Vive Protein Bars are vegan, gluten free, soy free and free from refined sugars. They are bars designed for active, health conscious people who also expect pleasure from their food.
The protein bar market is however rather well served with other bars that can say the same. If bars could talk. Do Vive Bars bring something new? Yes they do! Two things in particular are welcome. First are some refreshingly different and delicious flavours. Second is a simpler set of ingredients than many other bars. Ingredients *most* of which your great grandmother would recognize as food. Well, you know, so long as your great grandmother would recognize coconut nectar. She might.
My diet mostly follows Michael Pollan’s simple guidance:
Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mainly Plants
Together with . . .
Don’t eat anything your Great Grandmother wouldn’t recognize as Food
I concede that my Great Grandmother probably wouldn’t recognize a Protein Bar but believe I travel more, commute more and work longer hours so the more nutritious protein bars do happily fit within my mostly whole foods diet. I am already fond of Pulsin’, Kind Bars and Wild Thing Bars. In future, should Vive Protein Bars be among my favourites? I happily indulged in a taste test to find out.
Vive Protein Bars Nutrition
Vive Bar’s primary ingredients are Dates, Peanuts, Almonds, Coconut Nectar and Pea Protein. Each 40 gram bar offers 10 grams of protein, around 5 grams fat, just over 15 grams carbohydrate within a total of around 150 calories.
Pea Protein is a good choice. Plant based. Naturally gluten and dairy free. Usually well tolerated and effective at supporting muscle repair.
Coconut Nectar is literally sap collected from coconut tree flowers. By itself Coconut Nectar is like an ambrosial, caramel flavoured, slightly floral and milder version of Maple Syrup. It is claimed to have a lower Glycaemic Index value than many other sugars. It *is* ultimately still sugar so enjoy in small quantities.
In an upcoming Best Gluten Free Protein Bars roundup I will compare the flavour and nutritional virtues of most of the healthier whole food type protein bars on the market. Please Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter or subscribe to ensure you see it.
Vive Protein Bars Taste Test
Vive currently offer a mixed taster box containing two of each of their four flavours. This is a great way to try them all and find your personal favourites. Most other bars are sold only in singles or in multiples of one variety. Bravo Vive!
My easy favourite. Should this flavour combination work? It feels a little crazy. Lemon and peanuts actually get along brilliantly! Zesty, bright, and lusciously lemony. Refreshingly different from your typical chocolate and earthier nut flavoured bars.
Peanut Butter & Jelly
A close second place following Lemon Burst. These remind me, and this is a really, really good thing, of the Australian delicacy Cherry Ripe Bars. Tart, sweet, fruity raspberry flavour together with a chewy and crunchy texture. Lovely.
I expect 16 million Australians will agree with me here, Cherry Ripes taste fantastic. Cherry Ripe Bars are candy and not safe for coeliacs so I haven’t eaten them in years. Vive Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars capture some of the magic.
Almond & Coconut
More crumbly than others and with a gentle coconut flavour. Pleasant and mild. This is the bar to go for if you prefer subtle rather than striking flavor.
When first tried I was a little underwhelmed as the bar lacked strong chocolate orange flavour. Happily Vive have since worked a little magic and reformulated this bar. The new version has stronger citrusy flavour and this alone enhances how pleasingly sweet they taste.
Interview with Vive Protein Bars Co-Founder
Ishak and Louis are co-founders of Vive and already share a very interesting About Us backstory referencing Dragons Den. Keen to know more, I enjoyed an interview with Ishak. Sit down, slowly savour a Lemon Burst Protein Bar and enjoy.
Benjamin. Protein rich snack bars have enormously transformed over the last 10 years or so. They used to be brick like objects or stuffed full of a crazy list of unrecognizable ingredients or both! What are the qualities of a really great bar today?
