with anyway.
ONE Cookies & Creme has an artificially vanilla flavor that would make it your typical sandwich cookie creme, but it’s hyper sweet – a bit heavy on the sucralose. There’s cocoa powder in the recipe, but I can’t say I taste it. If this is supposed to be an Oreo – it’s more like the Golden Oreo. The little chocolate bits inside ONE Cookies & Creme don’t impact the flavor or texture like they do in Quest’s Cookies & Creme.
To be frank, I didn’t cookies & cream my pants over this bar.
DISCONTINUED FLAVORS (🙁)
The following flavors were previously reviewed, but are no longer produced currently. These reviews appear below in case you’re curious what I thought, or if ONE Brands ever brings them back:
Chocolate Birthday Cake: If ONE Birthday Cake is a funfetti cake, then ONE Chocolate Birthday Cake is a Devil’s food cake. You know how chocolate is good with just about everything? Same rule applies here.
The chocolatey version of the birthday cake has a deep, rich cocoa profile with traces of vanilla. We’ve got more confectioner’s glaze, more sprinkles, and more Happy Birthday deliciousness. Just like the OG version, the inside of the ONE Chocolate Birthday Cake is so soft and airy and that translates wonderfully for chocolate cake. This is the best pure chocolate bar by the brand, but it ranks behind the original because it’s not breaking new ground.
You know what’s breaking ground? Me when I walk anywhere these days.
Ranking as of Discontinuation Date: 5 of 17
Mint Chocolate Chip: ONE Mint Chocolate Chip is another great-tasting bar that’s quite different than the Mint Chocolate Chunk Quest Bar, which I ranked as my favorite. If the Quest Bar is the Thin Mint Cookie of protein bars, ONE Mint Chocolate Chip is the ice cream version of its namesake.
While the mint in ONE Mint Chocolate Chip is more mild than in Quest’s, the bar blends chocolate and mint together in a charming ratio with a silky texture ala ice cream.
Hey, whenever your protein bar can trick you into thinking you’re eating ice cream and make you temporarily forget you can only eat half a rice cake for dinner, it’s doing something right.
Ranking as of Discontinuation Date: 11 of 17
White Chocolate Raspberry: Whereas Quest White Chocolate Raspberry is sweet, ONE White Chocolate Raspberry is tart. This bar has a bona fide raspberry flavor right down to that little bit of sour. With the creamy glazed coating, it takes on a fruity and tangy sherbet vibe.
Unfortunately, ONE White Chocolate Raspberry completely misses the mark on white chocolate. In fact, there’s no cocoa or anything close to it in the ingredient list. To be clear, there’s no natural raspberry either, but the natural and artificial flavoring delivers on raspberry much more than it does the chocolate.
Ranking as of Discontinuation Date: 15 of 17
Across the board, ONE Brands ONE Bars are an outstanding option for protein bar junkies. I’ve got them ranked above Quest Bars in light of some of the changes made to Quest’s original formula. It’s interesting that some of the most impressive ONE flavors are the same flavors Quest misses, and vice versa. Because of that, their offerings complement one another and I’m happy to add ONE Bars to my regular rotation.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go die because I am positive you cannot digest this much protein at once.
My Understanding of IMOs and Soluble Corn Fiber Rating: 0.5 out of 10
Odds I Wake Up Tomorrow Morning Rating: ONE out of 10
OhYeah! ONE Bars Overall Rating: 8 out of 10
I ordered my ONE Bars off Amazon. You can order them in boxes of 12 here: http://amzn.to/1UUSrFv.
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