Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Filling Up More Than “Satisfying,” Marathon Smart Stuff Crunchy Chocolate Crisp Bars Are Surprisingly Good!

The Good: Tasty, Very healthy, Comparatively inexpensive
The Bad: Could always be healthier/less expensive
The Basics: Marathon Smart Stuff Crunchy Chocolate Crisp Snack Bars are a less expensive option for those who like meal bars and are trying to cut down on sweets!

Locally, there is an event going on right now called Tip Up Town. For a week, the snowbirds come back to Northern Michigan and deign us with their presence so that during the summer there are still some businesses open to come back to. Seriously, the local economy pretty much dies during the winter and so the people who usually live here nine months out of the year coming back for a week and spending some money (despite the name of the event, few of them actually tip appropriately) actually helps quite a bit (despite how universally poorly they drive while here). As one of the local stores was celebrating the Tip Up Town event, they were selling off their stock of all sorts of granola, breakfast, and protein bars . . . dirt cheap. One of the ones I stocked up on was the Marathon Smart Stuff Crunchy Chocolate Crisp Snack Bars.

The Marathon Smart Stuff Crunchy Chocolate Crisp Snack Bars are “powered by Snickers” and are basically a protein bar designed for hikers, dieters, and those who want something a little healthier than candy bars!


Snickers is best known for making the classic candy bar and the Marathon Smart Stuff bars are advertised as Powered By Snickers, which seems to mean “trading on the Snicker’s name.” Marathon Smart Stuff bars are part of M&M/Mars’s attempt to expand into snack and health foods. Their Snack Bars come in several flavors and I chose the Crunchy Chocolate Crisp Snack Bar because I love chocolate and I figured if I was going to be biased toward a Marathon Smart Stuff bar, it would be the chocolate one!

Each Crunchy Chocolate Crisp Snack Bar is in a 1.23 oz. bar that is foil-wrapped. Each bar represents a single serving and the Snack Bars are each 1 1/4” wide by 5/8” thick by 3 1/4” long Snack Bar that is unsurprisingly breakable or squishable. A box of Crunchy Chocolate Crisp Snack Bars contains a dozen bars. Each bar looks like a chewy granola bar with a brown chocolate bottom. This is like a Clif bar that looks much like a health bar, which is exactly what it is!

Ease Of Preparation

Eating Marathon Smart Stuff Crunchy Chocolate Crisp Snack Bars is simple. After removing the foil wrapper, simply pull out the bar and stick it in your mouth. There is no particularly complicated equation to eating this snack; it is an entirely ready-to-eat food!


Unwrapping the Crunchy Chocolate Crisp Snack Bar, I was pleasantly surprised by just how strong the chocolate scent was. This bar smells like milk chocolate. The chocolate scent is strong and sweet and inviting; it actually smells like a high-quality cocoa.

In the mouth, the Marathon Smart Stuff Snack Bars are chocolatey and dry. Unlike a candy bar, this only has the chocolate on the bottom; the bulk of the bar is dry, ricey and grainy. That said, the Smart Stuff Snack Bar is sweet enough and cocoa flavored enough to actually be enjoyable to eat. The grain is sweetened by caramel and the chocolate. There is nothing nutty to the taste, nor does it actually taste like a Snickers bar.

The Marathon Smart Stuff Crunchy Chocolate Crisp snack bar has a slightly dry aftertaste that is cut by the enduring sweetness of the chocolate.


Marathon Smart Stuff Snack Bars are intended as a snack or a meal replacement. These 1.23 oz. Snack Bar represent a single serving and they are surprisingly healthy. Made primarily of multigrain crisps, milk chocolate, and corn syrup, what surprised me was how there was nothing in these bars that was unpronouncable. This is a surprisingly good food product and these Snack Bars were produced on equipment that may leave the bar with wheat, tree nuts and milk, so they are not Vegan-compliant.

Marathon Smart Stuff's Crunchy Chocolate Crisp Snack Bars have 140 calories, 35 of which are from fat. A full serving represents 8% of one's RDA of saturated fat and these are cholesterol free. Surprisingly, they are fairly low in sodium with only 90 mg per serving and there are 5 grams of protein to be had by eating a full bar. These are a significant source of Vitamin C and Calcium in that each bar has 20% of the RDA of each. A single bar also has 10% of one’s recommended daily allowance of Vitamins A and E, Iron, Magnesium, Zinc and Copper.


As a healthy snack, Marathon Smart Stuff Crunchy Chocolate Crisp Snack Bar remain fresh so long as they are kept in their wrappers. As long as the bars are not heated up, they remain fresh and the only real clean-up for them comes from wiping up crumbs. If the Crunchy Chocolate Crisp Marathon Smart Stuff bars get hot, though, the chocolate bottom will melt and cleaning that up can be a bit trickier, especially on light fabrics. Consult a fabric guide if the chocolate melts onto your clothes.


Marathon Smart Stuff Crunchy Chocolate Crisp Snack Bars are inexplicably being clearance locally, but that is lucky for me; this flavor is very much worth picking up!

For other reviews of healthy food, please check out:
Clif Builder’s Chocolate Mint Protein Bars
Quaker Vanilla Creme Brulee Popped rice snacks
Special K Protein Dark Chocolate Granola Bars


For other food and drink reviews, please check out my Food And Drink Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2014 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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