Sens Bar Review

Sens Bar

I have a weakness. It’s a weird weakness. Probably not one that a lot of people have. The weakness is that I love cricket flour protein bars. Ever since I first tried Exo and Chapul, I got hooked. Now there are all different brands popping up because apparently crickets are the future. The most recent brand I came across on Instagram was Sens Bars. I took a look at their products and man they looked tasty – and they offer 2 different kinds of cricket bars – we’ll get more into that in the review below.

But nevertheless, today I’d like to do another cricket bar review for you, brought to you by the good folks at Sens Bars. I reached out to them when I saw their products scrolling across my Instagram and they were more than willing to hook me up with some product to review (they actually sent me a ton of stuff, even this cool poster and tote!)

Sens Bar Poster

Sens Bar Tote

As always we will be reviewing these bars for: Nutritional Profile, Affordability and Taste. Let’s get to it!

Nutritional Profile

Sens Bar
What first caught my eye about these bars was the fact that they’re cricket flour based – yes – but then I checked out the nutritional facts and saw that they had 20g of protein (!) and a relatively low carb count! After I read a little further I realized that was exactly what they were trying to offer – a high protein, low carb bar and a bar that has lower protein with a little more sugar. This photo describes it well:

Sens Bar

So that’s exactly what they’re going for – Protein bars and Energy bars. Genius! Well let’s see how they stack up:

PROTEIN BAR Dark chocolate & sesame
Total Fat: 21.9g
Total Carbohydrate: 10.3g (Dietary Fiber 2.9g, Sugars 4.4g)
Protein: 20g
Ingredients: sesame (27 %), chocolate (21 %) (cacao powder 52%, cacao butter 48 %), cricket flour (Acheta Domestica) (20 %), hemp protein, agave nectar, sesame oil (4 %).

ENERGY BAR Dark chocolate & orange
Total Fat: 8.7g
Total Carbohydrate: 21g (Dietary Fiber 5.3g, Sugars 17.2g)
Protein: 7.7g
Ingredients: dates, cashews, chocolate (16 %) (cacao mass 69 %, cacao powder 31 %), cricket flour (Acheta Domestica) (10 %), psyllium, orange peel (2 %), orange essential oil (0.9 %)

Dare I say that the “Protein Bar” is the perfect combination of fat, carbs and protein?! Well it is pretty close. Both bars have pretty impressive macros actually, before we dive into the ingredients, let’s look at how these stack up against my favorite cricket protein bar Exo:

Exo Cocoa Nut
Total Fat: 20g
Total Carbohydrate: 23g (Dietary Fiber 7g, Sugars 13g)
Protein: 10g
Ingredients: Almonds, Dates, Coconut, Honey, Cricket Flour (Acheta Domesticus), Cacao Nibs, Cacao Powder, Ground Flaxseeds, Vanilla Extract, Sea Salt.

Sens Bar

Alright, now that we got all that laid out, let’s see what’s going on with the Sens Bar Protein Bar. The Protein Bar has a great amount of fat and DOUBLE the protein of Exo and HALF the carbs of Exo. That’s a pretty impressive nutritional profile. The only fault I would have (but isn’t even really a thing) is the little bit of sweetener they use in this bar is agave nectar. I would have preferred them use a tad of raw honey instead considering the benefits – but this is such a low amount of agave you’ll probably not even have any of the negative impacts of agave. Mark’s Daily Apple says this about agave nectar: “Agave nectar is insanely high in fructose. Of the sugar present, up to 92% of it is pure, unadulterated fructose. That’s considerably more than table sugar, most honey, and even high-fructose corn syrup. If we want to avoid fructose, agave nectar must also be avoided.”

Sens Bar

Just my two cents about the sweetener. The protein in this bar is obviously cricket flour, but then they use hemp protein to get it up to that 20g level. This is a great idea because hemp protein is a great plant based protein that’s pretty neutral in flavor and 20g of protein from the cricket flour alone may be a little much. The blend of different protein sources is a great idea to get it up to that 20g level.

