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Veloforte's Mixed Plant Power Pack is a great option for fuelling your body during rides. Not only are they packing some excellent macronutrients, they're also vegan – ideal for those of you who avoid ingesting animal products – and the combination of natural ingredients in each bar makes for an incredible taste and texture. They're pricey, but the cost per bar reduces if you buy in bulk.
I always take some form of energy food with me on longer rides, so I can stay strong until the end without the dreaded brick wall. This usually consists of a banana, some dried apricots or a half a peanut butter sandwich folded into a bar shape. Or all three if the ride is longer, or there's no cake stop.
In the past, I've tried myriad energy and recovery bars, but I've never really taken to them – they're generally expensive, usually taste a bit funny (in my opinion) and on longer rides tend to make me feel a little sick.
A lot of these products also contain milk or eggs, which for me, as a vegan, is a good reason to avoid them, though there are certainly a lot more plant-based options nowadays.
One of these is Veloforte, a relative newcomer to the energy and recovery food scene, which boasts a product lineup free from dairy and gluten, with no preservatives or additives. Some of its products do contain egg whites or honey, but there are plenty of vegan-only options too. A big tick from me, then.
A standout option among its vegan selection is this Mixed Plant Power Pack: three vegan energy bars consisting of the Avanti, Pronto and Zenzero, each designed to fuel your body for long rides. Nutritionally they're similar, with a few key differences that make some of them better suited to certain situations – more on that later.
If you're a keen observer of your daily macronutrients, and you like to ensure you meet them, you'll be pleased to know that Veloforte clearly displays the most important numbers on the front of each of its bars, so you can easily track what you consume.
In the case of the Plant Power Pack, depending on the bar you choose you're rewarded with 5-5.3g protein and 37-45.8g of carbs. According to Veloforte you need about 45-60g for medium intensity exercise, rising to 60-90g for higher intensity exercise.
With each bar containing about 40g on average, Veloforte recommends consuming a third of a bar every 20 minutes to keep fuelled on longer sessions.
We reviewed the Veloforte Classico energy bar a few years back, and although that bar packs 50g of carbs, which is a bit higher than its vegan counterpart, nutritionally it's weaker in almost every other area.
Fat content (we're talking good fats here, not the nasty saturated variety) is 2-3g higher with the Mixed Plant Power Pack. Fibre is also higher in two of the bars (over double the amount in the Pronto), and protein is a gram higher; every bit counts.
The takeaway here is that the Mixed Plant Power Pack is nutritionally well balanced. And as I mentioned earlier, some of them are also packing hidden powers too.
First up the Pronto, which contains Matcha tea and offers 80mg of natural caffeine to perk you up in an instant (Veloforte says this is equivalent to an espresso). This might be a good choice if you need that extra caffeine hit when there's no coffee shop on your route.
Then there's the Avanti, which I'd argue is an even more crucial choice of bar for those who, like me, suffer from low sodium levels during intense rides. It contains 37mg of sodium to help replace salt lost through extreme sweating, so it's good if you sweat a lot (more so on hot days), or if you're more susceptible to losing salt through your sweat.
Of course, you can easily just add electrolytes to your water bottle, but it's handy to have another option when your drink runs out.
Most health organisations in the UK worth their salt, so to speak, recommend that you don't exceed 2.5g, or 2,500mg, of sodium each day. The Pronto's 37mg offering is, then, pretty minuscule when compared to Veloforte's own electrolyte powder which provides 350mg per serving.
Macro stats aside, how do the bars actually taste? Given that over the course of a five to six-hour ride you'll have to eat several of them, whether you can stomach them or not is arguably one of the most important factors.
It's subjective, of course, but for me, Veloforte has seriously knocked it out of the park in the taste department. That might be down to some magical combination of ingredients, but more likely it's because the bars only contain natural plant-based goodness – namely, whole nuts, whole dried fruits and some key spices.
Each bar has a unique flavour, but none of them overpower your taste buds in any one regard. They all taste great, but the Zenzero was the standout for me, simply because I love the combination of lemon and ginger, which gives the fruit and nut base a subtly sweet and tangy flavour.
I'd happily go for one of these bars as a snack option any time of the day if I was feeling peckish, without feeling guilty about it.
Unlike other energy bars I've eaten, the Veloforte bars also have a nice texture that doesn't stick to your tongue.
Crucially – in terms of snacking during a ride – the consistency of these bars is just right. They don't crumble away as soon as you open the packet. Nor are they so dense that you can barely move your jaws when you want to chew.
The downside, as with many of these energy bars, is the price – at £2.49 per bar, Velforte's plant offerings are as expensive as it gets, it seems. They're a bit pricier than the aforementioned Veloforte Classico, although as I pointed out, carbs aside, the macros certainly seem to be more in the Mixed Plant Power Pack's favour. (And if you buy in bulk, the price reduces to around £2.25 per bar.) Editor's note: Veloforte do offer free UK delivery on orders of £15 or more – at £7.49 two Mixed Plant Power Packs come in at 2p short so you'd have to buy three to qualify for free postage.