Ishak. Well that really depends on who the target consumer is. The market for stale, whey-filled bricks with unrecognizable ingredients is still very much alive and thriving with the hardcore gym goers. Our bar, however, is aimed at the more casual, active and healthy individuals.
Over the last 5 years or so, a new market was formed for solely natural, healthy snacks by the Nakd bar, which you can now find in most of the places you find a Snickers bar. As customer knowledge increases with health and nutrition being at the forefront of their minds, they’re becoming much more sophisticated and as such, are expecting more from snacks. In our opinion that means a great bar can no longer be purely simple, natural ingredients but must, at the same time, have a functional use which goes further than simply filling a hunger craving.
Benjamin. Cacao Orange and Almond Coconut are fond flavour favourites among nut based protein bars on the market but the Raspberry within your Peanut Butter Jelly is rather new and I think the Lemon Burst is something completely different! Love them! Are there other creative inventions bubbling away? If yes you have +1 willing taste-tester!
Ishak. Loads – we’re a creative bunch here at Vive! So many that we’ve had to put the plug on testing so that we can focus on selling the bars we’ve already made. We recently tried layering the bars with a thin layer of raw chocolate, which tasted unbelievably nice so keep your eyes out for that!
Benjamin. I will watch my mailbox closely (hint). How did you select the flavours to actually launch with? How did you decide the bar recipes were good to go?
Ishak. Vive has been almost two years in the making so there has been a A LOT of taste testing to get to where we are now. The flavours we have now have been through many many iterations, even now we’re continually trying to improve them.
We initially decided that we wanted four flavours to give customers a broad enough choice without overwhelming them so it was a case of narrowing down the ten or so potential flavours that we had created to four. To do this, we relied heavily on the trusty tastebuds of family, friends and some random taste-testers!
Getting the recipes perfect was a steep learning curve, especially as no one had any previous experience in the field and we used little outside help. Additionally, we had to account for the bar having to be made in large quantities, having to last on the shelf for a reasonable amount of time without losing any of its taste and texture. Surprisingly enough, we found that keeping it simple and natural was the easiest way to get the perfect balance!
Benjamin. What are the grand ambitions for Vive? Bars in retail stores? More flavors? Other types of products? Mission to Mars?
Ishak. We’re getting countless messages every day asking where customers can buy us offline so yes, getting into stores is our immediate goal which we’re currently working towards. I really want us to be just as accessible as buying a chocolate bar so that customers always have a healthy option wherever they are.
I always have new product ideas in mind which no doubt we will add later down the line. For now though my main concern is getting Vive in as many mouths as possible.
Mars is on the list! We’re currently looking at setting up a production facility there for when my dear friend and hopefully, Vive consumer, Elon Musk convinces us all to move there.
Benjamin. Lets compare Vive to Pulsin’? The Vive startup story mentions a busy mother preparing bars in her own kitchen and two entrepreneurial friends spotting an opportunity. Pulsin’ started out with three friends preparing bars in a family kitchen in 2006 and now has an enormous product range and distribution to match. How do you think about Vive compared to Pulsin’?
Ishak. Happy to compare – everyone makes the comparison! The guys at Pulsin’ have done an incredible job and have huge success. Our products are quite similar in that they are also bars and tick a lot of the same boxes. Vegan, High Protein, Gluten Free. So how do we differ?
Firstly, on taste. This is one of the reasons I started Vive, because I was eating a lot of these bars but only because they were healthy rather than actually being tasty too! I believe Vive Bars are both. We have taste tested against all our major competitors with positive results
Secondly we differ on ingredients: We share a few of the same ingredients in the nuts and dates used, however, we decided not to use any of the sweeteners or prebiotics which are more traditional, typical protein bar ingredients that can often cause the upset stomach feeling one gets after eating a protein bar
Benjamin. I can agree that Vive Bars are amongst the nicest tasting bars I have enjoyed. Remember that offer to be a taste tester, yes?. Cheers Ishak! Keep the Vive Alive!