Quest’s Over-Hyped HERO BAR Fails to Live up to its Name

Quest Hero Bar

Quest Nutrition looks to regain their dominance in the protein bar niche of the market with the release of the “candy bar replacement” Hero Bar.

There was a time when Quest Nutrition reigned supreme as the king of protein bars.

But, as the years have passed, so has Quest’s era of dominance as newcomers to the seen (namely OhYeah! ONE Bar and ProSupps MyBar) have supplanted Quest as the leaders in taste, texture, and quality. Meanwhile, every brand on earth has a “me-too” bar that’s slowly chipped away at other corners of Quest’s market.

However, Quest looks to take their rightful place back as the true leader in protein bars with the release of the all new Quest Hero Bar. It’s billed by some at Quest HQ as the “replacement for your Snickers craving”.

That’s a mighty big claim for a protein bar, and we’ve got all info about the new bars, plus our review ahead!

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Hero Bar Ingredients

Like most of the other Quest Bars you’ve seen lately, they’ve removed all of the isomaltooligosaccharides (IMOs) and replaced it with a mix of erythritol, sucralose, and the new low calorie sweetener Allulose, first seen in Quest’s Beyond Cereal Bars.

  • Protein Blend

    Quest Hero Bar Ingredients

    Standouts of the ingredients line up include Milk Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Isolate, and new sweetener Allulose. The Nutrition Facts are lower down.

    Hero Bar incorporates the same two proteins used in the new Beyond Cereal Bars — Milk Protein Isolate and Whey Protein Isolate. Lactose sensitive individuals will appreciate the use of these two forms, as they’re low in lactose and should entail minimal GI distress for the sensitive tummies out there often affected by concentrates.

    Additionally, using both milk and whey protein isolates offers a good balance of taste, texture, and high protein content, so you’ll feel more fulfilled when eating these bars — if you can get past the taste… but more on that later!

  • Allulose

    We mentioned allulose at the beginning of this section. It’s a new low calorie monosaccharide (sugar) that yields 0.4 calories per gram. The caveat is that you’ll see allulose incorporated in the “Sugars” section of the Nutrition Facts Panel, as the FDA requires all monosaccharides to be listed in the “sugars” section even if the body doesn’t metabolize it like regular sugars such as sucrose!

    But that means in reality, according to Quest, each Hero Bar’s 11g of allulose contributes < 5 calories.

    GRAS Certified

    The FDA has classified Allulose as a generally recognized as safe (GRAS) product[1] and approved it for use in a number of products, where it helps improve can improve gelling, taste, etc. in food products.[2,3]

    You can watch the video from Quest about this stuff, and decide if you’re ready to take on a new sweetener or if you’d rather hang back and wait for more research:

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  • The Rest

    Instead of IMO Fiber, Quest is using Soluble Corn Fiber as its primary binding agent. We blogged about Quest’s switch to soluble corn fiber a while back (interestingly, their blog post about it has been taken down for unknown reasons, but archives of it are available[4]).

    Depending on which flavor you get, you’ll get a wide array of stabilizers, thickeners, binders and flavoring agents which include the likes of: Palm Kernel Oil, Pecans, Cocoa, Butter, Water, Erythritol, Natural Flavors, Sea Salt, Baking Soda, Palm Oil, Cellulose Gum, Xanthan Gum, Carrageenan, Sucralose, and Sunflower Lecithin.

PricePlow’s Quest Hero Bar Review

We got a chance to test these bars out a the 2017 Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio. We were pretty excited to taste a protein bar that was hyped as the replacement for your candy bar cravings.  

Sadly, these didn’t even come close to that hype. Here’s our full review:

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They weren’t bad… but they weren’t a Snickers Bar, that’s for sure! We simply think they were over-hyped to us, and after we had just reviewed the insane OhYeah! ONE Bar’s new Blueberry Cobbler flavor days before, it unfortunately wasn’t even a fair competition.

Hero Bar Macros

Quest Hero Bar Nutrition Facts

Hero Bars have a range of calories and macros depending on which of the three flavors you get. Here’s the info for the Chocolate Caramel Pecan flavor.

Each Quest Hero Bar weighs approximately 60g, and has slightly different calorie hits and macros depending on which flavor you opt to eat:

  • Calories: 170 – 200
  • Protein: 15-17g
  • Carbs: 27-30g (12g “sugar”, 11g fiber)
  • Fats: 7-11g (6-7g saturated)

Remember, allulose is labeled as sugar, but it’s not providing nearly as much caloric energy as actual sugar does. This is why we put sugar in quotes above.

Flavors Available

The all-new Hero Bars come in one of three flavors:

Quest Hero Bar Chocolate Caramel Pecan

Here’s a close up of the Chocolate Caramel Pecan Hero Bar… looks can be a bit deceiving is all we have to say – it’s not bad, but it’s just not the Hero!

  • Chocolate Caramel Pecan
  • Blueberry Cobbler
  • Vanilla Caramel

Takeaway

Quest’s Hero Bars were a valiant effort at trying to retake the throne of protein bar excellence, but sadly the brand has come up short. We just had a better experience with Quest’s Beyond Cereal Bars and it feels like this one was a bit rushed out.

While decent tasting, the bars don’t even come close to reaching candy bar status (as we saw with ProSupps MyBar), or surreal-tasting as we experienced with the Blueberry Cobbler ONE Bar.

So it’s not an outright zero, Quest’s new bars are anything but a hero… if you want to try something with Allulose, we prefer the Beyond Cereal Bars instead.

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Posts are sponsored in part by the retailers and/or brands listed on this page.

Quest Nutrition Hero Bar

Our all-in-one Hero Bar image used on social media

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References

  1. http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/GRAS/NoticeInventory/ucm319617.htm
  2. Fukada K, Ishii T, Tanaka K, Yamaji M, Yamaoka Y, Kobashi K, Izumori K (2010) Crystal structure, solubility, and mutarotation of the rare monosaccharide D-psicose. Bull Chem Soc Jpn 83:1193–1197.
  3. Sun Y, Hayakawa S, Izumori K (2004) Antioxidative activity and gelling rheological properties of dried egg white glycated with a rare keto-hexose through the Maillard reaction. J Food Sci 69:C427–C434.
  4. https://web-beta.archive.org/web/20150831011212/http://blog.questnutrition.com:80/our-latest-innovation-soluble-corn-fiber/
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