Wild Trail is a snack brand that is part of the Brighter Foods family, founded by Robin Williams. Brighter Foods was founded in 2014 in a small town in Wales and has since expanded to employee over 200 people and launched sub-brand Wild Trail in 2016. We were lucky enough to taste test Wild Trail's newest snack bar and give our verdict.
Wild Trail Sweet & Salty Fruit & Nut Bar
I really love the story and concept behind Wild Trail as I am a keen adventurer and love the outdoors. Wild Trail are very proud of their roots and the fact that their base is in the beautiful Snowdonia national park. The snacks are inspired by nature and their aim is to provide 'simple outdoor energy' for people who enjoy fresh air, exploring, and everything that the outdoors has to offer. The snacks are designed to be as simple and natural as possible and also handy enough to eat on the side of a mountain.
Taste & Texture
Considering these bars are all-natural and only contain 5 simple ingredients, the taste is absolutely glorious. The raisins provide the perfect sweetness without being overly sugary, which is a pitfall of some 'healthy' bars which are based around dates as the main ingredient.
The bar is delightfully sticky and the nuts give a crunchy, delicious texture. The 46g bar is just the right size to be satisfying but it is very moreish so you have to be careful! The sea salt provides a delicious depth of flavour and this bar is just what you need when refuelling during or after a big workout or adventure.
Wild Trail prides itself on delivering snack bars that only have a few ingredients and that they are all things you could find in your cupboard at home. The Sweet & Salty Fruit & Nut bar contains just 5 natural ingredients:
- Gluten free oats
- Apple juice concentrate
- Anglesey sea salt
Each bar is a handy 46g and contains 189 calories. There is 15g of sugar which is fairly steep if you're on a low sugar or low carb diet, but it also contains 6g of protein which is good considering these bars don't claim to be 'high protein' like so many other products these days. Plus, if you're using these bars to fuel adventure as intended, the sugar content is a bonus not a negative.
The bars are ideal for those with a food intolerance, allergies, or who follow a 'free from' diet for any reason. Wild Trail bars are dairy-free, vegan, gluten free and have no added sugar. This means they are kind to the stomach and make them ideal as workout fuel and won't upset your stomach during an important endurance event or race!
I was surprised at just how delicious these bars are! They are really tasty and satisfying and make the perfect adventure fuel. It's refreshing to know there are so few ingredients and that they are so healthy and natural. It's a 10 out of 10 from me!
Spare Snacks was founded by Ben Whitehead who worked as a Food Innovation Consultant for Unilever and as a freelance sustainability consultant before making the leap to founding his own brand. We were lucky enough to be able to taste test some of his Spare Snacks and give our verdict.
The story behind Spare Snacks is brilliant and is much needed in an era of unprecedented food waste. Shockingly, over a third of all food produced globally goes to waste which equals over 1.3 billion tons and is worth over $1 trillion. This food waste could feed every starving person in the world four times over which is just not acceptable.
That's why companies like Spare Snacks are so important and are paving the way for a better future. Spare Snacks take 'wonky' fruit and veg that would otherwise not be sold and air dry them to turn them into handy, tasty fruit and vegetable crisps. For example, they take beets that are rejected by retailers for being a little damaged when they get pulled from the ground. They use apples that might have the odd blemish which means supermarkets don't want them even though they are perfectly edible.
Spare Snacks are working hard to tackle food waste and for this alone, we immediately fell in love with this brand before we even tasted their snacks!
Beet Root Crisps
Beets are somewhat of an underrated vegetable, especially in the UK, despite being packed full of protein, fibre, and potassium. Spare Snacks pair this super healthy vegetable with apple cider vinegar to make a snack that will easily challenge your favourite bag of crisps or other savoury snacks.
I loved the texture of these 'crisps' as they were a little chewy which worked well. The subtle tang of the apple cider vinegar offsets the beetroot's natural earthy flavour and they make for a very satisfying savoury snack. The beetroots in Spare Snacks' veg crisps are air dried which means you don't get the thick, oily texture that you sometimes get with classic fried potato crisps and you're not left feeling super dehydrated afterwards which is a big bonus. Not to mention the fact that the Spare Snacks beetroot crisps only have a minute fat content (0.1g total fat) compared to 10g of fat in a bag of Walkers Salt & Vinegar crisps. The beetroot crisps also have half the salt content of a bag of Walkers so they are objectively much healthier.
