Rating: 4.3 out of 5 –
Before we get into the review, let’s discuss the common question….
Are OLLY Products and Protein Bars Vegan?
OLLY has multiple products including multivitamins, wellness supplement boosts, protein powders, protein bars, probiotic sticks, and vitamins for kids.
Most of the vitamins and wellness gummies have gelatin from an animal source. The Womens Super Foods Multi, Mens Super Foods Multi, and Kids Super Foods Multi use pectin.
When it comes to the protein powders, all 5 flavors are vegan and use a plant-based protein blend. The current flavors of OLLY Protein Powder that are vegan at time of post pubication: Pure Chocolate, Velvet Vanilla, Salted Caramel Chocolate, Sweet Vanilla Maple, and Super Berry.
OLLY has 5 flavors of protein bars and they are only vegetarian NOT vegan. It appears at first glance that the Protein + Slim Boost Salted Caramel Chocolate and the Protein + Slim Boost Zesty Lemon Creme bar are vegan as there is no dairy in the ingredient list. The other 3 OLLY protein bar flavors contain milk. The two that appear vegan contain oil derived from an animal product according to the manufacturer. Today we’re going to review the OLLY Protein + Slim Boost Bar in the Salted Caramel Chocolate flavor because honestly I thought it was vegan. If you are predominately plant-based or vegetarian, keep reading. If you are vegan, skip to another bar that is 100% vegan!
The OLLY Protein + Slim Boost Bar Review in the Salted Caramel Chocolate Flavor
OLLY is a B Corp company focused on creating healthy products that are easy to understand and equally delicious. While they started with multivitamins and wellness gummies, OLLY has branched into plant-based protein powders and protein bars.
OLLY has created a company culture focused on happiness. Their belief is that health is the foundation of happiness and with their convenient and reliable plant-based products, you’re on your way to feeling your best. They use non-GMO products when available and choose ingredients with health benefits (like chia seeds, flax seeds, and quinoa).
The OLLY Protein bars are not vegan but vegetarian. There are 5 OLLY protein bar flavors in total and 2 that look vegan but are not. The non-vegan flavors (so you can steer clear of them if you are following a vegan diet) are: Chocolate Coconut Chip, Peanut Butter Chocolate, Super Berry Crunch, Salted Caramel Chocolate and Zesty Lemon. Keep reading to see how the OLLY Salted Caramel Chocolate protein bar stacks up in regards to taste and nutrition or see what others are saying on Amazon.
Immediately when opening the package, I’m excited that OLLY is a round protein bar with a chocolate drizzle on top. This feels more like I’m eating a cookie, not a health bar in the standard rectangular shape.
The OLLY Salted Caramel Chocolate Protein Bar smells like a fudgey brownie. This of course got me very excited! At first bite, I can still taste a hefty dose of chocolate but with less fudge. I enjoy the chocolate drizzle on top and on the bottom for additional chocolate (I really like chocolate). The texture of this vegetarian protein bar is slighting crunchy with the soy protein crisps but not crumbly or hard. The creamy chocolate layer and soft oats complement the slight crunch perfectly.
Although “salted caramel” is in the name of this OLLY plant-based protein bar, I don’t think it tastes salty or caramel-y at all – I taste varying degrees of chocolate (which I’m not complaining about lol). The flavor name is definitely a bit misleading.
After a few bites, I’m really starting to dig the overall taste and then it dawned on me… there is no aftertaste! That’s right, I was shocked there wasn’t a lingering protein powder taste or dry parched sensation after multiple bites. The OLLY Salted Caramel Chocolate Protein bar has no grit or powdery feel. It doesn’t taste totally like a dream cookie (although it looks like one) because the protein bar is not very sweet. There’s a hint of sweetness but it’s nothing like a CLIF, Luna, or Larabar. Because the OLLY Salted Caramel Chocolate Protein bar is not very sweet, I could easily eat this mid-morning, mid-afternoon, or in the evening. Try it on for size and see if they would work in your lifestyle. The OLLY bars come in a 4 and 8 pack on Amazon. My husband started out with a 4 pack “trial” just to make sure he liked them before committing to a larger package and this may be something for you to consider too (he’s not vegan, only vegetarian-ish).