The Sens Bar Energy bars are lower in protein and higher in carbs yes, but I think they’re a great alternative when you just need an afternoon pick up. And I do have to say, these bars taste way better than the Protein bars – which is obvious since the energy bars have more dates. I really really liked the Dark chocolate & orange Energy bar. These bars nutritionally are like a Larabar – but with protein – which I think is a pretty great idea. I always loved how Larabars taste but wished they they had something other than just a bunch of sugar. Sens bars hit the nail on the head with these bars by using the dates and nuts – but then adding the protein.

I really like what Sens bars did with these two bars: Protein bars and Energy bars. They offer you the choice of a bar that’s good for after a workout or for when you want to keep your carb count down, and the option of something more sweet if that’s what you’re looking for.

Affordability

Sens Bar
Now lets take a look at what these bars will cost you. The price on the Protein bar and the Energy bar are slightly different. Let’s take a look and see how their price compares to others.

PROTEIN BAR Dark chocolate & sesame
Price per bar: $3.17 (subscription)
Price per 12 bar box: $37.99 (subscription)
Sens Bar Link

ENERGY BAR Dark chocolate & orange
Price per bar: $2.37 (subscription)
Price per 12 bar box: $28.49 (subscription)
Sens Bar Link

Exo Cocoa Nut
Price per bar: $2.66 (subscription)
Price per 12 bar box: $32.00 (subscription)
Exo Link

So these bars are right there in that sweet spot compared to Exo or other brands. Though the Protein bar is slightly higher price per bar I would consider it a steal when you consider that this is a true meal replacement for only $3. That beats trying to drink some Soylent as a meal replacement in my opinion – and Soylent is roughly the same cost, but you know… made with soy.

Sens Bar

As I’ve said before in regards to the price of these kinds of bars. You really get what you’re paying for. Sure you can eat a Nutrigrain bar for $1 or less thats filled with junk and sugar, or you can eat a whole food packed with Omega 3s for slightly more money. I prefer the whole food Omega 3 option. At $2.50-$3 I consider Sens bars a great option and price point.

Taste

Sens Bar
Now to the taste! This is where it all comes together, or falls apart. Overall I liked the taste of the Energy bars more than the Protein bars. Let’s see how each one tasted specifically:

Sens Bar

PROTEIN BAR Dark chocolate & sesame
Slightly dry and crumbly and a very dark chocolate taste. Hint of sesame. This is the first bar I tasted where I can slightly distinguish the taste of the cricket flour. Their packaging says cricket flour isn’t something you can taste, but because I’ve eaten straight cricket flour before – the taste was familiar to me. I wouldn’t consider that a bad thing necessarily considering you’re getting 20g of protein. It’s a necessary part of this high protein low carb cricket bar.

PROTEIN BAR Peanut butter & cinnamon
I like the flavor of this higher protein bar more than the dark chocolate one. The cinnamon really helps balance out the cricket flour/non sweet taste. I really think of these two bars as a functional supplement protein – meaning I wouldn’t necessarily grab for it when I’m kinda hungry and want a snack. I would grab for it when I want a true meal replacement and 20g of protein. It does the job but the other two bars are a more pleasant taste and experience.

ENERGY BAR Dark chocolate & orange
This bar is amazing! Just enough sweetness. Just the right texture. I love things with orange and orange peel so this bar was right on. By far my most favorite bar. I like having the option of being able to pick a high protein bar or another bar that’s slightly sweeter and less protein for more of a snack. I will be ordering more of these bars.

ENERGY BAR Pineapple & coconut
This bar was great too. It really reminded me of the coconut cream Larabar with a pineapple taste. Very good texture and great coconut taste. Very satisfying for that afternoon pickup or snack at Disneyland. I really liked the flavor of this bar too.

I like having the option of the snack via the energy bar or a meal replacement via the protein bar. Very cool concept and I think they execute it very well. The only suggestion I would have to improve the taste with the protein bars is by making them sweeter. I know this sounds counterintuitive since we’re trying to keep the carbs down but this can be accomplished by using stevia or erythritol or something. Just a little ever so slightly more sweeter would help balance out the taste in my opinion. Still though I love all the bars and will be ordering more.

