Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lets talk Peanut Butter

A few posts ago I mentioned that I ordered an assortment of Peanut Butter & Co's Easy Squeezy gels/packs. The goal was to possibly use these on the bike as a replacement for the Balance Bar Peanut Butter bars, which were too hard to get down while riding. These Peanut Butter packs and the Balance Bars are roughly the same caloric amount of energy.

They arrived tonight. And I tried two of the three flavors, The Bee's Knees and Dark Chocolate Dreams. I am too full to try the regular flavor, Smooth Operator.

I was testing for two things: #1 Taste, and #2 ease of eating (both opening the packaging and getting it down).

The Bee's Knees tasted ok. I could deal with this taste out on the bike. The major downer was the packing. Opening it was easy, but the contents didn't come out that well. Yes, I know its peanut butter, but it was viscous enough to squeeze out easily if the packing had allowed it. You know how you open a Gu, and there is a smaller hole which facilitates the exiting of content? This packing didn't allow for that (gets too big) and it was too cumbersome and would be too hard to deal with on the bike. Dangit!

Then I popped open the Dark Chocolate Dreams. This one didn't open as well, which is not good. I had to use two hands and my teeth to open it. What if that happened on the bike? NOT good! Ok, I get it open, and the quality (viscosity) of the stuff is good, like a slightly thicker form of the Chocolate Gu. I like that! The taste? Um, it could be a LOT better. But let's say for the sake of argument that it tastes freaking incredible (which it doesn't), the contents enter your mouth and then suddenly dries your mouth out. It sucks ALL of the moisture out of your mouth and you suddenly can't get it down without quickly drinking some water. You can replicate this feeling in your mouth by taking a quarter of a teaspoon of pure cinnamon and try to eat it. I dare you! (PLEASE DON'T!!!!!)

If you can't tell, I am NOT sold on this product for use on the bike, which is a major bummer, because it seriously had some incredible potential. Finally, since the Gu packaging design is so wonderful, here is what one peanut butter pack looks like next to a Gu. They both hold the same amount of content (32g).

Side by side. Sorry about the bad cell phone pic! The peanut butter is thinner than the Gu, but wider.

And on top of each other

My biggest dream would be for Peanut Butter & Co to either replicate Gu's packing design or downright steal it. I doubt they can do that, but at least with a rip off tab and smaller opening, it would help out soooooooo much.

If you are going for a hike or walk or something more leisurely, I would say bring these along, since you won't be one handing it while doing ~20MPH on skinny tires. The Bee's Knees was a good flavor, the chocolate not so much. I am thinking of reattempting my Chocolate Peanut Butter Gu recipe and using the Gu flask afterall. I also wish they would make their Cinnamon Raisin Swirl (sans raisins) into an Easy Squeezy. THAT is so far my favorite flavor they make.

Perhaps I should forward this to them? Suggest they make a triathlon friendly version?


  1. That blows. Good idea, poorly executed it seems.

  2. I love their product, they are here in NYC. Those are unfortunately not meant for sport, but rather to be portable for work, vacation, etc. I LOVE PB but could never consume it on the bike, it's way too thick and viscous and the natural ones are especially so. I save it for my pre and post training treat! Thanks for sharing the packets though, I had found Brad's Organic in single servings once last year and love it for race travel but have never found it since. I'm ordering a box of these pronto!

  3. I was concerned with the packets! We had some "Justin" PB packets at our house a few months ago...similar problem. We need a syringe with a big tube and opening that dispenses the combo effectively!
    Though it might look a bit suspicious riding with syringes in our back pockets?!

  4. Bummer. I loved the idea. Thanks for saving me the frustration! :) I totally think you should send it to them, who knows?

  5. Thats too bad, first thing I thought was "no way I can use that on the bike without having to stop and eat it"

  6. oh darnit! i was hoping for a better outcome.
    I vote for sending it to the company...Imagine the possibilities.

  7. Hi Jon,
    Bummer! Thanks for the review:) I will have to try your little trick with the two packs and mix them:) Have a good one little bro!

  8. I love PB!!! I have tried the regular flavor but not for biking purposes. Having read this, I probably won't try either.

  9. can I make a comment? every time my coach goes over race nutrition she says the #1 thing not to eat before/during a race is peanut butter because it slows down digestion which then leads to GI issues! just a tip! I'm sure some people handle it fine but other people.. not so much

  10. I've had the Justin's nut butter which they also do in packs like this. They also have almond butter (plain, honey, maple, chocolate) as well as PB and a hazelnut chocolate. I seem to remember that you need to massage the packages in order to get it to come out smoothly. I would assume PB & Co. is the same? Too much work for the bike though.

    Regarding what Alexa said, I have heard it does take a long time for PB to break down in the digestion process. I happen to have a pretty iron clad stomach, but I did stop eating PB for breakfast before races.

  11. Sounds like a business plan being hatched! Work on the flavors, packaging, and viscosity and you've got yourself a product!

  12. Thanks for the review. That's a bummer that they didn't work. I definitely think you should email the company with your thoughts...what could it hurt?

  13. Wow, you have some dedication to this peanut butter thing...you should totally send an email if you've spent this much time on this!


Don't be shy! Leave me a comment!