REVIEW: Blueberry Muffin Quest Bar
*UPDATE*: The Blueberry Muffin Quest Bar is finally here!
The review that follows was published on April 27, 2016 when the bar was available exclusively to Quest Lab members. The bar can now be purchased at GNC & Vitamin Shoppe, and will be available on Quest Nutrition’s website beginning September 7th, 2016.
It has been a meteoric rise for Quest Nutrition since the company was founded in 2010. Quest grew, I shit you not, 57,347% in its first three years. Their flagship product that took the fitness community by storm was the Quest Bar – innovative protein bars in really fun flavors that provided “the cheat meal without the cheating.” But the protein bar scene has exploded recently, and Quest has been busy experimenting with new formulas like the coated Pumpkin Pie Quest Bar and a brand new line of Quest Protein Crunch Bars.
(Read Also: Review of Quest Protein Crunch Bars)
Tonight I’m very excited to return to basics. Quest has introduced three new flavors that use the original Quest Bar formula. Well… not the original, original; we still want our IMOs back and will complain until we get them. But the three new bars are of the same texture I fell in love with three years ago. We’ll begin with some fruit so we don’t overeat our spaghetti at dinner tonight: Introducing the Blueberry Muffin Quest Bar!
The Blueberry Muffin Quest Bar is competing with a Rocky Road Quest Bar and an Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Quest Bar to become the newest addition the lineup. The three flavors are only available to members of Quest Labs, an exclusive testing community reserved for VIP food bloggers like me and anyone else that provides their e-mail address.
It’s unclear on how exactly this “contest” works. The e-mail I received states that the next Quest bar flavor is in my hands – mine! But then it asks vague questions like “If we had to release just one of these bars to the general public, which would it be?” You can do whatever you want Quest. They then ask you to simply leave feedback in the forums, which isn’t exactly the most scientific approach for deciding the fan favorite. I have a feeling all of the comments are going to read: “You should have done Birthday Cake, assholes.”
(*EDIT*: We now know the contest was merely to decide the order of the releases. The Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Quest graduated first with a public release on July 19, 2016; the Rocky Road Quest Bar will debut in November.)
The Blueberry Muffin Quest Bar sounds really good to me, but history suggests it’s at an extreme disadvantage. When I ranked 19 Quest Bars, almost all of the fruit bars were reserved for the end. But one thing that is definitely not fruit is a muffin, and there aren’t many blueberry-flavored protein bars out there to compare to. The intrigue is palpable.
Right off the bat, you’ll quickly spot that the Blueberry Muffin Quest Bar has dried blueberries mixed throughout. Promising start. It also appears to have white chips and… muffin chunks? They’re probably not muffin chunks, but they look like muffin chunks. The ingredient list confirms dried blueberries, along with some standard ingredients such as almonds, cocoa butter, cinnamon, and sucralose which is sure to piss some people off because their body is a temple. Mine is far from it.
The texture of the Blueberry Muffin Quest Bar is quite sticky – think along the lines of the Cinnamon Bun or Mixed Berry Quest Bars and not the Cookies & Cream or Chocolate Peanut Butter Quest Bars (God I know way too much about Quest Bars).
After my first bite, two flavors jumped at me quickly: graham cracker and blueberry. The graham flavor is pretty close to that in the Smores Quest Bar; it’s not terribly authentic, but it’s pretty tasty regardless. The lingering blueberry flavor is far more authentic and offers a tart-yet-sweet experience that makes this bar one of the most unique offerings yet. The balance between the graham and blueberry favors the graham initially with blueberries emerging on the back end. While I’ve never encountered a graham muffin and now want one immediately, the mind can easily perceive this graham flavor as a floury muffin or cake.
Though I’m completely digging the Blueberry Muffin Quest Bar, I will say this: If you’re not a fan of Quest Bars in general, this bar likely won’t be the one to make you think differently. Between the artificial sucralose and the set of natural flavors used here, the flavors are still instantly identifiable as those of Quest Nutrition. Protein bar texture, specifically with regards to Quest, has been a hot source of debate amongst food-and-fitness-obsessed lunatics like myself. I actually like the texture of Quest Bars in general, but I’m less a fan of the sticky ones such as featured in this bar. The white chips and muffin-or-whatever chunks didn’t offer a whole lot of excitement like in the Mint Chocolate Chunk or Double Chocolate Chunk Bars. The flavors, specifically, are the bar’s strength.
The Blueberry Muffin Quest Bar may not be a home run to all, but I thought it was a damn good offering for a bar that doesn’t feature chocolate, peanut butter, or any of the sexier ingredient you find in nearly all bars these days. While other protein bar companies are offering bars that might as well be sold right next to the Snickers and Milky Ways, Quest kept it simple with the Blueberry Muffin Quest Bar. This is the best fruit-containing Quest Bar not named White Chocolate Raspberry (aka Bae) as far as I’m concerned. Is it enough to win this contest though? To be determined…
In summary, muffin chunks.
How Much I Want a Graham Muffin Rating: 9.5 out of 10
How Much They Should Have Made Birthday Cake, Assholes Rating: 10 out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Nutrition: 180 cals, 21g protein, 22g carbs, 7g fat, 14g fiber (soluble corn fiber), 2g sugar
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