There are five flavour variants in the new range, each containing some sort of superfood or other highly-nutritious ingredient: Raspberry Goji & White Choc, Mango, Vanilla & Chia, Blueberry & Ancient Grains, Cranberry, Vanilla & Coconut and Ancient Grains & Seeds.
Although Nestle remained coy on the specific recipe differences between this new range and previous Uncle Tobys muesli bars (such as its Chewy and Yoghurt bar ranges, Nestlé Business Manager Snacks Susan Catania said that ‘a new formulation’ had been used for these five new variants.
“[These bars have been formulated] for those on the go, [containing ingredients such as] chia seeds combined with the goodness of Australian-grown oats,” she told FoodNavigator-Asia.
“The unique value proposition here is the wide variety of nutritious [ingredients used], and that they are also a bigger bar in comparison to the Chewy and Oats & Milk ranges making them more suitable for the whole family.”
According to the Uncle Tobys Australia website, most of its products have at least 70% Australian ingredients. The new bars are 35g each, as compared to 31.3g for previous bars.
“All of the five new products [also] have a four-star Health Star Rating (HSR), similar to other Uncle Tobys muesli bar ranges,” Catania added.
The new Uncle Tobys range is now available nationwide in Australia in Coles, Woolworths and independent supermarkets, retailing at A$5.00 (US$3.44) for a box of five bars.
Uncle Tobys and Health Star Ratings
With the Australia-New Zealand HSR system having encountered near-constant controversy especially across the past year, a lot of which has been centred around cereals, declaring an entire new range of what are essentially cereal snacking bars can be considered a bold move by Nestle.
But the firm is confident in its rating, declaring on its website that: “We’re proud to have Australia’s largest range of breakfast cereals and muesli bars with an HSR of four stars or more.”
This confidence could come from its spending of some A$7mn (US$4.8mn) in 2015 to reformulate the Uncle Tobys Chewy and Yoghurt ranges, cutting salt by 63%, sugar by 32%, and fat by 16% and thus hitting the four-star mark.
According to the products’ publicly available nutritional tables, the sugar content in the new range appears to have gone even lower than before, averaging at around 4g per bar, as compared to about 5.4g for previous products.
Saturated fat levels have also dropped on average to 0.9g per bar as opposed to about 1.1g previously, but sodium content seems to have gone up, averaging at 10g per bar for the new bars as opposed to around 6.6g for previous ones.
The flavour with the highest sodium content was the Raspberry Goji & White Choc variant, at 15g per bar.