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!
I too heard so much hype from colleagues and decided to try them…yuck
Chocolate too strong and no real taste of the pb.
Great customer service and was sent a free box of vanilla to try…waiting..not a dark chocolate fan and it overpowers any attempt at flavour.
The vanilla was one of the only flavors I thought tasted OK besides the coconut. I just couldn’t shake the aftertaste though! That’s great to hear they sent you a new box to try, I didn’t even think to get in touch with customer service after my experience but I do hear that they’re very good at trying to accommodate and make their customers satisfied.
Laura Pollard says
Consider yourself lucky. The raspberry chocolate is the worst of the fruit ones so far. I couldn’t take more than one bite. Very bitter aftertaste. I was disappointed as chocolate and raspberry are one of my favourite combinations.
To be fair, i have only had the orange, mint brownie, raspberry, and chocolate so far: but i am not thrilled with any of those. I can’t believe that people actually like these.
Your review is on point. I’ve tried the orange chocolate and I’m eating the peanut butter one just to give them a second chance. But I think I’ve wasted my money on the sample box, even if it was at a discounted price. I cannot really believe the people who gave them 5 stars using descriptive words like fantastic, and best tasting actually are normal people! Thank you for giving your honest opinion.
Yeah, it’s bizarre, to say the least. No problem!
I just literally choked down a cookie dough one. Nothing about this resembles cookie dough and the taste totally has me traumatized! Nasty, nasty!! They sent 2 sample bars and they were every bit as bad. It’s almost like an alcohol taste. I swear those have to be some kind of paid reviews, nobody could think these are fantastic!!!
I had no idea they had cookie dough! Judging from the other flavors I’ve tried, I’m sure it would be gross. Lol. I thought they all had to be paid reviews as well, but I read through a lot of Facebook comments on Built Bars advertisements as well as within other weight loss Facebook groups, and I’ve just seen too many people commenting about how great they are to believe they’re all paid off or bots or something. Most of these people are doing so without any financial gain it seems.
I also had my sister try one and she said she didn’t think it was as bad as I was telling her it was, which really shocked me. All I can figure is that maybe there’s something about the alcohol sugars they use that certain people are very sensitive too.
Lesa H says
I tried one bite of the cookie dough and threw them all out. I feel it was so bad that it had turned me off of all the other flavors.
Some of them taste pretty good warmed up.
Huh, that’s interesting. I didn’t try that!
Julee Bormet says
You’re right, they’re horrible. I honestly don’t understand how anyone could love these! I’ve eaten a lot of protein bars and these are the worst. My faves are Quest.
Yes, I like Quest too! Costco’s version (Kirkland) are cheaper and pretty good as well
Candy Cecil says
After seeing so many people post about these Built Bars, I had to try them, so I got the 18 bar mixed box and I actually like them! Can’t say i’m a huge fan of the texture, but I’ve loved every flavor! I haven’t seen another bar so low in sugar, so high in protein and only 110 calories! I haven’t refrigerated mine though. I saw somewhere online that they should be refrigerated if you’re not going to eat them within 2 weeks, so I’ll try that with my next order. I’m really loving their Built Boost as well! Great taste!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts! It definitely seems to be a mixed bag with these! Haha
I follow a lady on instagram that raves about these bars (she gets paid for advertising them) but I really like her so I decided to give them a try. I ordered 1 box of lemon chocolate and 1 of strawberry chocolate. They are limited time flavors. These are the worst protein bars I have ever tasted. Both flavors are vial.. The only good thing I can say is that they will reimburse your money for 1 box only if this was your first order. They have very good customer service but their bars are the worst. So now I have 34 bars sitting here that I guess will go in the garbage. What a waste of money!!
It’s good to know they stand behind their product and will reimburse you, and now that I think about it, someone else told me that as well. At least it makes it much less risky to try them out. A lot of people really do like these for some reason.
Lynn Franger says
Please don’t throw them out. Donate them to a food pantry. They are desperate for donations of any kind.