Each 1.6oz (45 gram) OLLY Salted Caramel Chocolate protein bar has 180 calories with only 60 calories coming from fat. There are a total of 7 grams of fat, mostly from the almond butter. Almonds are also a great source of fiber, protein, and plant-based calcium. Of note, the almond butter in the OLLY Salted Caramel Chocolate protein bar is likely contributing to the bar’s 6% DV of calcium.
The plant-based protein bar is low in sodium in comparison to other protein bars with only 150mg of sodium per bar (most bars contain over 200mg of sodium per serving).
If you are needing sustained energy without creating a spike or dip in blood sugar and energy levels, the OLLY Salted Caramel Chocolate protein bar would be a good choice. With 20 grams of total carbohydrate, 6 grams of fiber, and only 3 grams of sugar, this snack bar will give your body the fuel it needs without sending your blood glucose levels through the roof. Plus, with that significant amount of fiber, the energy will be released slowly into your bloodstream to help keep you going and prevent hanger at your desk, in your workout, or in a commute.
The hefty dose of fiber and protein steal the show in the OLLY Salted Caramel Chocolate protein bar. We already discussed the fiber content in this protein bar, but the protein is equally impressive with 12 grams of plant-based protein (soy, pea protein, and almond butter mostly).
The protein bar doesn’t add vitamins and minerals so you won’t find heaps of nutrients on the nutrition label beyond the fiber and protein but you will see that the OLLY Salted Caramel Chocolate protein bar provides 15% of your daily value for Vitamin C, 6% of your daily value for calcium (from the almonds), and 10% of your daily value for iron (from the soy protein and whole grain oats).
Overall, the nutrition in the OLLY Salted Caramel Chocolate protein bar is well balanced with nutrients coming from whole foods. The bar does not use artificial flavorings or additives.
In a world where finding TASTY plant-based protein bars low in sugar but high in protein can be such a challenge, I recommend trying the OLLY Salted Caramel Chocolate protein bar on Amazon if you are vegetarian (not vegan).
The Husband Review
The OLLY Salted Caramel Chocolate Protein Bar is not my favorite protein bar but it’s not unfortunate either. I’m personally not the biggest fan of chocolate, so from the get go, this bar already loses points with me unfortunately (sorry chocolate lovers). I will say, the protein bar looks and feels more like a cookie – with that fancy little chocolate drizzle and all. It’s crunchy but soft and chewy and I definitely love the texture more than the rich chocolately taste. I don’t usually get too much into nutrition but I was surprised to see that the package had 12 grams of plant-based protein! That’s way more than I expected in such a small shape. If you love chocolate and you’re looking for more of a cookie type of treat that also happens to be a high protein plant-based protein bar, check out OLLY Salted Caramel Chocolate Protein Bar and I think you’ll find a happy medium!
While not all the OLLY products and none of their protein bars are vegan, the OLLY Salted Caramel Chocolate protein bar is a hidden gem if you are looking for a vegetarian bar. It’s vegetarian, healthy, tasty, and affordable on Amazon. I will warn you though, it doesn’t taste salty or like salted caramel. It’s a solid dose of chocolate flavor in a fun cookie shape but with 12 grams of protein! The 6 gram fiber boost with only 3 grams of sugar really help seal the deal for me. This is a protein bar I’d feel comfortable giving to children and teens who may be picky eaters as it tastes sweet enough and chocolate-y but packs in the plant-based protein. This would also be a great plant-based protein bar choice if you are needing a snack at your desk or in the car because it doesn’t easily crumble and make a mess. If you’re looking for a plant-based protein bar that doesn’t taste or look like a protein bar, the OLLY Salted Caramel Chocolate protein bar is where it’s at! Again, if you follow a vegan lifestyle the manufacturer uses an animal derived oil but the protein is plant-based. Buy OLLY Salted Caramel Chocolate HERE on Amazon to try it out for yourself.