In a recent order from a local supplement shop I was sent some sample items, one of those items is today’s review victim “Forrat’s Protein Bites” (this item is listed on their website as “SupplementSource.ca CHOCOLATE PROTEIN BITE”). I’m always happy to receive samples when I order online and finding new ways to meet my required daily amount of protein is always a plus. There’s only so much meat and protein powder one can ingest before believing that other options must be explored. So let’s explore!
What is a “protein bite” and is it any good? That’s what I’m going to try and answer in this review.
Packaging & First Impressions
The packaging is simple, just the way I like it. Just a cellulose film packet with a cardboard label attached identifying the product. The labeling clearly shows that the chocolates are made by London Ontario, Canada’s own Forrat’s Chocolates and sold by well known supplement supplier Supplement Source which is where the one I consumed came from. On the reverse of the cardboard label is the nutritional information. It doesn’t get much more straightforward than that. Sure it lacks the fancy design of what we more typically see in the supplement industry but it is functional.
Given the look and the ingredients (listed in the next section) it wouldn’t be unusual to think this product is a protein rich bonbon, and if you assumed such you would be correct. At about 1.5 inches in length by 1.5 inches in width and consisting of nougat covered in a chocolate coating the protein bite is similar to a bite of a Milky Way (or Mars) candy bar without the caramel. I should have weighed it but the thought only occurred to me after I had ate it, OOPS!
Nutritional Value & Ingredients
As you can see from the above nutrition label the protein bite has 130 calories, 9.91g of fat, 8.24g total carbs (6.84g net due to 1.4g fiber) and 10g of protein. Given the niche this product fills (a substitute for a candy bar or other type of chocolate candy) the macros are good. It’s a little indulgence rather than a meal (obviously), possibly something to have as dessert or when you are craving sweets. It doesn’t fit the same purpose as a meal replacement or protein bar as it is small, low calorie and therefore low protein in comparison to those items so I am choosing to judge it on it’s own and not in comparison to other products.
The ingredient list is short and is as follows: cacao mass, cacao butter, whey protein, nuts, dairy, sugar and soy lecithin.
Cacao mass and cacao butter are used to make chocolate (that’s the bean chocolate is made out of basically), nuts and sugar along with the protein are likely used in the nougat-ish part and “dairy” is pretty vague so I don’t know exactly where and how it was used but it’s in there, likely condensed milk or powder in the chocolate. Soy lecithin is an emulsifier that keeps the chocolate from separating. Short and simple ingredient lists make me happy though being a little more specific on the type of whey, nuts and dairy would have gained them more points.
Taste is often the most important aspect of any food item. If it tastes like cardboard chances are you won’t eat it no matter how great the nutritional profile is compared to a candy bar. The good news is that this chocolate protein bite tasted amazing. If you like chocolate you will like the taste as it is basically chocolate and a bit of added sugar without much “nut taste” (yes, nut….taste, I did just type that) The texture wasn’t the best, the whey protein makes it a bit more dry and crumbly than you may expect BUT that’s my only complaint when it comes to taste. I’d eat way too many of these things if I were left unattended with an ample supply of them.
The deal breaker for this product is the price. At a regular price of $3.95 CAD this is more expensive than a protein or energy bar but with less protein. Even at the intro price of 1.98 (or $18.97 if you buy a 10 pack) it is sitting at a similar price point to protein bars when they are on clearance. This isn’t to say I would never consider purchasing another one, they do taste great and it’s better than dropping a dollar on a candy bar but I can’t see making them a regular part of my diet. If they were a dollar (which is likely not economically feasible) they would be affordable but as of now, an occasional treat is where I feel they fit into the market.
To summarize the above – the Chocolate Protein Bites from Supplement Source taste great and fit the niche they are trying to target quite well but are a bit too rich for my blood. If you have the money and a sweet tooth than look no further but as this blog is called Fitness On A Budget I’d recommend spending the money on some protein powder or protein bars on clearance instead.