I share Cybele from Candy Blog’s view that 100 calorie packs are a rip-off when it comes to candy but can be sensible in the case of other snacks to help prevent mindless overeating. Little Debbie’s 100 Calorie Nutty Bars do not clearly fall in either category. On the one hand, you don’t really save that many calories from limiting yourself to eating just one of the regular Nutty Bars (155 calories each, but they’re wrapped in pairs). On the other hand, the 100 Calorie Nutty Bars and the regular Nutty Bars both come 12 to a box and cost the same, so at least you’re not paying extra for the pre-portioned packaging.
I have a special fondness for Nutty Bars because they’re one of my dad’s favorite snacks for fishing, so they were (and probably still are) always around the house. I agreed to review the samples sent by the manufacturer partly out of nostalgia. If you’re unfamiliar with Nutty Bars, they’re wafers alternated with peanut butter and covered in chocolate. They’re shelved with cookies and other baked goods, but they’re also nearly a candy bar (maybe if the chocolate coating was a bit thicker). The 100 calorie Singles are basically a scaled down version of the more caloric and more delicious originals. As far as I can tell based on memory, the Singles are the same dimensions as the originals, but the Singles bar is much, much lighter – 19g compared to the original’s 28g.
The lost weight and calories have come at the expense of the peanut butter and chocolate flavoring. The peanut butter flavor is present, but it’s quite light and a little too sweet, while the chocolate coating is barely noticeable and slightly greasy to the touch. The chocolate and peanut butter do complement the light, crisp wafers quite nicely. Though I miss the dense crunch of the original Nutty Bars, the overall light, airiness of the slimmed down version has its own appeal.
As a chocolate bar or cookie, these guys are too light on flavor to merit more than an O. As a sensible and affordable snack for dieters, maybe to help stave off chocolate or peanut butter cravings, however, I give them an OM for tasting pretty good, all things considered. I’m going to recommend them to my dad. Here are other takes from Chow.com, Chocoblog, and Sugar Savvy.