Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Justin's Gluten-Free Pretzel and Nut Butter Snack Packs Review

As a college kid ever on the go, I'm all about grab and go snacks. Between classes, an on-campus job, homework, and other activities, I am always looking for delicious, nutritious ways to refuel that last all day and do not need extra attention such as refrigeration.

Luckily, the nut butter experts over at Justin's have innovated a new product that has hit Target shelves nationwide just in time for the back-to-school rush. The pretzel packs come in three delicious flavors: hazelnut butter, classic almond butter, and maple almond butter; all of which are perfectly pack-able, snack-able, and perfect for anyone on the go.

Justin's snack packs are designed literally from the tray up. Starting with 100% recycled plastic, the trays are designed to keep the pretzels and spread separate until the perfect moment of snacking. As far as allergens (or lack of) are concerned, all three varieties are certified gluten-free by the Gluten Intolerance Group. The packs do contain peanuts, soy and tree nuts. Also note that all three flavors are vegan as well.

In reviewing the snack packs, I break my analysis into two parts: the pretzels, and the dips they are meant to support. Although the nut butters take central stage, I'l address the pretzels first because they definitely deserve a shout out. Crunchy, with a buttery flavor, I really liked these pretzels for their taste and texture. Just enough course salt is applied to taste, and creates a delicious sweet and salty contrast with the maple almond butter and the chocolate hazelnut butter especially. I found that the amount of pretzels provided in the packs was the perfect amount to eat the provided nut butter, and still have a few to eat untopped.



Now for the nut butter analysis. I found that the classic and maple almond butters were very similar in taste and texture, the latter with a hint of maple that I expected more from. Both had a nice classic almond butter taste that shines. Noticeably thick, the nut butter was really packed into it's designated area, and a bit hard to dish out with the pretzels, as they kept snapping from the resistance.

The dark horse of the three was the chocolate hazelnut, which I had never tried before. Unlike other popular renditions of this spread, Justin's version is dairy-free, a fact that surprised me when I read the labels on the packs. Unlike the almond butters, the hazelnut butter was the perfect thickness, not too liquid-y, not too thick, and perfectly scoop-able with a pretzel. The organic cocoa and cocoa butter definitely provides chocolatey flair, while almonds and hazelnuts provide a nutty undertone. 


From left to right: classic almond butter, chocolate hazelnut butter, and maple almond butter.

Justin's snack packs are definitely a hit in my book. After the initial taste trials, I have since returned to Target to load up with them before heading back to campus for the fall. I love how these snack packs provide protein (3g-5g depending on the pack) with a low sugar count (2g-6g depending on the pack), which is a perfect combination that will keep me going as I return to a busy week of being an orientation leader for the incoming freshman class at my school.

I'm so glad that big brands like Target and Justin's are pairing up to bring gluten-free fare to the masses. I like I how the increasing stock of gluten-free items at Target renders the store a one-stop-shop for anything I might need far from home. For more information about the "Made to Matter" campaign, click here. For more information about Justin's full line of products, visit their website here.

Disclaimer: This review is current to the original publication date. Updates will be noted. Ingredients and manufacturing processes can change without notice. Each product should be reviewed for individual nutritional needs. Feel free to to contact me with any questions or comments. I purchased this product independently and the review is a reflection of my personal opinion. 

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