Out of Balance

Most programmers, coders, hackers, Software Engineers, call them like you see them, don’t eat healthy. There is just no time to leave the keyboard for having a healthy meal and instead we prefer a quick snack or a beer, depending of the location and time of the day maybe.
Despite the popularity of the well-marketed low-carbohydrate diets, a.k.a.Atkins Diet, the Carpentaria, CA based Balance Bar Food Company (bought by Kraft Foods in 2000 for approximately $268 million) stuck to their concept of making nutrition/energy bars that have balanced proportions of 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 30% dietary fat, and are fortified with vitamins and minerals.

The Balance Bar’s 40/30/30 principle, aimed at achieving stable blood sugar levels, is based on a nutritional philosophy popularized by biochemist and nutrition scientist Dr. Barry Sears and has been proven to provide sustained energy and hunger management. A box containing 15 bars costs about US$ 16 and can be bought by retailers nationwide or directly at http://www.balance.com/.

Being a proud member of the above-mentioned group of unhealthy eaters, I have too few meals during the day, don’t spend much time thinking about calories and fat, and don’t like fruits. I drink plenty of fluids – in the form of coffee and beer that is. However, for the last seven or eight years, I have made the Balance Bar part of my daily diet and while there are plenty of flavors to choose form, I enjoy the Balance Bar Gold triple-chocolat-chaos the most.

Since the Balance Bar is really tasty and has been a consistent and healthy part of my everyday selection of food, I immediately noticed the new designed box and wrapper. Comparing the nutrition facts revealed that not only the packaging had changed but also content and not for better, if you ask me.

Now, I certainly couldn’t care less about their new wrapper and box design and even if the new bar (more Sugar, Cholesterol, and Sodium but less Protien) is not nearly as good for you as the previous generation, I still may have continued buying it – but the new bar also tastes awful.

It’s much more chewy, unpleasantly sticking to your teeth and tastes more like caramel than chocolate. It’s also a lot sweeter, almost feels like eating a spoon of pure sugar. But don’t take my word for it, buy one of those new bars and experience the flavor yourself. Or even better, do a comparison taste test, just like Tom and I just did.

Balance Bar responds to my comments:

Hi Wolf,
Thank you for visiting http://www.balanceoasis.com/.Balance is undergoing a major product and packaging change. The first of the bars to change is the Gold line.
The bars have been reformulated and the packaging and logo totally redesigned with new, and contemporary graphics. The reformulation includes the removal of High Fructose Corn Syrup and improved the taste and texture – making the bars softer.
These major product improvements make BALANCE BARS even better than before. We value your comments, and will forward them to our Marketing team.
If you haven’t done so already, please add our site to your favorites and visit us again soon!
K. …
Associate Director, Consumer Relations


Nutrition Facts The old Balance Bar Gold
The NEW Balance Bar Gold
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Total Fat 7g = 11% 7g = 11%
— Saturated 4g = 20% 4g = 20%
— Trans 0g 0g
Cholesterol 0mg <5mg = 1%
less is better
90mg = 4% 130mg = 5%
Potassium 120mg = 3% 135 mg = 4%
Total Carbohydrate 22g = 7% 24g = 8%
Diatary Fiber <1g = 3% <1g = 4%
Sugar 12g 16g
Protein 15g = 28% 13g = 24%
Serving Size 1 Bar (50g) 1 Bar (50g)
Calories 210 210
— from Fat 60 60
Vitamin A 50% 50%
Vitamin C 100% 100%
Calcium 10% 10%
Iron 25% 25%
Vitamin E 100% 100%
Vitamin K 25% 25%
Thiamin 25% 25%
Riboflavin 25% 25%
Niacin 25% 25%
Vitamin B6 25% 25%
Folid Acid 25% 25%
Vitamin B12 25% 25%
Biotin 25% 25%
Pantothenic Acid 25% 25%
Phosphorus 15% 15%
Iodine 25% 25%
Magnesium 10% 10%
Zinc 25% 25%
Selenium 25% 25%
Copper 25% 25%
Manganese 25% 25%
Chromium 25% 25%
Molybdenum 25% 25%

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