Published by: Gourmet Sleuth
Last Updated: 10/28/2016
That term may seem like an oxymoron but sometimes you may want a sweet snack that has some healthy attributes. I found these Kirkland Nut Bars at Costco and they looked very similar to Nutrisystem Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Nut Bars which I had purchased while reviewing (and losing weight on) the Nutrisystem Turbo 10 plan. They are close enough in calories and general nutrient content that if you are familiar with the bar and you'd like a less expensive option you may want to check these Kirkland bars out. Here is the basic breakdown:
I have not confirmed this with either company but it looks like the bars are manufactured in the same plant. Both are from Canada and they have almost identical ingredients. See that information below and let's compare the ingredient list.
The ingredients as displayed on the package are as follows:
Almonds, peanuts, chicory root fiber, dark chocolate coating (sugar, fractionated palm kernel oil, cocoa processed with alkali, lactose, palm oil, soy lecithin, vanilla), walnuts, rice crisp (rice flour, rice bran, raisin juice concentrate, honey, salt), honey, organic gum acacia, glycerin, peanut oil, sea salt, soy lecithin (as emulsifier), mixed tocopherols. contains soy, peanuts and tree nuts (almonds, walnuts). manufactured in a facility that also processes egg, milk, peanuts and wheat. Made in Canada.
The Kirkland Nut Bar ingredients are described as:
Almonds, dark chocolate flavored coating [chicory root insulin, sugar, palm kernel oil, cocoa powder (processed with alkali), soy lecithin-an emulsifier, salt, vanilla extract], chicory root extract, cashew, sunflower kernels, honey, walnut, rice syrup, crisp rice (rice flour, sugar, calcium carbonate, salt), sea salt, soy lecithin-an emulsifier. Made in Canada.
As you can see they are almost identical in fact the Kirkland version has a few less ingredients. The Nutrisystem bar seems to include "raisin juice concentrate" while the Kirkland bar uses honey and rice syrup which may be why the bar (Nutrisystem) is higher in carbs but slightly lower in calories and sugars.
The Nutrisystem bar also includes "mixed tocopherols" which is a family of Vitamin E compounds. In fact the bar contains 25% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin E.
The bar retails on the Nutrisystem website for $2.29 a bar. You can purchase a 4-pack of the bars on the Walmart website for $5.98 so that's about $1.50 each.
The Kirland Nut Bar comes in a box of 30 for $21.99, which is about .74 cents each.
Personally, even putting the cost and nutrition aside I think the Kirkland Nut Bar tastes better. There appears to be a higher concentration of nuts and it lacks the dense sugary base of the Nutrisystem Bar. The Nutrisystem bar seems to have a higher percentage of "rice crisps" than does the Kirkland bar. Even though the Nutrisystem Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Nut bar appears smaller it is the same gram weight (40g) as the Kirkland Nut Bar.
Nutritionally speaking I think its a draw, depending on what nutrients you value. Personally I rather have more healthy nut fat and less carbohydrate which makes the Kirkland Nut Bar the winner for me. The fact is they are so nutritionally close I'm not sure there is big difference either way in that regard. Saving 10 calories which in the scheme of things is nothing does not warrant me buying the way more expensive and less flavorful bar.
Clearly if you want to try the Kirkland Bars you're going to be stuck with 30 of them should you not like them. That said I don't think you'll have any problem giving them away.