I agree. Got a sample box for a great deal (about $11) The orange flavor was the one that made me think a bunch of people are lying or I’m crazy. I had high hopes for the coconut one and it was meh. I keep trying them and hoping to find a flavor that made me go “Ok, I get the hype” and nothing. They sort of remind me of the flavored non calorie carbonated drinks. There’s a memory of a flavor, not the great taste and mouthfeel I was expecting. Also, their sizes were off, some were bigger, other smaller. Some didn’t had the chocolate coating on the bottom. I really don’t like any of the other low carb/sugar bars. So I guess I rather spend the calories on the real thing, good chocolate, haha!
Elaine Phillips says
I’m one of the few people that liked the bars – I bought an assortment box and most all of the flavors I thought were good. One of the coconut flavored bars was a little better than the others, I don’t know why – normally I hate coconut! In any case, my 29 year old son normally will eat anything I put in front of him – he hated these bars. He took one bite and said he didn’t like the texture – it was too gooey and stuck to his teeth. But he loves gummy bears? I have ordered a second and third box of them – I am usually very picky about what I eat – and have no idea why I like them so much but I do!!! Except not the Key Lime bars – they were not good….at all.
Thanks for sharing, Elaine! Haha, I’m with your son – I love gummy bears too but I hate sticky/chewy textures! I don’t think gummy bears stick to your teeth like these bars do.
Glad I read this and the comments first!!
I have braces and never thought how sticky they might be!! Moving on!!
Seems people either love or hate these. I love them, both the taste and the texture and have eaten 1-2 every day since discovering them about 4 months ago. It’s the only protein bar I have ever eaten that doesn’t have an aftertaste in my opinion..- i am pretty much addicted. I couldn’t get my husband to try them at first but now he is hooked also. He likes the mint brownie, raspberry, orange and banana. I like a lot of the flavors but my favorite is the coconut. I stick to the 110 calorie flavors. My 21 year old son loves them as well. We always eat them right out of the refrigerator. Sounds like many that read this don’t care for them but I’m happy I found them – Just ordered 10 more boxes!!
Thank you for sharing your feedback, Stacey! You’re right – these are definitely a love or hate type thing! The coconut was the absolute best flavor I tried too, I just couldn’t get over the aftertaste for some reason I’m super sensitive to it.
Lynn Franger says
I came here to look at your review. I cannot believe that there are only 5 star reviews on their website. I think they either change it to 5 stars after it’s posted, or only allow you to put 5 stars to review. I got the sample box and I have a mixed reaction. I have only tried two flavors and thought they were pretty good and filling. Yes, the texture is strange, but that is OK to me. I am going to try it refrigerated or frozen. I also received the Built Boost drink packs, which is a nice bonus. I have tried one so far and like it. It did give me energy. I may be more inclined to order those. My verdict is still out on getting more bars. I don’t want 18 of one flavor, and I don’t like that the variety box of 18 only allows 3 flavors of 6 bars. I think the sample box was worth it.
Yeah there must be some type of screening going on with their reviews. I haven’t tried the boost drinks!
BuiltBar doesn’t publish anything lower than 4-5 stars which is illegal. Also, try weighing your bars next time – you can’t really trust the nutrition ingredients. Also, a lot of the bars are usually underweight, so in addition, you’re getting ripped off.
I have tried them but only like certain flavors and they must be refrigerated. They are not my favorite, but I like they are low in carbs & sugar and they do not bother my stomach like other brands. So for that reason alone, I continue to buy them only. I do not find they have an aftertaste at all, but I always have a cup of coffee or water nearby so it does not really phase me maybe. Everyone I know likes them but again only particular flavors. It is certainly a love/hate thing.
Heather Slone says
One of my friends was a bariatric patient that started consulting others and was contacted to promote BB. She knew I am keto all the way and have lost over 70 pounds but I have a sweet tooth.
She wanted me to try, nothing gained but an opinion and have me some bars. I didn’t like the fruit flavors or coconut at all. But the cool thing is there are always new flavors, chocolate that’s tolerable and less calories and a decent amount of protein in a non dry bar.
Alot of the complaints I have with Quest and bars of the sich is they are so dry and have no taste. At least if you’re due hard keto or low carb this will not kill your overall goals or set you into dry mouth. I think with the flavors available there’s some flavor that most people will like. I love the caramel, mint and double chocolate mousse. A bit over 100 calories or double that or just fall of the wagon. All new things have an adjustment period just like new habits. The only caveat is that they are online only and in order to make them cheaper for the consumer you have to purchase a greater number. But if this helps me overall health wise, it’s worth it!
Wendy, your review took the words right out of my mouth. I just wish I would have taken the BuiltBar out of my mouth! I’ve been taking protein supplements since the late 1970s and needless to say back then, lip smacking flavor and texture wasn’t close to being perfected but I was able to consume them without a problem. Over the years I’ve eaten dozens upon dozens of protein bars – these are the first I’ve ever tossed in the garbage. I was raised never to waste food and have only thrown out 2 items in my entire life because I couldn’t stomach them. BuiltBar makes number 3. Ugh!
Haha yeah, these taste entirely different than any protein bar I’ve ever had that’s for sure.
These bars were falsely advertised on Facebook. It says they are 110 calories each, when, in fact some are as high as 170 calories. The front of the mixed box also says 110 calories ……..completely false!!!!
Most of them did used to be 110 calories, with just a few flavors being higher.. They’ve reformulated, so that has now changed.
Oh okay I wasn’t aware of that! Thanks for letting me know.
Nancy Thompson says
I’m confused by the videos I’ve seen and the comments people make describing the filling in these bars as light, creamy, fluffy, marshmellowy, like a three musketeers bar. Everyone I’ve tried is sticky, gummy, hard to chew and sticks to my teeth. I think the texture is horrible. What are these other people eating ? It can’t be the same built bars I’ve tried…
Kristi Runion Perry says
Well it seems I may be the exception in this. I have no connection to Built or stand nothing to gain. But I love love love them. However I didn’t the first ones I tried. My favorite is the peanut butter brownie. Now I like chewy texture so I love that about them. The peanut butter brownie is a bit like a chewy Little Debbie Brownie ( I think that’s a southern thing) I eat these daily during what I call “the witching hour” from 2 to 4 pm when I’m craving chocolate. I maintain over 110 lb weight loss. There are some flavors I’m not a fan of but most are good.
Emily Jane says
I completely agree! I actually just checked their website and they are no longer selling their old bars. I am very curious what the new bars will be.
I’m trying my second one. So far, not impressed. I have tried the chocolate mousse and now peanut butter. They take FOREVER to chew, are sticky and theyl flavor is nothing like real chocolate. I still have peanut butter brownie to try but I am not hopeful. I bought when they were running a deal and did not have many flavor choices. Maybe other flavors are better but I don’t think I will waste my money.
I hope you guys are just a few in the pot because I’ve heard so much hype and no bad reviews that I jumped in and bought 4 boxes as my first order. They will be delivered this Saturday. I am a ONE and THINK protein bar lover.
Karen Lexa says
This review really surprises me as I love them! I suggest before anyone makes a prejudgment, get a sample pack and try them yourself. I freeze mine, let them sit out for 5 minutes and then eat them. Even my 18 year old, very picky, autistic son enjoys them.
I actually really love them! Have you tried them since they reformulated? It was toward the end of last year that they did. Calories are a little higher, but I think you’d be happier with the texture. I didn’t mind the chewy texture of the old bars, but they do seem to be lighter and fluffier with this new formula (especially the coconut flavor). I’m a real person who pays for my own product and is not sponsored in any way, and they’re one of my favorite protein bar brands. I know several people that feel the same way. I suppose it’s all a matter of taste.
I have not tried them recently, so no. I might have to order a few more just to see if they changed enough for me to like them. Yep, I understand many people love them! Totally just personal taste.
Love them! They are dark chocolate, so be aware if you are expecting milk chocolate flavor. I love the double chocolate mousse, mint brownie, and raspberry. The coconut almond are a little higher in calories, but they taste like an Amond Mounds bar. They now have smaller versions (Built Bites) that are 70 calories and 8 gms protein. With 40 in the box, it will last a while for when I just need a little something something sweet. The texture has improved in the past year — it still is much better if refrigerated. I put mine in the freezer and pull them out when I want one.
I think the aftertaste you’re mentioning comes from the erythritol, an alternative sweetener found in many of these low-sugar protein bars. It’s a sugar alcohol so it doesn’t increase the actual sugar or net carbs but causes digestive issues for some people. I agree with what you said about the bars, the stickiness and texture was very off-putting to me, I had a bite and threw it in the trash.