For some reason, Clif bars are all the rage where I work. I find them to be pretty expensive, but then again, I’m probably one of the poorer associates at my job; if you have the money, why not spend it on energy bars? (And, for the record, they are one of the few large “free-standing” companies left—they have turned down multi-million dollar buyouts from bigger corporations, and take incredibly-good care of their associates; they even give workers stock options in the company, thus making them “part owners” of their own business.) Still, I’m on a budget, which is pretty obvious from the name of this thing, and so I can’t be spending $1 or more on such small bars, no matter how healthy or tasty they may be.
And, as usual, that’s where Aldi has stepped in, via their “Elevation by Millville” line, which offer more upscale bars that all seem to be a takeoff on the same offerings made by Clif. Now, it’s been years since I’ve had the name brand bar, and I don’t remember if I had the White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut flavor specifically, so this won’t be a comparison between the two so much as a review on its own terms.
The bar is fairly small and square, weighing in at 2.4 oz (the same as the national brand). It looks like it’s made with rolled-up oatmeal, then it’s finished off with a drizzle of white chocolate. Before I go any further, I have to say that the packaging for this is also similar to the brand it’s knocking off, and equally snazzy—it really does feel like you’re getting a more “special” product than just your basic granola bar. Anyway, the taste is about what it hints at: there’s the strong flavor of oats, along with some nuts, which is then combined with the white chocolate drizzle from the top. The overall effect makes it slightly sweet, while the bar itself is very soft, becoming grainy once it starts being chewed. I’m not sure I can really compare the flavor of these specifically to anything—you can definitely taste the white chocolate, but it’s in such a small quantity that it’s not an overwhelming flavor, and there are clearly macadamia nuts inside, but they, too, seem to get lost in an endless sea of oats. I actually like the flavor, but it certainly won’t be to everyone’s taste…it’s one of those products that you can tell is pretty good for you, simply because of how it hits the taste buds.
The other side of the equation, though, is the price. How do these compare to the main brand? Millville’s version is also quite expensive, coming in at $4.79 for 6 bars, and are therefore not something I could get all the time. I’ve not visited brick-and-mortar stores simply to compare prices, but the cheapest price I’ve found online was $5.69 for a six-pack, which is about a dollar more than Aldi’s brand. Again, I can’t do an apples-to-apples comparison on taste, but this is a pretty tasty little bar that I eat in the mornings to tide me over until lunchtime, and it does an admirable job of that, with small amounts of many vitamins and minerals. I still prefer cereal, but you can’t really take that on the go, so this is a great, and slightly more affordable way, to gain some portable nutrients!
Overall: 7/10. I can’t compare these exactly to the national brand, because I never buy them, but Elevation by Millville has served up a pretty tasty bar in its own right. These are made primarily of rolled oats, with macadamia nuts added, and finished off with a drizzle of white chocolate. You can tell just from the taste that they’re “healthy”, because the taste is rather straightforward and maybe even a little bland, but the chocolate does give it a little bit of added sweetness. I still think the price is pretty high at Aldi, which offer six 2.4 oz. bars for $4.79 (almost a dollar cheaper than I could find similar packages of the name brand bar going for) and so I won’t be getting these all the time, but these work for me as a good little snack that holds me over until lunchtime, while giving me some essential vitamins and minerals. If you’re addicted to the name brand, give these a shot and let me know how they compare!