Inside the Label: Organic Bear Fruit Bars

We recently reviewed several healthy snack options,  fruit leathers, and freeze dried fruit. Today, a look at another option – Bear Fruit Bars. We’d like to thank reader Sarah S, a Fooducate Product Tester, for her feedback.

Bear Fruit Bars are manufactured by a small company called Mountain Organic Foods and come in four flavors – Organic Apple, Organic Apple Cherry, Organic Apple Raspberry, Organic Apple Blueberry. As you can see, the main motive here is apples. The Bear guys operate an organic  orchard in the Hood River Valley in Oregon.

So how did these organic snacks stack up?

What you need to know:
The bars were tasted by several adults and children. The packaging was bright and appealing. The organic/health factor was a plus

Reactions from kids and adults to the blueberry and cherry varieties ranged from “interesting” and “not that bad” to “gross.”

Universally, people didn’t like the texture. Some said it was too gummy. Others thought the texture was mealy, particularly the apple variety.

The adults liked the products more than the kids; no kids said they would want to eat them again. Some adults thought these snacks weren’t awful but would not buy them nor would really reach for them if they were on a table with other food.

Several adults did enjoy the bars and compared the flavor to natural fruit leathers. The said they would eat them again because they knew they were pretty healthy, but not necessarily because the flavor was great.

The products are 100% USDA organic and the ingredient lists are short and simple: Organic Apples, Organic Apple Concentrate, and Organic Cherry/Raspberry/Blueberry Concentrate.

Here are the nutrition facts:
a serving is one bar (36g). It contains no fats and no cholesterol. There are 3g of fiber, and 22 grams of sugar (equivalent to over 4 teaspoons of sugar). Compare this with a medium sized apple (186g) that contains mostly water, 18 grams of sugar and 4.4 grams of fiber. Which will leave your tummy fuller?

What to do at the supermarket:

This product exemplifies the challenges of vending a healthy AND tasty snack. On the one hand, Bear Fruit Bars are made from organic and naturally ingredients. Still, the product contains a high amount of sugar compared to a regular fruit. And despite the high sugar content, it was not as palatable to some of our testers as some of the other more processed snacks. We do hope the folks at Mountain Organic Foods continue to work on improving their products and expanding the options for consumers.

Bottom line: While we recommend eating fruits in their natural state, this product can definitely be a place holder for those cases where fresh is unavailable.

Disclosure: Ah, the perks of food blogging…Mountain Organic Foods’ PR firm contacted us and offered to send  evaluation samples. We had them sent to a family of volunteer testers. We did not pay for the samples. We were not paid to post this blog nor were we instructed in any which way regarding its content. In fact, we forewarned the group that we are skeptical and scathing of most processed products available at the supermarket. If you would like to have something new and possibly tasty sent to your house, why not become a Fooducate Product Tester? Just comment below or shoot us an email: blog [at] fooducate [dot] com.

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  • J in VA

    I would be interested in exploring product testing.

    I’m really enjoying your blog. Our family has become more real food in a real state conscious in the last couple of years (although we still eat more sugar than we ought—-baby steps, baby steps….)