Taste Test: Frozen Fruit Bars

by in Grocery Shopping, Taste Test, June 16, 2011
Taste Test: Frozen Fruit Bars
The bars from our taste test. Read on to find out which one won out!

One of the best ways to beat the heat is with a frozen treat. But are all frozen fruit bars created equal? Or do they really even contain fruit? Not always — see what we discovered.

The Criteria
Frozen fruit bars are a hot commodity in the warm weather. We looked at 5 popular brands and rated each on a 5-point scale (5 being highest) based on ingredients, flavor and nutrition content (specifically sugar, calories and vitamin C).

Edy’s Fruit Bar: Grape
Rating: 3.5
Cost: $4.79 for 6 (2.75 fluid ounce) bars
Nutrition Info Per Bar: 80 calories; 20 grams sugar; 25 percent of the recommended daily vitamin C
Our Take: Touted as “all natural” and “made with real fruit,” the first 3 ingredients listed on this package are water, concord grapes, and sugar. Vitamin C is also listed as an ingredient, which probably explains the high amount in each bar. The taste is overly sweet, as reflected by the high sugar content.

Weight Watchers Fruit Bar: Strawberry
Rating: 4.0
Cost: $5.29 for 6 (3 fluid ounce) bars
Nutrition Info Per Bar: 70 calories; 14 grams sugar; 25% recommended daily vitamin C
Our Take: The label touts that these bars are packed with real fruit; a quick ingredient check reveals that strawberries are the first ingredient (impressive!). The label also says the bars are fat free, which is no surprise since fruit and sugar (pretty much all you need to make fruit bars) don’t contain any fat. As for taste, these bars are a bit watered down, though not as sweet as some of the other brands.

Dole Fruit Bar: Tropical Blends
Rating:
4.0
Cost: $2.99 for 12 (1.5 fluid ounce) bars
Nutrition Info Per Bar: 45 calories; 10 grams sugar; 10 percent of the recommended daily vitamin C
Our Take: These smaller-sized bars claim to be made with real fruit, but the only mention of fruit in the ingredients is from orange juice concentrate and other fruit concentrates. Despite that, the tropical blends are a fun change of pace and the smaller portions contain a reasonable amount of sugar.

Minute Maid Frozen Lemonade Variety Pack
Rating:
2.5
Cost: $4.29 per 8 (3-fluid ounce) bars
Nutrition Info Per Bar: 70 calories; 13 grams sugar; 0 percent of the recommended daily vitamin C

Our Take: Although this bar doesn’t claiming to be made of real fruit, the front package displays plenty of fresh fruit imagery. But that’s the only place you’ll find fruit here; the first few ingredients include water and sweeteners (sugar and corn syrup), which you can taste in every bite.  Take note: the ingredient list is the only place you’ll get the real story on the fruit (or lack thereof) in your treats.

Whole Fruit: Strawberry
Rating:
5.0
Cost: $4.29 per 6 (2.75 fluid ounce) bars
Nutrition Info Per Bar: 70 calories; 12 grams sugar; 25 percent recommended daily vitamin C
Our Take: These box for this bars says that they’re made with real chunks of fruit. Upon examining them, you can see small pieces of strawberries. The bars also taste much like strawberries, with a slightly tart flavor. Strawberries are also listed as the second ingredient on the package, showing that real fruit was indeed used.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby’s full bio »

Check Out Our Other Taste Tests:

What’s your favorite frozen fruit bar brand? Tell us in the comments below.

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