Now I do love my chocolate, but being into my fitness/gym and what not I'm also a big fan of protein based treats. When I first saw a picture of this Mars,and Snickers (which will be done in another review), protein bar on social media I thought it was a joke, so you can imagine my delight when I found out it was not and that it was going to be available in the UK (I know shock horror we actually get something before the US).
Now obviously being a protein bar its not going to taste exactly the same as a regular Mars bar but how close could they get to it whilst maintaining that difference in calories/macronutrients. For those of you that are interested :
Regular Mars Bar (51g) - 230kcal, 8.6g fat, 35.3g carbs, 2.2g protein
Mars Protein Bar (57g) - 200kcal, 4g fat, 22g carbs, 19g protein
On inspection of the Mars Protein wrapper I was pleased to see that they are still using a milk chocolate coating, albeit a lot thinner, whilst the protein base is made up of hydrolysed collagen, soya protein and protein isolate - not exactly the best quality protein (especially the collagen) but hey ho.
Cutting the bar in half you can immediately tell the difference in texture, a normal Mars nougat base is soft and squishy, the innards of this protein bar are a lot thicker and 'stodgier' with only a thin caramel and chocolate layer. This texture difference can be further noticed on eating where it requires a lot more work to chew through it, but I would say this is generally what is expected of most protein bars, and if heated it does soften up a bit.
Nevertheless the flavour is pretty good and does replicate a Mars bar well, you do get a slightly 'chalky' protein base but other than that its spot on, an overall nice malty/caramel/chocolate flavour. In all honesty though I think I would still prefer to have the real thing and hit my protein macros by eating something else, with only a 30kcal difference between the 2 bars and the protein version being ~£2 more expensive it just doesn't seem worth it to me. However kudos to Mars for coming up with a pretty good tasting protein bar, I would eat it again but don't think it would be a regular purchase due to the huge price difference, if they could bring the bar cost down to <£1 more expensive than a regular Mars bar then I may rethink my purchasing decisions.
Taste - 7.0/10 - Replicates a regular Mars bar pretty well. Comparing it to other protein bars, good, but definitely not the best I've had.
Texture - 6.4/10 - Slightly hard and chewy, could benefit from being softened up a bit.
Appearance - 7.1/10 - Good size.
Price - 3.9/10 - I paid £2.59 at Protein Pick & Mix and that was when it was on sale, regular price is £2.99 for 1 bar which just seems extortionate to me. You can pay less per bar if you buy them in a box on Amazon, ~£1.80 per bar, but even then I think its overpriced.
Overall - 6.1/10 - A good attempt for Mars' first protein bars and definitely a nice one to try but the price point unfortunately lets it down for me, especially considering the quality of protein used isn't that great.
Those who enjoy protein bars and want their chocolate hit.
WHERE TO BUY?
You purchase these from various health/sports based stores on the internet. I got mine from Protein Pick & Mix here or you can get a box at Amazon here.