My usual naughty salt and vinegar crisps have a new rival!
Apple Fruit Crisps
The Apple Fruit Crisps come in two flavours: plain or with cinnamon. I'm a huge fan of the match made in heaven that is apple and cinnamon so I was really excited to try these fruit crisps. If you're like me and need snacks throughout the day to prevent extreme hunger and consequent binges, you'll know how important it is to find delicious, healthy snacks like fruit and veg crisps.
The flavour of the apple crisps is really satisfying and kicks that sweet craving right where it's needed. Again, the texture is chewy in a good way and they taste absolutely delicious. They're not overly sweet so you're not left craving more once you're finished and they make a perfectly satisfying snack, treat, or dessert. A lot of people (myself included) are conditioned to craving something sweet after both lunch and dinner, so these are the perfect compromise.
I have tried a few different brands of fruit and vegetable crisps in the past and I am always a huge fan. I think it's such a great, easy way to get more fruit and vegetables into your diet and as they can act as a replacement for less healthy snacks it really is a great win. The fact that Spare Snacks go the extra mile by using otherwise unsaleable produce and are making steps to reduce food waste is hugely impressive. I love this brand and everything it stands for so it's a resounding 10 out of 10 from me!
Stryyk is a drinks brand founded by entrepreneur Alex Carlton who first founded Funkin Cocktails back in 1999. Carlton successfully sold this business in 2015 and set his sights on a new venture: alcohol-free spirits such as zero-proof rum and gin. We were lucky enough to be able to try Stryyk's 'Not Rum' drink and give our verdict.
Stryyk is a drinks brand for those who might be tee-total for health reasons or simply because they are the designated driver that day. Stryyk aims to allow those who aren't drinking traditional alcoholic drinks and cocktails to still enjoy their outing just as much as their friends. One idea that Stryyk is working on is to encourage bars and venues to denote drinks that work with Stryyk gin or rum with an 'S' on the drinks menu, in the same way a 'V' on a restaurant menu denotes a vegetarian dish. The idea is that patrons can choose to 'stryyk' the alcohol and still enjoy a delicious, balanced drink.
Founder Carlton generally believes that "a mocktail menu is typically quite sweet, which is not sessionable." He believes that those who don't drink alcohol should be able to enjoy a premium, quality cocktail instead of having to opt for a plain orange juice or other sugary soft drink.
As a health and fitness brand, here at Sundried we certainly champion those who choose not to drink alcohol for health reasons but might still want to go out and enjoy an evening with friends. Being able to 'stryyk' the alcohol out of your drink allows you to not make a fuss about not drinking alcohol which we think is a big bonus.
When we were sent our bottle of Stryyk Not Rum, we were advised that it pairs excellently with ginger beer as well as lime. Classic rum-based cocktails such as a Mojito are always a winner, so we started with that. We muddled lime, mint, and sugar into a glass, added ice, and then poured over the Stryyk Not Rum to complete the cocktail. A Mojito is traditionally made with white rum where Stryyk's is golden, but as this is just an added colouring we figured it shouldn't matter too much! We also made a traditional Mojito with 'real' rum to compare notes.
As soon as you open the bottle of Stryyk's Not Rum, you're greeted with a delightful, spicy aroma which makes your mouth water instantly. The flavour is light and fruity thanks to the grapefruit while the clove helps it stay robust and flavourful. The Not Rum tasted fantastic mixed into the Mojito and actually tasted better than the 'real' Mojito made with traditional rum!
When drunk neat on the rocks, this spirit is quite the stand-out and is very delicious. It pairs wonderfully with ginger beer and drives the flavour through the roof. To think that it is perfectly healthy, there's no risk of hangover, and you can drink it all day, we think it's an absolute winner!