If you want a slightly bigger protein hit, the Clif bar is a good shout. You get a similar carb dosage as with the Veloforte vegan bars, but there's twice the amount of protein (10g), though you do sacrifice a couple of grams of fat. Clif bars are £1.99 each, so a bit cheaper. Most of the options are vegan and I think they also taste pretty good, but they're not on the same playing field as the Veloforte stuff in my opinion.
A cheaper option still would be the Pursu Banana Endurance Bar, which works out at £1.78 per bar. It's vegan and apparently tasty too, though each bar only packs half the number of carbs of the Veloforte bars, so you'll need to eat more of them to get what you need on longer rides.
Make no mistake, these bars are expensive, and I'm sure many of you in the comments will be ranting and raving about just making your own, or taking dried fruits or nuts in a zip-lock. And that's perfectly fine – nobody is stopping you from doing that.
But, and it's a big but (ahem), the Veloforte bars genuinely make eating on the bike (or off it) more enjoyable, and easier, and I think that's definitely worth paying for.
Personally, I would still mix it up with cheaper whole fruits or nuts, but it's certainly useful to add another string to your nutritional bow.
Incredible taste, great texture, and packing just the right macros for fuelling your all-day rides
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Veloforte Mixed Plant Power Pack
Size tested: 70g bars x 3
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Veloforte says, "Kitchen-crafted, 100% natural, powerful & delicious products that are fit for purpose, fit for body - the perfect real-food to fuel your active lifestyle.' From professional competing, gym sessions, park runs & graded endurance training... to walking, yoga & running after the kids, we believe that real food works best."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Dates, pecans & almonds, cane sugar, brown rice syrup, gram flour, agave nectar, tapioca flour, maple syrup, spices, sea salt, wafer paper, vanilla seeds.
Dried fruit (figs, dates), mixed nuts (almonds, pistachios), cane sugar, brown rice syrup, gram flour, stem ginger, tapioca flour, lemon juice & zest, mixed spices, guarana powder *, matcha tea *, vanilla bean paste, wafer paper.
*contains natural caffeine (80mg caffeine per 70g bar) Do not exceed 5/day. Not suitable for under 16s, pregnant or those breastfeeding.
Candied Lemon Peel, Almonds & Pistachios, Cane Sugar, Dates, Stem Ginger, Gram Flour, Brown Rice Syrup, Tapioca Flour, Spices, Lemon Juice & Zest, Wafer Paper, Vanilla seeds.
Dates, Pecans & Sea Salt
Typical Values: Per 100g Per Bar 62g
Energy kJ/KCal 1709/407 1060/252
Total Fat (g) 12.9
Of Which Saturates (g) 1.3
Carbohydrates (g) 65.3
Of Which Sugars (g) 45.4
Fibre (g) 8.0
Protein (g) 8.1
Salt (g) 0.15 <0.1
Sodium (mg) 60.0 37
Figs, Pistachios & Matcha Tea
Typical Values: Per 100g Per Bar 70g
Energy kJ/KCal 1607/384 1125/269
Total Fat (g) 13.0
Of Which Saturates (g) 1.2
Carbohydrates (g) 65.4
Of Which Sugars (g) 43.6
Fibre (g) 12.6
Protein (g) 7.5
Salt (g) <0.1
Caffeine (mg) 114 80
Lemon, Ginger & Pistachios
Typical Values: Per 100g Per Bar 62g
Energy kJ/KCal 1683/401 1043/249
Total Fat (g) 13.1
Of Which Saturates (g) 1.2
Carbohydrates (g) 59.9
Of Which Sugars (g) 44.7
Fibre (g) 5.7
Protein (g) 8.1
Salt (g) <0.1
Great consistency. The bar doesn't fall apart when you get it out of its wrapper, and nor does it stick to your mouth afterwards.
An excellent range of macros. Some might prefer more protein – Veloforte also offers higher protein options, such as the Mocha bar (which is also vegan). Veloforte bars are also handmade in a BRC AA* certified bakery using only natural ingredients, and aren't exposed to any banned substance – perfect for pros, too, then.
Definitely one of the more expensive options out there, even when taking into consideration the good balance of macros. Worth it for the taste, though, in my opinion.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very tasty, all-natural ingredients and the combination of macros give you a boost when you're flagging. The addition of things like caffeine or sodium in some of the bars is a definite plus, if you need it.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
They taste amazing. No, really.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
In terms of plant-based options, the Clif Bar offers a similar macro hit (albeit with more protein), and are about 50p cheaper per bar, though in my opinion don't taste nearly as good. The Pursu Banana bar is even cheaper (about £1.78 per, but you do have to buy them in a 16 pack), but they don't offer the same level of performance as the Veloforte option.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes – in fact I was so pleased with it I bought the Vegan Complete Pack.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The Veloforte Mixed Plant Power Pack is a tremendous trio of energy bars. They taste great, the ingredients are natural and plant based, and the macros contained within each bar are good for keeping you going on long rides. Yes, they are expensive, but I like to spend money on things that make me enjoy riding even more, and these energy bars definitely tick that box. Now, my banana and peanut butter sandwich has a welcome companion in the middle pocket!
About the tester
I usually ride: Steel audax bike My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives,