Quest Hero bars are the protein bar giant’s macro friendly take on a candy bar, and as a person who’s actual knight in shining armor during the course of a bad day has been a real deal bar of chocolate, I can get behind this. The bars once again utilize the new and confusing artificial sweetener allulose, which is one of the cleanest tasting sweeteners out there, but not without some downsides. The jury is still out on exactly what kind of impact this ingredient has on the body, and as of now still has to be counted as sugar on the nutritional label, giving these Quest bars a significantly less macro-friendly look than their older tried and true siblings. Still significantly “less bad” than an actual candy bar, the Hero bars take the grainy “cereal” base from the Beyond Cereal bars, add an additional layer of gooey texture, and dip them into a creamy coating. The initial launch comes with three flavors – Blueberry Cobbler, Chocolate Caramel Pecan, and Vanilla Caramel.
Off the jump the texture on this bar is phenomenal – super soft and chewy with multiple layers and a lovely creamy coating. The dominant flavor is a very sweet and real tasting blueberry with a hint of acidity and no lingering artificial sugar taste. The second big flavor that creeps into the equation is graham cracker, and reminds of the Quest cereal waffle bar without the prominent syrup flavor and just a hint of cinnamon spice, which is no surprise since these bars use that same chewy granola-esque base.
One of my biggest gripes with Quest is the aggressive use of sucralose, and much like with the Beyond Cereal bars, the swap for allulose has really alleviated that problem almost entirely. The sugar flavor is very clean and true and has a more natural berry flavor than any bar I can recall having. This is my favorite blueberry bar that I’ve had and a very strong addition to the Quest catalog.
Chocolate Caramel Pecan:
Slightly bitter cocoa-forward chocolate base with a decently thick layer of caramel on top. The flavor reminds me of a cheap brownie, not too strong of a nutty element but tastes almost nothing like what you would expect from a whey-dominant, “low sugar” protein bar, although the general profile is pretty predictable for a protein product. The caramel has a good chew, tastes decently authentic and has a slight saltiness that keeps the bar from being too sweet.
While this one is fine, it does have a slight artificial aftertaste, and with the worst macros of the three – highest calories and fat with the least amount of protein, I don’t think I would buy this one again.
This one again reminds me of the waffle cereal bar without the maple and instead a strong golden graham cracker sheen. It is very sweet with a nice smooth vanilla flavor and surprising salty pop on the finish. The salt cuts through in a way that gives a bit more of a salted caramel presence, which is nice considering the overall sweetness of the bar. There’s a little bit of a fake sugar sucarlose aftertaste on this one, not as strong as the chocolate but a bit more present than the Blueberry Cobbler, but still much less than your typical Quest bar.
Although there are almonds on the package and in the ingredients, I don’t get much almond flavor and there are just a couple random pieces in the top layer and a nuttiness is not prominent in the actual texture. This is one of the best tasting vanilla bars I have had and another one I would definitely buy again and could legitimately take the place of a white chocolate-y or caramel craving when watching calories.
Overall this is a pretty impressive launch from Quest, and while the macros aren’t as good as the standard Quest bar the flavor is significantly better and will be pretty enjoyable for a lot of people, even those who don’t usually get down with protein bars.