There is no time to shop three different stores to stock your pantry. Your husband is kind enough to hit the grocery store for you. That leaves you with Target duty on your lunch hour. Your goal is to pick up the household Target favs (hello Ginger Peach sparkling water!) and restock your office snack drawer. As you turn the corner of the snack aisle, you’re faced with a wall of choices. You have no idea how you’re going to find one of the best tasting protein bars with only 10 minutes to spare.
Protein bar overwhelm is a very common occurrence. Protein is a hot topic and new protein bars everywhere. Target is no exception; they have totally upped their protein bar game. Which is great for busy women who need to get as much as possible done in one shopping trip. It also makes it very hard to pick out the best tasting protein bars that also lives up to their marketing hype.
That’s why I made the decision to buy seven boxes of protein bars on my last Target run to taste test. This time you won’t be relying on just my palate but also the preferences of my clients who kindly agreed to be taste testers. Let me stress this: I bought these bars myself. NO ONE is sponsoring this post or provided me these bars. I told my testers to be completely honest with their feedback so I could give all you the best information possible.
Target doesn’t help the protein bar confusion by putting the bars in two different locations. There is an aisle in the grocery section, next to the granola bars, breakfast bars and a few other packaged snacks. There is also a selection of protein bars with the supplements, generally near the pharmacy, alongside protein shakes, energizers and “diet aids”. I picked bars from both areas.
Protein Bars From The Target Grocery Aisle
Of the three bars we tasted from the grocery aisle, two came out as new favorites for the testing group. Which one is right for you may come down to texture.
The RXBar boasts simple ingredients and gets its protein boost from egg whites. There are NO artificial sweeteners in this date-based bar. I admit this is my personal favorite right now. The test flavor was Chocolate Sea Salt but I can tell you from personal experience I have yet to try a flavor that I didn’t like. My friend who cuts my hair loves the Blueberry and I’m also a big fan of the Maple Sea Salt.
The RXbar was loved by all testers except one who did NOT enjoy its very chewy texture. She wasn’t a fan of the flavor either, saying she found it too sweet. If you’ve ever tried a Larabar and didn’t like the texture the RXBar probably isn’t for you.
The new KIND Protein was also found to be delicious by my taste testers but also quite messy due to its very crunchy texture. One tester brought hers to an early morning meeting where the crumbs proceeded to fly everywhere. (She actually found a crumb in her hair.) Another tester enjoyed this bar for an afternoon snack to crush afternoon hunger. She said it did the job perfectly and loved the nuts and caramel flavor.
I also bought and shared ThinkThin bars but most of my clients have already tried them and give them a thumbs down. Again, it goes back to taste and texture. Plus, the artificial sweeteners in ThinkThin bars gave more than one person stomach issues (including myself).
Protein Bars From The Target Supplement Aisle
Most people don’t even realize there is another selection of protein bars near the pharmacy at Target. You’ll find protein bars from recognizable brands like Clif as well as quite a few new entries in the protein bar game next to the vitamins and protein shakes. We sampled four bars from this section with one clear winner, the Oatmega bar.
Oatmega was first suggested to me by a client who cannot have soy foods. Many protein bars use soy protein for their protein punch, particularly those aimed at women. Oatmega bars have whey protein instead of soy. Tasters reported that it had a great texture (crunchy but not too crunchy) and a real chocolate taste. (One tester said she was normally skeptical of chocolate flavor bars because they often taste bad but this one was really good.) Tasters also reported just the “right amount” of sweetness. Oatmega bars also boast omega-3s. Vegetarians and vegans take note: they do this by adding fish oil.
If you’re looking for a vegan bar (no fish, no whey) you might try the Aloha bars. We tried the Chocolate Mint bar and most testers enjoyed the cookie like texture. It was a bit crumbly and had one tester said if she drank milk she would be dipping this bar in it.
We also tried the 22 Days bar, another vegan option. One tester compared the texture to a flat Tootsie Roll. She and I found the bar a bit sweet but the perfect size for a snack.
I also shared one of my personal favs, the Clif Chocolate Mint bar, with a few tasters. They found it tasty but very filling. One tester only ate a third of the bar before being done. It might make a good meal replacement if you need to have lunch or breakfast on the go.
Based on the feedback from my wonderful taste testers, here’s your quick guide to protein bars at Target:
If you’re in a hurry grab a box of each one to keep in your desk. Do your own taste testing over multiple days to figure out one of the best tasting protein bars for you. If you don’t like one of them I’m sure you’ll be able to help out a hungry coworker one day. And if you’re interested in more product reviews like this one be sure to subscribe to my email list. I am always testing new products and sharing insights but not always on the blog!