Stryyk Zero-Proof spirits are available from their website www.stryyk.com
Kate Percy's Go Bites are a natural snack perfect for taking on-the-go or using as pre- or post-workout fuel. We had the pleasure of trying the exciting new fruity flavours and giving our verdict.
Boost: Raspberry & Cacao
I absolutely love the appearance of the new products by Kate Percy. The vibrant colours are very enticing and my mouth was watering before I even popped one in my mouth. The raspberry and cacao was my favourite flavour as it was so indulgent and flavourful – the perfect treat to look forward to during a tough marathon training run.
As with the original Go Bites, you get 3 balls in a pack and they are perfectly sized and portioned to have before, during, or after a workout. The texture is dense enough to be satisfying without being too chewy so as to hurt your mouth or be a chore to chew. Not only this, they're very handy and easy to store and so are my absolute go-to mid-run fuel for these reasons.
Refuel: Strawberry & Cashew
All of these Go Bites are made to Kate Percy's original recipe and promote the idea that real food fuels you better, which I am a huge proponent of. I find that a packet of Go Bites is the perfect running fuel and stops me from hitting the wall far better than any gel or other goo. Not only this, as they are made from 100% natural ingredients and free from gluten, wheat, and dairy, they are very easy on the stomach and you are unlikely to suffer any gastric issues when fuelling with them.
I had my strawberry and cashew Go Bites after a winter warmer duathlon at the Lee Valley VeloPark. It was a tough race and so having these tasty little bites in my bag to eat afterwards and refuel was absolutely perfect. The taste is awesome – the authentic, natural ingredients taste amazing and the texture is perfect. They're very satisfying and they really sorted me out after the race.
Recover: Blackcurrant & Blueberry
The blackcurrant and blueberry bites are made with rice protein and so give a well needed protein hit after a workout. They contain no added sugar and so are a super healthy food to snack on – whether you're training or not!
This flavour is really delicious, just like the others, and is perfect as a grab-and-go snack. The flavours are so authentic and the serving size is perfectly satisfying.
I absolutely cannot fault these delicious treats! They are unarguably healthy and are absolutely perfect for working out whether you have them before, during, or after. I really support Kate Percy's mantra that 'real food fuels you better' and these balls prove that point perfectly!
Mindful Bites is a health food brand specialising in the promotion of mindful eating. Their flagship products are delicious organic nut butters in a variety of flavours, but their newest product is even more exciting. We were lucky enough to try their new Crunchy Bites and give our verdict.
I really love the branding on this product as it's bright and vibrant while staying simple and powerful. Each product is colour coded to co-ordinate with the relevant nut butter flavour, so if you're a loyal Mindful Bites customer you'll quickly and easily be able to identify your favourite flavours.
Each packet comes with two long sticks which is easy to open and store and perfect for taking on a long run or to throw in your gym bag as a post-workout refuel.
The texture of the Crunchy Bites is really quite exciting. This snack consists of a crunchy gluten-free wafer stick filled with gooey delicious nut butter, meaning it has a crisp outside and a soft, melting middle. I love the contrast of textures between soft and crunchy, it makes the snack really interesting and makes it feel quite indulgent.
I absolutely love the taste of these Crunchy Bites. The product is available in four different flavours: cashew & baobab, almond & maca, hazelnut & berries, and brazil nuts & cacao nibs. Having already tried all of Mindful Bites' nut butter flavours for a review which you can read here, I knew that the pocket of nut butter in the centre was going to be delicious. Whether you're craving a savoury or sweet snack, these bites will satisfy that craving and they are just as good as a naughty snack – without any of the guilt! They're perfect for keeping hunger at bay while at work or for between meals on the weekend.
The nutritional info on these snacks is brilliant – the nut butter boosts the protein content and the exotic ingredients all have their own health benefits. For example, baobab is good for digestive health and and promotes radiant skin while maca is said to relieve symptoms of the menopause and improve mood.
I absolutely love the Crispy Bites as they are so moreish and tasty but packed with health benefits and nothing nasty. They're perfect as a grab-and-go snack and would even be great to put in a child's lunchbox for school. It's a 10 from me!