Value For Money


Cereal Bars

Belvita Breakfast Duo Crunch

€2.85 for 253g €11.26 per kg

Belvita tells us that it’s important to get a good start to the day with a tasty breakfast and we couldn’t agree more. We had high hopes for this dual flavour bar made with five wholegrains, strawberry and live yoghurt. An impressive combination indeed, and one which is more than a little reminiscent of a Jammy Dodger. This is great news for people with a sweet tooth, but feels a little wrong for Pricewatch. Should we really be having our elevenses before the sun has its boots on? The makers recommend we eat this with fruit and dairy – which would add to its wholesomeness – but we’re not sure they would go particularly well with these sweet biscuits. They are lovely and tasty, though, and will keep you going you over for a couple of hours.

Verdict: A little too sweet

Star rating:***

Nature Valley Chewy Trail Mix

€2 for 180g €11.20 per kg

This is a well-known brand, so we expected to have to pay more, but we were pleasantly surprised to learn that it was actually the cheapest we tried this week. We were even more pleasantly surprised by the taste. These are gorgeous and easily the most substantial cereal bars we have tried, and they will almost certainly keep you fuller for longer. There are oats, nuts and berries in the mix, which create a complexity not found elsewhere, and the oaty flavours give the impression they are better for you.

Verdict: Hard to top

Star rating:*****

Jordans Frusli Juicy Red Berries

€2.39 for 175g €13.30 per kg

Is Frusli a word now? No it is not. Nor is a Frusli a “tasty snack at any time of the day” as the makers promise. These bars are certainly a snack, but they are not overly tasty. The red berries make the bars pretty chewy, but despite that they lack juiciness, hardly a surprise as they are compressed between wholegrain oats. The berries also make this snack very sweet and we were relieved it was so tiny as we probably couldn’t have got through much more of it. The oats are surprisingly filling and if you are trapped on the bus, train or in your car, there will be worse things to eat.

Verdict: Chewy

Star rating: **

Alpen Light Summer Fruits

€2.29 for 105g €21.90 per kg

Tesco appeared to be delighted that their cereal bars have only 75 calories, but Alpen appears to trump them on that score by delivering a bar which has just 70 calories. We should point out that Alpen bars are considerably smaller than its Tesco rivals – 19g compared to 25g – and when the smaller size is factored in, it actually has more calories. It costs more than 25 per cent more too, and contains more sugar and fat. Having said all that, it actually tastes nice and has a lightness that we found to be very appealing. There is a lot of different fruits in the mix, and a drizzle of yoghurt on the top.

Verdict:Nice and sweet

Star rating: ***

Tesco Light Choices

€2.09 for 150g €15.90 per kg

These bars contain 75 calories and 1 per cent of an adult’s GDA. Tesco is clearly very proud of both facts, but we were more interested in the presence of fructooligosacharides among the ingredients. Pricewatch wasn’t familiar with the word, so we looked it up. It apparently has the twin benefits of sweetening and serving as a prebiotic, which some research says has positive intestinal benefits. There are also more familiar ingredients in the mix including oats, crisped rice, dried cranberries and blackcurrants. The oats and rice crispies are tasteless, but the berries have a chewy tartness we didn’t expect. These bars are low in calories, but did not leave us full for long.

Verdict:Pretty good

Star rating:***

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