PRODUCT REVIEW: Arla Protein Snack

As a bzzagent, I was really excited to try the new Arla Protein Snack. As a runner, I know how important
protein is, as part of my recovery. I struggle to eat, however, especially after long runs, so I use protein shakes or choc milk drinks to refuel, instead.

Described as “strawberry and lemon balm low fat soft cheese”, I envisaged a fromage frais type dessert snack. I love fromage frais.

I was sent a voucher for a free 200g pot of Arla Protein Snack. Woohoo! When I eventually found it in my local Tesco, after searching for over a week in various stores, the product was on offer at half price. Doh!

They are sold as individual pots, at £1.25 each, and come in three flavours; strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry. My Tesco only had strawberry, and no “sold out” labels for the other flavours. A disappointing start.

Packed with protein, but not a lot else

Packed with protein, but not a lot else

The first thing I do with new food and drink items is check the ingredients; I have huge problems with artificial sweeteners, and have to avoid them. I was was disapponted to see it contains steviol glycosides (or called stevia, in some cases). Now, I am aware that this sweetener is supposed to come from a natural source, however, I have my suspicions. I don’t see factories churning out huge quantities of stevia from masses of leaves. I still think it’s manufactured in labs, a bit like mass-produced chemical sweeteners.

What really irks me, is that food and drinks manufacturers think it’s okay to use sweeteners, instead of sugar, in whatever format, when it appears that there are a growing number of people who, like me, have adverse effects from them. Yes, some products contain too much sugar, but surely, as responsible adults, we should be allowed to be in control of the amount of sugar we consume? Replacing it with sweeteners does not make people healthier; it merely papers over the fact that some people lead unhealthy lifestyles, and actually has the opposite. It doesn’t address the fact that some people do not eat enough fresh, healthy food, or drink healthier drinks, like water. It’s saying, “hey guys, it’s okay to live on fizzy drinks!” It’s not; why we cannot be trusted to have a proper, sugary drink, every so often, I don’t know. It’s slowly becoming the case that I won’t be able to have any soft drinks, or cordials. They’re even adding sweeteners to fruit juices! So because some people can’t live without drinking gallons of sweet drinks, I’m not going to able to have my occasional treat. Thanks.

Rant over.

I decided to give the Arla Protein Snack a try. It may be the case that stevia doesn’t make me ill, but I’m still unhappy about the way sweeteners are taking over. {Stop it, you’ve had your rant}

I tried it after a moderate Fartlek session, not that I’d expect a miraculous recovery! I opened the pot. It looked bland. It smelled bland. A kind of pale pinky/grey colour, with a hint of strawberry scent. It also looked pretty solid. Not a great start.

It didn’t have a creamy, fromage frais texture on the spoon, and in the mouth it was thick, and yet slightly chalky. There was the merest hint of strawberry flavour, and a strong, artificial sweetener aftertaste. I’m classed as a “supertaster”, as well. If I can’t taste anything, I’d be surprised if anyone else would! There would be no way I could eat this after a long run.

The 200g pot, which contained 20g of protein, was way too much for me.

Packed with protein, but not a lot else

Packed with protein, but not a lot else

I would’ve happily have eaten just half, but as it had a foil lid, and nothing to put over the top, like a plastic lid, I ploughed through it. Yes, I could’ve put it into another pot, or put cling film over the top, but I didn’t want to have to come back to it. I wouldn’t have eaten it.

Overall, I’ve been left disappointed. I expected a snack bursting with strawberries, that would be easy to digest, and perfect after a run. What I had, was a thick, stodgy, pot of blandness.

I wont be be trying this again, however, if you would like to see if my review is fair, or if you actually like this product, then I have five vouchers offering £1 off a £2 spend (two pots). If you would like one, please get in touch! The vouchers are to be used in Tesco, by 30th April 2015. They are currently on offer at 3 for £3.

Thanks to bzzagent, for allowing me to review this product.

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