In May 2000, Lara Merriken went hiking in Colorado and had the idea of making an all-natural snack bar.
We were first alerted to Larabar by celebrity fitness coach Thomas DeLauer, who mentioned them in a video and we were really surprised to see them on the Boots website, although maybe we shouldn’t be, because Boots the Chemist has been owned by American pharmacy giant, Walgreens, for a while now.
Larabar Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip – 45g | Boots
The ingredients are clean – 40% dates, 22% (peanuts, seasalt), roasted peanut pieces 17%, choc chips (cocoa mass) 12%, dried apples 5%, peanut oil.
No added flavours, preservatives or additives. Gluten free and suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
The 0.15g salt per 45g bar, comes from the peanut butter. No added sugar, but there’s 13.7g of sugar per 45g bar, from the dates and dried apples. The Larabar UK website states that the choc chips are so-called because they are unsweetened. The bars are 38g of carbs per 100g, that is 17.1g carbs per 45g. The carbs come from the dates, dried apples and of course, the peanuts.
There’s 13.4g of fat, 5.4g protein and 3.6g fibre per bar.
The video below, comes from Larabar’s American website www.larabar.com It clearly shows that the wrappers are printed with ‘Non GMO’. Comparing the wrappers on the bars bought on 05/02/22 at Boots, there’s no mention of the bars being non-GM. Nor is there any mention that we could find. on the Larabar UK website www.larabar.co.uk
So why does this matter ? Although she remains Creative Director at Larabar, Lara Merriken sold her brand to Small Planet Foods in June 2008. Small Planet Foods is a brand of the Natural and Organic division of BigFood conglomerate, General Mills. Larabar UK, a General Mills company, launched the bars in the UK in 2019.
If the bars imported into the UK contain direct GM ingredients, they should be labelled as such, even if that means an extra white ingredients label.
Why would General Mills spend money to remove the wording ‘Non GMO’ from packaging on bars destined for the UK ?
I have asked Larabar UK for an explanation. I have also emailed my MP and asked him to pass on my email to DEFRA.
Has DEFRA relaxed labelling laws without involving Parliament ? Are British residents paying for natural products which aren’t ? Are we unknowingly eating lots of genetically modified materials in many products, which we wouldn’t choose to eat, because of actions by DEFRA ?
This blog post will be updated.
As for the bars themselves, one member of the team took one bite then binned the bar, without being apprised of the ‘Is it ? Isn’t it ? GM question, “Utter rubbish”
If you eat Keto, this is not for you. Low carbers may be able to sneak them into their lifestyle. It would probably be quite simple, to mix up dates, dried apple and peanut butter, in order to bake your own bars and there are videos on YouTube. Not as sweet as you would expect from 40% dates and 5% dried apples.
UPDATE 16/02/22 Larabar UK’s Eleni May emailed me back today. She confirmed that Larabars on sale in the UK (and EU) DON’T contain GMOs. When Larabars were launched in Europe, ” it was determined that other claims like ‘no added flavours’ or ‘no added sugars’ were more appealing to consumers. “
Good news then, If you can’t be bothered to make your own bars and want a sweet treat while out and about.