Conclusion

Sens Bar
Thank you Sens bars for sending me samples! I thoroughly enjoyed them and the other goodies. I love that there are growing options for alternative protein bars out there. We need more of this kind of thinking and products being introduced since the shelves at the stores are filled with high sugar high carb junk – and because crickets are the future. I encourage you to go buy some Sens bars right now and see for yourself how you like them. Thanks for reading!

Click here to order some Sens bars

Cricket Flour Protein Bar Review: Exo vs. Chapul

Cricket Flour Protein Bar Review: Exo vs. Chapul

Breakfast is hard. Getting up early for work, packing lunch, getting ready and out the door can be a hinderance to getting a good serving of fat and protein in your belly in the early hours of the day. On some days it may work to just skip breakfast since intermittent fasting has been shown to have a multitude of health benefits. However, for those days that you want to get something Primal in your belly that’s also filling and tastes good, what cricket flour protein bar will do the trick: Exo or Chapul?

Cricket Flour Protein Bar Review: Exo vs. Chapul

Exo started out on Kickstarter where they raised $20,000 in 3 days. I originally backed them and got my first box after they finished production and I have continued to order them every month to have a quick go to Primal breakfast or snack. The kicker for this bar is that the protein isn’t whey, pea or soy – it’s Crickets. They raise crickets, euthanize them and then pulverize them into a flour. So no you won’t have a cricket leg sticking out of your bar. They are very similar to Chapul that showed up on Shark Tank and backed by Mark Cuban. Being the avid Shark Tank viewer that I am I couldn’t wait to get my hands on these bars to compare them to my beloved Exo Cocoa Nut bars. Exo and Chapul both actually get their cricket flour from the same farm in Canada. You can read more about them in this really insightful article on The Verge. But how do they fit into your life? Should you buy them? Let’s take a look at 3 key factors: Nutritional Profile, Affordability and Taste.

Nutritional Profile

Now, I inevitably have to compare Exo to Chapul since they both share the same protein source and are marketed so similarly to one another. When you sit down and have to decide which bar to buy, what nutritional factors should you look at? If you’re following a low(ish) carb/high protein Primal diet, Exo wins when taking a look at the fat, protein and carb profile. I love how Exo doesn’t seem to be afraid of fat and calories. They made a bar that will sustain you through the morning or an afternoon at Disneyland where your food options consist of churros and corn dogs.

Cricket Flour Protein Bar Review: Exo Cocoa Nut
Exo Cocoa Nut
Total Fat: 20g
Total Carbohydrate: 23g (Dietary Fiber 7g, Sugars 13g)
Protein: 10g
Ingredients: Almonds, Dates, Coconut, Honey, Cricket Flour (Acheta Domesticus), Cacao Nibs, Cacao Powder, Ground Flaxseeds, Vanilla Extract, Sea Salt.

Cricket Flour Protein Bar Review: Chapul Aztec
Chapul Aztec
Total Fat: 2g
Total Carbohydrate: 36g (Dietary Fiber 7g, Sugars 25g)
Protein: 5g
Ingredients: Organic Dates, Cocoa, Chapul Cricket Flour (Brown Cricket, Acheta Domestica), Organic Espresso Roast Coffee Beans, Cayenne.

We see a few things here. Chapul is much higher in carbs, much lower fat, lower protein and more sugar. They both share, more or less, the same omega–3 fatty acids, iron and calcium contributed by the crickets. I think the answer is pretty clear when comparing the nutritional profile of both bars. Exo has, by far, a more superior nutritional profile when considering we, Primal folk, are looking for something with enough fat and protein to sustain us. Chapul has very little fat since there are no nuts and coconut. Therefore leaving the Chapul bar a very high carb snack that will leave you with with a sugar crash quickly after consuming it.

