Saturday, March 22, 2014

Bland Granola: Marathon Smart Stuff Crunchy Honey Graham Snack Bars Underwhelm!

The Good: Fairly healthy, Comparatively inexpensive
The Bad: Not a great flavor.
The Basics: Marathon Smart Stuff Crunchy Honey Graham Snack Bars are unimpressive.

Some wonderful foods these days come in bar form. I like meal bars, though the quest to pump as many nutrients into a single bar usually makes the food bars suffer on the taste front. Even though they are neither intensely filling or incredibly nutritious, the Marathon Smart Stuff Crunchy Honey Graham Snack Bars seem to fall into the category of unfortunately flavored food bars.

The Marathon Smart Stuff Crunchy Honey Graham 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. Like the Crunchy Chocolate Crisp Snack Bars (reviewed here!), the Crunchy Honey Graham Snack Bar have a very thin chocolate layer on the bottom, but they are not overly graham cracker flavored.

Each Crunchy Honey Graham 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 1/8” wide by 3/4” thick by 3 3/16” long Snack Bar that is unsurprisingly breakable or squishable. A box of Crunchy Honey Graham Snack Bars contains a dozen bars. Each bar looks like a chewy granola bar with a brown chocolate bottom. This is like a granola bar or Clif bar that looks much like a health bar, which is exactly what it is!

Ease Of Preparation

Eating Marathon Smart Stuff Crunchy Honey Graham 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 Honey Graham Snack Bar, the scent of honey is actually fairly strong. There is also a nutty finish to the aroma that is strong as well. The combination of scents blends to foreshadow the flavor fairly well.

In the mouth, the Marathon Honey Graham Smart Stuff Snack Bars are dry and have the flavor of graham crackers and nuts. The thin layer of milk chocolate does not have the ability to stand up to the dry, rice and honey flavor that briefly dominates the palate. The sweetness of the honey is not terribly strong and the graham cracker flavor and its dryness overwhelm the tongue. There is a slight nutty taste to it as well. Regardless, the flavor is very much a typical granola bar flavor with a hint of graham crackers.

The Marathon Smart Stuff Crunchy Honey Graham snack bar has a strongly dry and nutty aftertaste that lasts for about ten minutes.


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, caramel, and milk chocolate 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 allergy warnings and they are not Vegan-compliant.

Marathon Smart Stuff's Crunchy Honey Graham 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 85 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 Honey Graham 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 Honey Graham 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 Honey Graham Snack Bars are bland and superlative in no way.

For other reviews of healthy food, please check out:
Nature Valley Pumpkin Pie Granola Thins
Clif Builder’s Chocolate Mint Protein Bars
Quaker Vanilla Creme Brulee Popped rice snacks


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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