Archer Farms Sea Salt Caramel and Almond Indulgent Granola Bites

Sea salted caramel is no longer a real oddity any more. Having broken free from the confines of high-end restaurants and microbistros, it is now popping up in recipes and the freezer section of many grocery stores. I figure it's only a matter of time before we see a McCaramel McFlurry with McSalt or a Dairy Queen Salted Caramel Blizzard.
I can't tell you how overjoyed I was to see this in a non-frozen form and from Target's store brand, Archer Farms, no less. We picked these up as a treat, noting their "indulgent" nature but persevering nonetheless. With 15 80 calorie bars in a box for a mere $2.49, their exoticism, calorie count, and value sure beat out Chewy, no?
No indeed! What we didn't count on was the weight and size of the bars- a hair thicker than a thumbdrive and possibly (scarily) more bland. When I first bit into one of these, I was taken aback at how chewy it was, almost nearing a stale texture. That's unfortunately just how it is. The flavor and waxy, overly saccharine mockolate coating was reminiscent of one of those giant, chewy protein bars, but in miniature. It was immensely disappointing. The flavor was sweet with no nuttiness, no salinity, no richness to speak of. Just sweet with a textural crunch from the almonds and a chewiness. And that was all the caramel we got! Strangely enough, all the ingredients are natural, yet are combined in such a way that they are absolutely flavorless.
This was really disappointing and strange to eat. Where did all the calories come from? And why is it so small? Pats of butter don't have this much caloric damage and this little flavor in their size. Quaker and Kashi have my business back, because this is one area Archer Farms' risky flavors just don't cut it in.

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