If you’ve heard of Built Bars, you know they’re protein bars that are supposed to taste like chocolate candy bars… but are they really that good? I ordered a sample box to try out several flavors to see what all the hype was about. (The company did not send these to me for review, I paid for them myself).
Edited to add (4/23/20) – Commenters are letting me know that Built Bar actually will refund your money if you purchase a box and don’t like them (only if it’s your first box, though). This is pretty cool and makes them much less risky to try out. At least they stand behind the product.
You can currently get $10 off your first order here, just use the code: GETBUILT at checkout, (or 12% off any order with code GET12)
Keep in mind this Built Bar review is my OPINION – everyone has different tastes and I know some people do like these bars. I’m just giving my personal feedback and hope it can help others decide if they should give these a try or not.
If there really was a protein bar with only 4 grams of sugar that actually tasted like chocolate, I wanted in. I mean, these bars have over 21,000 reviews all giving it 5 stars on their website!
According to the company, Built Bars have an amazing taste with a light, creamy filling. They are only 110 calories with 15 grams of protein and 4 grams of sugar. That sounds almost too good to be true! You can visit their website here to check them out.
My initial reaction after unwrapping the vanilla cream flavor was that it really did smell like real chocolate. As I cut it open, it felt dense and sticky. That’s the exact opposite of light and creamy…
Built Bar texture – what it’s like…
The texture was very off-putting to me. It wasn’t light and fluffy like they claimed, it was very sticky and chewy. I heard other reviewers say they were like 3 Musketeers or almost like a marshmallow cream filling.
I mean, they do sort of have a lightness to it as a marshmallow filling does, but at the same time, it’s chewy and sticky. Almost like taffy, except not quite as dense.
To me, it’s not a good combination. It’s weird, hard to chew and sticks to your teeth a lot.
Does the texture of Built Bars improve in the fridge/freezer?
I did give these a second chance out of the freezer because everyone said they’re much better cold or frozen. I found it took away some of the weird “lightness” and made it denser and arguably less sticky. But it still was VERY chewy!
To be fair, I know a lot of people do like them – but if you’re expecting it to be super light and fluffy in texture then you’ll be disappointed. If you are the type of person that likes sticky/chewy textures maybe you wouldn’t mind it so much.
What about flavor, do Built Bars taste good?
First of all, the chocolate on the outside tastes great.
However, as far as the filling goes, I only thought 2 of the flavors I tried tasted okay – the vanilla cream and the coconut. The vanilla one didn’t really have a whole lot of flavor, slight vanilla, but you could mostly just taste the chocolate coating. The coconut one actually tasted almost exactly like a Mounds bar.
Also, I would like to mention that these bars definitely don’t taste like a typical protein bar and are very unique.
I was really expecting to like the chocolate flavors – chocolate mousse, salted caramel brownie, and mint brownie – but I just didn’t. They did not taste good at all.
The chocolate mousse had a very bad taste that didn’t remind me of chocolate at all.
Usually, I am a total fan of chocolate mint anything, but the mint brownie had an extremely strong mint toothpaste flavor.
The caramel brownie had an extremely weird strong salty flavor that I couldn’t get past.
I also had high hopes for the fruity ones like orange and strawberry chocolate (I was really hoping to get the raspberry flavor but they didn’t send it to me!) but, eh… I don’t know what it is, I just didn’t like it. I normally love these flavors, but these bars tasted strange.
As for the mango and banana I didn’t even bother to try them (I do not like those flavors in general).
Ok, so the thing that actually bothered me the most about Built Bars (even more than the texture) was they put an extremely strong aftertaste in my mouth for hours! It hits maybe a minute after I first bite into them, and it’s so strong and reminds me of an old gym sock! The worst part is it won’t even go away after eating or drinking!
I’ve had other protein bars before and I’ve never experienced anything like it, so I’m not sure what is up with that. I haven’t heard anyone mention it, but I can’t possibly be the only one that experiences it?
I’m not typically sensitive to this sort of thing. But I gave these bars 3 different chances (room temperature, cold and frozen) and experienced it every single time after eating them.
Let’s talk about ingredients for a second…
Ingredients: Protein mix (whey protein isolate (milk), partially hydrolyzed whey protein isolate (milk), gelatin, dark chocolate, vanillin, water, erythritol, glycerin, maltodextrin, natural flavor, citric acid
What could be in these bars that is giving such a bad aftertaste? I’m not sure, but maybe it’s just the protein mix flavor coming to me after the initial flavoring goes away? Although I’ve had protein bars before and have never tasted anything like it…
My final opinion – should you really try Built Bars?
I don’t think these bars are worth the hype – they have a very chewy texture and left me with a horrid aftertaste. I don’t believe they ONLY have 5-star positive reviews as shown on the website… I can’t be the only person that thinks these aren’t good.
If they sold these in stores and you could just pick up one bar, I’d say it’s worth a try to see if you’d like it. However, since you can only buy them in 18 packs (for $36!) or a one-time offer special sample box (10 flavors for around $18 or so) I would caution against the splurge if you’re unsure you’d like them.
HOWEVER… I feel the need to add these are still VERY popular and many people like them. I’ve talked about Built Bar in Facebook groups before and my opinion seems to be very unpopular. Even people who have no monetary gain tell me they love them, so maybe it’s just me. If you like chewy textures, you may just love them.
Keep in mind this company has pretty decent customer service and they’ll even refund your money on your first box if you’re not happy.
You can visit builtbar.com and check their current selection and pricing (remember to use the code GETBUILT at checkout to get 10 dollars off your first order)
If you’ve tried Built Bar, drop a comment down below and share your opinion!