Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Not Unpleasant, Marathon Smart Stuff Crunchy Trail Mix Snack Bars Still Lack A Hook!

The Good: Fairly healthy, Comparatively inexpensive, Does not taste bad . . .
The Bad: Not an impressive or distinctive flavor.
The Basics: Marathon Smart Stuff Crunchy Trail Mix Snack Bars are a very average health snack without a hook to truly sell them.

Recently, the discount food store near me got in a whole lot of meal bars, granola bars and energy bars, so I bought up a whole bunch and have been excitedly eating and reviewing them. Today, I’m up to my last Marathon bar. The Marathon Smart Stuff Crunchy Trail Mix Snack Bars are not the worst of the bunch that I tried, largely because they have an indistinct-enough name to make it impossible to hold them to a real flavor standard.

The Marathon Smart Stuff Crunchy Trail Mix 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 “cashing in on the Snicker’s name.” Marathon Smart Stuff bars are part of M&M/Mars’s attempt to expand into snack and health foods, but they are not really chocolatey or like a Snicker’s Bar at all. The Crunchy Trail Mix Snack Bar have a very thin chocolate layer on the bottom, but they are not overly strong on the chocolate flavor.

Each Crunchy Trail Mix 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 Trail Mix 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 Trail Mix 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 Trail Mix Snack Bar, there is a strong scent of fruit and nuts. The bars I had all smelled like fermenting raisins and honey. The scent of the fruit is much stronger than any other component of the bouquet and it prepares the consumer for a much fruitier granola bar than these snack bars actually are.

On the tongue, the Marathon Trail Mix Smart Stuff Snack Bars are vaguely sweet from the thin layer of milk chocolate, but otherwise they are exceptionally grainy in a very indistinct way. These mealy bars are not at all fruity, even though there are visible raisins in them! The Trail Mix bars have a grainy, vaguely nutty flavor broken up by the sweetness of the glaze that binds them together. This tastes like the middle ground between a flavorful granola bar and a protein-packed meal bar that just tastes dry and like some sort of industrial filler. Either way, this is not a very tasty or satisfying snack bar.

The Marathon Smart Stuff Crunchy Trail Mix snack bar has a very dry and slightly nutty aftertaste that lasts in the mouth for about fifteen 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 predictably healthy. Made primarily of multigrain crisps, milk chocolate, and toasted oats what surprised me was how there was nothing in these bars that was unpronounceable until the separate mineral list. This is a 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 Trail Mix Snack Bars have 130 calories, 30 of which are from fat. A full serving represents 5% 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 Trail Mix 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 Trail Mix 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 Trail Mix Snack Bars are healthy and good, but in no way impressive enough to make one want to stock up on them!

For other reviews of products by Snickers, please check out:
Marathon Crunchy Honey Graham Snack Bar Powered By Snickers
Marathon Smart Stuff Crunchy Chocolate Crisp Snack Bar
Snickers Dark


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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