Outdoor Retailer, like all of the trade shows we attend, had plenty of snacks and samples to keep us fueled through the show. The big difference was, there was a lot more real food, too. As in, rehydrated camp food, from a surprising number of new and established players in the packaged meal category. And we’ll get to those, but first there are a ton of new bars to, um, digest, plus a few new things we got in after the show that are totally worth mentioning.
Starting with Clif Bar, they’ve added the Whole Lotta line of date-based snack bars to their ever-growing line of mostly organic energy bars. At Sea Otter, they showed off the bite-sized nut butter filled bits, too, giving you not just new types of bars, but new ways to eat them when you’re on the bike, too. The great thing about the Whole Lotta bars is they add peanut butter, pumpkin seeds and pea protein for 10g of protein per 240-calorie bar. There’s also a good bit of fat, too, so they should fill you up (as much as any little snack bar can, anyway).
Blue Dinosaur’s Paleo Bars and (at the far end and below in blue wrapper, new protein bars) were some of the best tasting real food bars we’ve had. The protein bars don’t taste like your normal, dry, whey protein bars…
…perhaps because they use peanut butter, egg white protein, and collagen to deliver a little more than 25g per bar.
Epic Provisions got started with meat bars made from bison, turkey and other lean animals. Now, they’ve expanded with some insanely good pork rinds that are baked, so there are no cheap bad-for-you vegetable oils to ruin the nutrition. Seriously, if you like rinds or even just potato chips…anything crunchy and salty…you owe it to yourself to try these ASAP.
Also new are their breakfast bars, which use dates and egg whites to deliver something a little more morning-friendly. Also tasty, if just a tad on the dry side.
ProBar has added smaller “bite” sized options that are meant more for eating during a ride or workout…but they’re the same ingredients as their “Meal” bars, which are among the larger ones on the market. Or, at least, the most calorically dense. Those will get two new flavors soon, S’mores and Blueberry Muffin.
Trail Truffles use all natural, plant-based ingredients to deliver protein, carbs and fat in a dessert-like format. Bags are $6.50 each and they come in four flavors.
Shār Snacks (pronounced “share”) is a new trail mix that’s not just delicious, it’s eco-conscious. Well, at least the packaging is, as it uses zero plastic and is completely compostable. And as the name suggests, it’s easy to pour out so you can share with friends. The lid doubles as a little bowl, too, and it’s available in larger bulk 1lb and 2.5lb bags (in case you really like to share).
De-Hi Crispy Beef Jerky was an interesting new take on traditional dried meat snacks. The meat is sliced much thinner, and then dried almost completely so that it achieves a potato-chip-like crunch. It’s quite good, and apparently really popular in Hawaii!
New Dehydrated Camp Meals
Flap Jacked has expanded their protein-packed instant pancake mix lineup to include “Mighty Muffin” flavored juat-add-water oatmeal bowls. And the Cookie Bars make a delicious breakfast (or on the bike) snack. Oh, and check out the gluten-free pancake powder, too! Now that breakfast is covered, let’s check out the massive new dinner menu:
Mountain House is one of the big brands, and they have a new curry flavor that’s delicious. The bags have a new look, and they’re now using Terra Cycle packaging so that the bags can be upcycled into other things down the line. Retail is $9-12 per pouch, 2-3 servings each. They’re also reducing artificial flavors and colors and stuff, which seemed to be a trend among many of the brands.
Good To-Go offers plenty of ethic dishes made with real foods and all gluten free.
Peak Refuel is your bro-tein option if you’re looking for a high protein meal option. They say there’s two servings per bag, but let’s be real, if you wanna get swole, that’s lookin’ an awful lot like a single serving, amiright?
ReadyWise and Simple Kitchen offer a mix of dinner and breakfast meal packs, plus a new dried fruit series for a natural snack to keep you fueled. Only problem? Their website isn’t quite finished yet, but you can find the dried fruit snacks here and on Amazon.
Tasty Bite sets itself apart by being vegetarian, and by being ready to eat. Just heat it up (if you want), or put some over rice…which they also have in a ready-to-eat pouch. The Indian Madras Lentils are killer and available at Costco, too!
Bar Country’s Pocket Cocktails has dried drink mixes so all you need to bring is the booze to make an adult bevvie. We tried a few and while they are no match for the real thing, they’re maybe better than just doing shots.
Bivouac Coffee does things a bit differently straight from harvest. The beans are naturally processed, meaning sun dried before being shipped for roasting. They say this processing method saves a whopping 7.9 liters of water per cup of finished coffee, which is about four days worth of drinking water for the average human. They’re a little more expensive, ranging from $15-$21 per 12oz bag (mainly because this method takes a lot longer), but it was a really delicious cup of coffee!
New protein recovery drink
Blonyx is a new brand with a new concept…egg white protein shakes that taste like chocolate milk. Except with no lactose, dairy or egg-y flavor. It’s a clean formula, using filtered egg white powder, organic cane sugar, cocoa and a bit of sea salt (plus lecithin and guar gum to help it dissolve and thicken into a milk shake-like consistency). Each serving delivers 20g of highly bioavailable protein, plus a 11g of sugar to aid in recovery.