Ok, everyone loves a good competition, but, muesli bars, who would have thought?
I decided, these days, there is enough difference amongst food’s to give a good competition, so we are tipping off against two muesli bar types, the Carman’s Apricot and Almond Muesli Bar and Uncle Toby’s Apricot Muesli Bar (“chewy”).
“But they are different!” I hear you say. Well, that’s not my fault! Uncle Toby does not make just a plain Muesli bar as Carman has, and the closest I’ve found to an Apricot bar in the Carmen range is the Apricot and Almond, so Apricot and Almond vs Apricot.
I’ll go through different points about the bars and at the end make a conclusion as to which one I think is the best, and why.
Carmen’s came in at 270 Grams for $4.99, which comes to a grand total of 1.8 Cents per gram.
Uncle Toby’s was 185 Grams for $2.69, which comes to a grand total of 1.4 Cents per gram.
Carmen = 1.8 Cents per gram
Uncle Toby’s = 1.4 Cents per gram
It should be noted that Carmen’s is GM Free, Uncle Toby’s makes no such guarantee, Carmen’s is also Australian Made and Owned.
(All GM Free as noted)
Rolled Oats, Nuts (10%), Almonds (7%), Hazelnuts, Pecans, Apricots (7%), Sunflower Seeds, Honey, Canola (Rapeseed) Oil, Cinnamon, Glucose (Corn/Maize), Natural Vanilla.
That’s 12 Ingredients, no additives, no preservatives, no GM, not bad.
Rolled Oats (28%), Whole Wheat (10%), Glucose (Wheat), Sugar, Dried Apricot (9%), Vegetable Oil, Soy Lecithin, Antioxidants (304 – Ascorbyl Palmitate) (306 – Tocopherol Concentrate), Coconuts, Maize Starch, Humectants (420 – Sorbitol and Sorbitol Syrup) (422 – Glycerol), Dried Apple, Rice Flour, Oat Flower, Skim Milk Powder, Honey, Emulsefier (Soy Lecithin), Food Acid (citric), Natural Flavour, Preservatice (Sulphur Dioxide).
22 Ingredients, wow, that was an effort! With preservatives, additives and possible GM ingredients, almost twice the ingredients of the Carmen’s Muesli Bar, I don’t know what half those things are for or what they do.
It should also be noted that regarding the Uncle Toby’s additive 420, additivealert.com.au has this to say “Not suitable for diabetics, infants and young children, liver toxicity, gastrointestinal upsets. Prohibited in foods for infants and young children.”
Component(per 100 Grams) Carmen’s Uncle Tobys (blue is better)
Energy 423 Calories 408 Calories
Protein 10.4 Grams 5.7 Grams
Fat – Total 18.2 Grams 13.4 Grams
-Saturated 1.8 Grams 4.5 Grams
-Trans 0 Grams NA
Carbohydrate 50.6 Grams 62.7 Grams
– Sugars 10.4 Grams 21.0 Grams
Dietary Fibre 7.4 Grams 6.6 Grams
Sodium 30 mg (0.03g) 15 mg (0.015g)
Some of the ingredients, it depends on what your talking about as to which is better, protien, Fibre and sugar here are the clear cut winners here for Carmen’s.
Now, although they are the same type of product and you would think they would taste the same, nothing could have been further from the truth!
While the Carmen’s had a ‘traditional’ muesli bar taste and was a very nice mix of nuts and a good substance.
The Uncle Toby’s tasted like a synthetic sugary based product that left a sugary/gluey film type substance on my mouth, which could have been any one of the 22 Ingredients, or a combination.
The taste has to be tasted to be believed I guess you could say, as I’ve noted below, the Uncle Toby’s was SO BAD, that I literally threw the rest of the packet out, I couldn’t eat the rest, I didn’t even finish a whole bar and did end up with a film on the inside of my mouth, I had better expectations but I was disappointed. Then, if you look at the ingredients list, what can you expect?
The reality of the Carmen’s is that if your mum had made you a muesli bar, this is kind of what you would expect to eat, and it will fill you up till lunch, calling it a snack isn’t really giving it justice because it is more than that, it’s feeling as if you’ve eaten something which your body will love you for.
While the Carmen’s targets the GM Free, no preservatives line, as well as being wheat free, dairy free and high in fibe, healthy eating (a Kids Connect Approved product). They start the packet on the front with “We believe food should come from the kitchen, not the chemist”, which is just so true, in reading the ingredients list (above). Carmen’s also are mentioned as 100% Australian Made and Owned.
The Uncle Toby’s goes for the ‘Wholegrain goodness’ more than anything. In fact, in reading the packet of the Uncle Toby’s Muesli bar, the word ‘wholegrain’ or term ‘wholegrain goodness’ is mentioned no less than 9 times. Presumably because this is what their marketing people told them sounds good (and there is nothing wrong with that) however there is not much else to say, which is why it is mentioned so many times, I would prefer to have something else to say as well, since wholegrain goodness is inherent in the fact that it’s a muesli bar, it’s no achievement of them because that’s the product they are selling, if you are selling a car it is kind of like saying “It has four wheels!”, if it’s didn’t have ‘wholegrain goodness’ it wouldn’t be a muesli bar because it wouldn’t have wholegrain muesli in it.
Another interesting point is that they also mention ‘low gi’ except, the Glycemic Index is 54, just two points off being Medium GI, so close that it’s a bit of a stretch for me. A ‘source of fibre’ is also mentioned on the packet.
Uncle Toby’s is owned by the Swiss company, Nestle.
When I started this comparison, I thought maybe it would be close, maybe one would edge in front of the other and it would be a nice close finish, what I found was a stark difference between the two Muesli Bars and I could not have been further from the truth.
While the Carman’s had whole grains only, no added sugar, no preservatives and mostly just seeds and oats, the Uncle Tobys was a plethora, a mixture of different preservatives/emulsefiers, additives and unpronouncable foodstuffs, with less dietary fibre and over double the sugar of the Carmen’s.
I also expected the taste to be at least slightly similar, but again I was proved wrong. As stated in the taste section, the Uncle Toby’s lost out big time in the taste department, it tasted nothing like what I would think a proper muesli bar would be but a light sugar filled ‘snack’. Not only that but I cannot pronounce some of the things I’m eating in it.
I had to revert to my ‘Additives’ Application (thank you iphone!) to even work out what was in the Uncle Toby’s bar, and in an attempt to discover the possible source of this oily film now covering my mouth (alas, I couldn’t).
Suffice to say, in the end, the rest of the Uncle Toby’s Muesli Bars went in the bin, they were so bad. The Carmen’s however, I would buy again, an excellent product all round.
I do not and have never worked either for Carmen’s Fine Foods Pty Ltd nor Nestlé S.A and I am in no way affiliated with any companies mentioned above.