Taste Test: Mojo Bar


Not so long ago, perhaps somewhere a few days down a trail on a backpacking trip, I gave up on the food category known as “energy bars.” After years of eating bars from a dozen different companies, something clicked. All of a sudden, bars — calorie-rich and oh-so-convenient in the outdoors — started to seem too sweet, too chewy, and too “fake” a food to want to eat anymore.

But then Clif Bar & Company did something different. The Mojo bar, marketed as a “sweet and salty trail mix bar,” debuted a couple years back. It has steadily grown on me ever since.

The “salty” part of the equation is key. So much packaged food for athletics and outdoors pursuits hinges on a sugary taste. With the Mojo bars, which come in various flavors, a nutty, salty taste is the prime influencer.

clif mojo bar.jpg

Clif Bar Mojo Bar

Mojo bars cost about $1.50 each, which is comparable with the competition. Flavors include chocolate peanut, dipped fruit nut, honey roasted peanut, mixed nut, and a few more.

All are good. But the peanut-butter pretzel flavor is my latest obsession. This bar intermixes peanut-butter filled pretzel chunks with nuts, rice crisps, sunflower oil, and other ingredients. On a long hike, the taste can be sublime.

Clif Bar & Company markets the Mojo as made with 70 percent organic ingredients. They do not contain bioengineered (GMO) ingredients. The bars are even a vegan food except for the honey-roasted peanut and chocolate peanut flavors, which contain organic honey (a non-vegan product of bees).

Nutritionally, each bar has about eight to 10 grams of protein, around eight grams of fat, and around 180 calories, depending on the flavor. For me, the bars provide a good caloric and nutrient mix for about one hour’s worth of activity. (I aim to eat 200 to 300 calories of “energy food” per hour when active.)

Mojo bars are by no means a niche product. They have hit the mainstream. Indeed, the company sells its bars now at places like Whole Foods, Safeway, Target, REI, and Wal-Mart. If you’re tired of traditional energy bars — or want a saltier side to your grab-and-go food for a trip — I recommend giving the Mojo a try. www.clifbar.com

—Stephen Regenold writes about outdoors gear at www.gearjunkie.com.

Posted by Brent - 03/22/2010 07:56 AM

I completely agree. I first saw these new trail mix bars at a Trader Joes doing some grocery shopping. Decided to buy a box, because the peanut butter prezel sounds delice! I was not let down, these bars rock and are ultra light so they make sense for packing. One word of caution though… they crumble easily, so make sure not to cram a lot of gear on them or you’ll be eating it with a spork.

Posted by jpea - 03/22/2010 08:03 AM

yeah, crumbling is kinda annoying, but I’ve found that it’s a trait that usually comes with baked/dry vegan foods

Posted by Stephen Regenold - 03/22/2010 08:26 AM

I’ve not had the crumbling problem. Even after a couple days in my pack on the Patagonian Exped. Race last month, the bars did not crumble much. I do pack my food on top of my gear in the backpack for quick access (not underneath anything).

Posted by Lance - 03/22/2010 09:07 AM

These were my favorite until I found that Clif starting coming out with all kinds of different flavored bars.

Blueberry Crisp and Banana Nut are among my newest favorites. But by far Maple Nut is the best (it tastes like pancakes)!

At our local Publix they have at least 10 different flavors.

Posted by Dermatologist Los Angeles - 03/22/2010 12:55 PM

I agree. I love these bars. They are the best thing I have found to keep going when I’m out and about. Actually taste good, and keep me going.

Posted by Barb - 03/24/2010 01:29 PM

I am a long-time clif bar hater, but thought I’d try the mojo bars. I was pleasantly surprised and these bars are with me now on every hike!!

Posted by Hiking Lady - 03/24/2010 01:38 PM

I really like the Mojo bars much better than traditional Clif Bars. I haven’t had the crumbling issue like the reader above.

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