As of 2017, we’ve made over 100,000 custom protein bars. With each recipe averaging around 8 ingredients per box, that’s about 67,000 total ingredients we’ve worked with. Nut butters, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, fruit and vegetable powders, protein powders, flavor oils and more!
Although each bar that our customers create is unique, we’ve noticed that certain ingredients are used more often than others. For this reason, we thought it would be neat to look over some lengthy statistics so we could compile a list that ranks each ingredient from most popular to least popular.
Based on the master list, below we are the top five ingredients our customers use most often in their custom protein bars.
#1 – Roasted Almond Butter
Although cashew butter has become a fierce competitor recently, roasted almond butter still takes the top spot for the most popular nut butter base. It has a stronger flavor than cashew butter, excellent shelf life, high protein content, and plenty of healthy fats.
#2 – Cacao & Chocolate
Cacao and chocolate take the number two spot on the list. It’s obvious that our customers really enjoy cacao/chocolate as it seems we rarely make a bar that doesn’t contain at least one form of cacao.
We offer cacao nibs (pieces of the bean), cacao powder (ground bean), and semi-sweet dark chocolate chips. If you enjoy the taste of chocolate, you can’t go wrong by selecting at least one of these options.
Crunchy cacao nibs and raw cacao powder have exceptional flavor, and are full of antioxidants and minerals making them both healthy ingredient choices. If you’re looking for more of a guilty pleasure, dark chocolate goes well with just about any other ingredients.
#3 – Dried Coconut / Coconut Oil
Coconut adds a unique tropical flavor, and has a unique type of medium chain fatty acids that are beneficial to our health. Coconut oil adds flavor and will increase moisture levels and improving overall texture. In addition to adding flavor, dried shredded coconut and toasted coconut will also increase the fiber content of the bar and add a slightly crunchy/crispy texture.
Consider combining coconut with cacao nibs or dark chocolate for
#4 – Flax / Chia Powder
Milled chia and flaxseeds are a customer favorite because of their high Omega-3 fatty acid content. As you may already know Omega 3’s are lacking in most modern diets and the ratios of omega 3:6 are at levels that promote body inflammation. For this reason alone, adding ingredients that are abundant in omega 3’s is never a bad idea.
In addition to the added omega 3’s adding these powders to your bar will also increase fiber levels. Although you will notice their taste, it’s generally not too overpowering.
#5 – Vanilla Extract
Vanilla adds a surprising amount of flavor to your bar, and many of our repeat customers won’t make a new bar without it. Although powder vanillas are available, we find that good old fashioned liquid vanilla extract offers the most ‘bang for your buck’ when it comes to taste.
Final Thoughts After compiling the top ingredient list we really weren’t too surprised with the results, but it was very interesting to have a visual of which ingredients are ‘hot’ and which are not.
With over 40 different ingredient options to choose from, making your own bar can get overwhelming if it’s your first time. If you’re not sure which ingredients work well together, feel free to contact us and we’d be happy to help. If you are considering any of the ingredients listed in this post, you will never go wrong!