Product Review: Evolve Foods Protein Bar, Beef Jerky, and Beef Sticks
I recently had the opportunity to sample some products from a company called Well Food Co (formerly Evolve Foods). This is a small company out of California that produces high quality foods and supplements aimed at athletes. They offer dried meats, protein powders, protein bars, and paleo cookies.
I’ll start off by saying these guys have a cool goal in mind. Making foods to keep athletes fed with high quality and healthy ingredients is a mission I can get behind. As you’ll see in the products I review, some of the items are on the expensive side of things, but for good reason. High quality ingredients like grass-fed beef and whey, organic ingredients, and the processes needed to make these foods aren’t cheap. You get what you pay for, and for the most part I found the foods both healthy and delicious. Let’s look at each that I tried.
Natural Beef Jerky - $6.59 for 2 oz. package
As a beef jerky enthusiast (or maybe fanatic is a better word) I was very excited about the jerky as well as the steak sticks (reviewed next). As a reviewer and jerky maker myself, I approached it with the eye of a skeptic and the palate of an aficionado.
Some of the jerky was a bit tough, in the way that jerky is usually tough, but much of it was very tender. Much more tender than the jerky you might be used to. It also had a lightly sweet and very interesting flavor that had me looking at the ingredients and planning my own next batch. Very good stuff, and I personally am a huge fan of using jerky as a healthy protein snack. Problem is, jerky is usually loaded with preservatives, salt, and sugar. While this has the salt necessary for making jerky, none of the natural additives are overdone.
Bravo Well Food Co. Now we just need bigger packages. 22 grams of protein per is not enough for a growing boy.
Natural Beef Steak Sticks - $7.69 for 3 oz. package
The steak sticks were a mixed bag for me, and I mean that metaphorically, not literally. The flavor was good. For some reason it tasted overly salty, although it has just about the same amount of salt as the jerky. The saltiness was fine ultimately, but unfortunately the sticks were tough. So much so that some were hard to eat.
At 39 grams of protein per bag, this makes a great protein snack, but the process needs some reworking to make them more edible. The good news is the flavor and intent is good enough to wait for this product line to grow with time. It seems like these guys are constantly evolving themselves as a company. I look forward to a new version of the steak.
Grass-Fed Whey Protein Bar - $24.99 for 6
I enjoyed the bar. It was cake-like in consistency, which I personally like better for bars than the sticky-gooey-chewy ones, or the ones that taste like they are half made out of chemicals. The flavor of it was enjoyable and when I was done I wanted more. Good sign.
Nutritionally, the bar has a fair amount of healthy fats, and 15 grams of protein from a variety of sources (almond, egg white, and whey, in order of percentage of the bar’s weight). The bar also sports a good 7 grams of fiber. The bar has a fair amount of sugar for taste, which I’m not keen on, but for this type of snack it’s par for the course. All in all I’d recommend the bar, but I’d love to see more protein. I’m sensitive to the fact that ingredient choices are very tough for a product like this, but as a snack for athletes, protein is paramount.
I’m looking forward to seeing what this company does with its product line going ahead. For jerky fans, the jerky is definitely worth checking out if you’re sick of the stuff at the store.