Now yes, neither of these bars are low carb by any means. But I still think Exo is a nice quick snack or breakfast choice every once in awhile because when you compare the profile it’s like eating 2 scrambled eggs in 1T butter (22g fat, 2 carb, 12g protein) and a small banana (.3g fat, 23g carb, 1g protein). We need the fat! Otherwise you’re really just eating a cricket candy bar. When looking at both I feel Exo is the winner in all three categories (fats, carbs, protein) lending to a more filling and satiating snack.

Affordability

Exo Cocoa Nut
Price per bar: $2.66 (subscription)
Price per 12 bar box: $32.00 (subscription)

Chapul Aztec
Price per bar: $2.83
Price per 12 bar box: $34.00

It’s important to look at how you can get the most bang for your Primal buck when purchasing one of these cricket bar brands. If you’re spending money on something to fuel your body, you better choose the best option that has the optimal fat, carb and protein profile – while being affordable. For that I would declare Exo the winner again. It’s crazy to think that Exo comes in cheaper but maintains more fat and protein per bar than compared to Chapul.

Now at almost $3 a bar, these aren’t cheap. However, they’re still a better option than all the other “Nutrisugar” bars that are filled with carbs and likely no fat and protein. So are these affordable? Depends on your budget and how often you eat/need them. I don’t suggest replacing eggs and bacon with these bars, but they are very handy when you’re in a pinch for time and you don’t want to resort to pastries or doughnuts a coworker brought to the office.

The only reason that you would dismiss the nutritional profile and affordability advantage that Exo has is if one doesn’t hold up to a taste test. Let’s take a look at how the two compare…

Taste

Lastly and possibly the deal maker or breaker is how these bars actually taste. Now this is totally going to depend on you, you may actually have to buy both and taste for yourself to determine which flavors you like and don’t like.

Cricket Flour Protein Bar Review: Exo vs. Chapul Closeup
Exo Cocoa Nut on the left, Chapul Aztec on the right

Exo Cocoa Nut
Personally, I’m in love with the Exo Cocoa Nut. After purchasing these bars for about a year now it seems Exo has continued to refine their process or something. At first this bar was very dry, tasted amazingly chocolaty and nutty, but very dry. Now they seemed to have nailed down making the bar a little more moist. Not sure how they do it since the ingredients haven’t changed (to my knowledge). I have tried a couple flavors and have still gone back to the Cocoa Nut flavor. The Blueberry Vanilla was not my favorite, pretty gross actually. I ordered one box when it first came out and I just missed the chocolaty/nutty taste of the Cocoa Nut. The now discontinued Exo Cashew Ginger was amazing! I wish they would bring it back…

Not everyone loves the taste of this bar though. I’ve let a bunch of people at my work try it and they say it’s dry and make a face when eating it. Whether or not they don’t like it is really hard to distinguish since they’re still probably stuck on the fact that they’re eating crickets (which you can’t distinguish).

Chapul Aztec
This bar actually tastes pretty good. It doesn’t taste terrible, but I was expecting more. I was really hoping for more coffee taste. All I could really taste was the chocolate, sweetness from the dates and it was finished off with the cayenne. You can definitely taste the cayenne near the end. To be honest, I actually was expecting the bar to be sweeter when looking at the nutritional profile but it doesn’t actually taste that sweet. Kinda makes you wonder why they needed so many dates to make it as sweet as it is. It really could use some nuts or coconut or something… oh wait then it would be the Exo Cocoa Nut bar…

Chapul has a few other flavors which I’m sure taste pretty good also, but I would still have to ask myself if it’s worth all those carbs – for me the answer is no. I’d rather eat a Larabar because that way there’s actually some fat going on. In the end the taste wasn’t terrible but I still prefer the taste of the Exo Cocoa Nut bar.

Conclusion

I think the answer is pretty clear. Exo has a far better nutritional profile, are more affordable and tastes better. I love these bars and am glad I originally looked past the fact that they were made out of crickets. Hopefully you can look past that too and pick some up!

Buy some samples and decide for yourself:*
Exo Sampler Pack
Chapul Sampler Pack
*After you figure out which flavor of Exo you like I suggest you sign up for a subscription.