Yumpa Bar Review

26th May 2016

Yumpa Bars

I really like it when innovative new products come onto the market - especially when they are due to the hard work of a small start up business owner with a great idea and a passion to protect the environment…..

A few months ago we were contacted by just such a company.  The product, explained company founder Tony  Askins, was a type of protein energy bar called Yumpa Bars.  Could he, Tony asked, send us some of his unique new product to test?  We didn’t talk much more about the bars  but agreed that he would post a selection out to us.

A few days passed and a packet containing several square shaped bars arrived.  The packaging was simple but the bars were named with yummy titles describing their flavours. Tangy Thai, Summer Sundae and Cocoa Loco sounded great to us.

Alongside the bars the Yumpa team had also included an info card and here’s where we started to get really intrigued.  Yumpa Bars, the card explained, are a ‘delicious adventure into the future of food’ containing ‘cricket flour power.’  Ah, now it clicked - the really unique Yumpa Bar feature is that one of the bar’s key ingredients is cricket flour - or flour made from ground crickets you you and me!

As I read further I realised what this really meant.  Crickets are actually a nutritionally and environmentally genius move because these little creatures are actually incredibly nutritious as well as being extremely kind to the environment.  

Cricket flour, we read, has 67% protein content compared to only 28% for beef, 23% for chicken, 22% for salmon and only 12% for eggs.  It also has only 6% fat, as much iron as spinach, the same B12 as salmon and its calcium content equals milk.  Hopefully you are as impressed as we were.

All this nutritional goodness is great, but not if you then combine it with a stack of other unhealthy ingredients.  Fortunately, as you may have expected, the Yumpa bakers have thought about this too.  The bars are gluten, dairy and soya free, have no added sugar and are high in fibre. 

So the nutritional content is hard to fault, but that’s actually only half the story.  As we mentioned earlier, another big claim from Yumpa is how environmentally friendly the bars are.  We read on through the info card and soon realised what they meant.

The benefits of using cricket flour as an energy source is actually pretty amazing.  Firstly, crickets provide an amazing 470 grams of edible weight for every 1000 grams of feed.  This is especially impressive when you compare them to the 40 grams per kilo for beef or 110 grams per kilo for pork.  Wow!

Crickets also produce no ammonia, need 13 times less water (per gram of edible weight) than cows and only produce 1% of the greenhouse gases cows produce (per gram of edible weight).  Yumpa say the bars are great ‘for now, for the future, for you and for the world’.  Look at the stats and you really can’t argue with that.

Of course, no matter how nutritious and environmentally friendly any food product is, it also needs to perform well and taste good.  So, how did Yumpa Bars cope when used for refuelling during active outdoor sessions?

I am a vegetarian and so the answer is that I personally don’t know how they tasted or performed because I haven’t eaten any.  No problem though as I soon found plenty of helpful volunteers more than willing to road test them.  To test them in a variety of situations I took some bars out for friends to try during a sport climbing session, gave a couple to others a mountain bike ride and finally I let the Peak Mountaineering junior sponsored team (our children!) give them a try when we were walking in the Lake District.

The feedback from all testers has been universally great.  The taste impressed them all and the feedback has been that the bars are very easy to eat even when exercising hard (not something that can be said about some other energy products).  The consistency has been described as a mix of crumbly and chewy which probably sums it up well - easy and pleasant to eat but not so crumbly they fall apart when you are holding them.

The favourite flavour turned out to be the Summer Sundae but all flavours were enjoyed.  Testers also commented that the compact size and flat shape made them easy to store in a chest pocket when climbing just as easily as tucking them in the back pocket of a cycling top.  The size also means they are just about the right size for a one off refuel - not too big and not too small.  Perfect.

So, we applaud the Yumpa Bar team for their innovation and commitment to producing a high performance and environmentally friendly product just as we rate the bars for their intended purpose.

But the main reason we know they taste good and can be consumed pleasurably is down to the reactions of the junior Peak Mountaineering testers.  Our children Ben and Tom are among the fussiest eaters out there and guess what - they loved them!  Well done team Yumpa :)

You can check out more details about this innovative product and place pre orders on the sparkly new Yumpa website here (produced, we notice, by the web gurus we use at Reflow Studio).

Posted by Paul

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