Top positive review
Reviewed in the United States on July 28, 2015
This review is for the "Barnana Organic Chewy Banana Bites, Coconut, 3.5 Ounce, 3 Count", though I will also mention the original flavor towards the end for comparison.
I was first introduced to the Barnana products after searching for a healthy new snack that both my two year old nephew and I could enjoy on the go. My nephew was absolutely crazy about dehydrated foods, but it seems the thrill of dehydrated foods has slowly died down with the maturing of his taste buds. When I came across the Barnana products I was very excited to try them out, as the ingredients and natural dehydration process sounded both healthy and delicious. For my initial order, I decided to try out the "original" as well as the "coconut flavor". The bags are 3.5 ounces, which makes them the perfect size for throwing into a lunch or diaper bag. When my orders arrived, I decided to try the coconut flavor first, and in the end I am very glad I chose to try that flavor before the original variation.
Prior to ordering this product, I was well aware that the product appears to be either brown or black in color, which helped me avoid the confusion/surprise many people faced when trying out the product for the first time. I'll admit, the color doesn't exactly make the product very appealing, but if you prepare yourself with the fact that this is a natural as well as expected part of the dehydration process that Barnana uses, it's something that can be easily overcome. As I stated earlier, I first tried out the Coconut flavor. I honestly didn't count, but if I had to guess I would say that each bag contains maybe around 10 bite size chewy Banana squares. Once again, the color isn't exactly the most appealing, but the natural banana scent along with the coconut flakes does help make the initial tasting test much easier. It didn't take long after trying my first coconut square that I fell in love with this snack, I immediately went back on Amazon to order two more shipments. The moisture that each chewy bite sized square contains is the perfect amount, giving them a texture that I found rather enjoyable. The square bites definitely taste like bananas, and the coconut flakes are a very nice compliment to the natural banana taste. My nephew absolutely loves them, to the point that he doesn't even want to share them with me anymore. I've usually packed this snack when going to the park with my nephew, and so far the Miami Heat has yet to melt these bites into a big chunk of goo like some other people have experienced on here. So whoever these people are ordering the product from must be doing a very bad job at storing these snacks. I believe I've ordered seven or eight shipments directly from Amazon.com, and I've never had any issues with the product arriving in anything less than perfect condition.
Now to share my experience with trying the original flavor. I was expecting the banana pieces to be squares just like the coconut flavor, however, the original flavor contains random shapes and sizes. I preferred the square sized bites from the coconut flavor, but I suppose in the end the shape of it doesn't really alter from the flavor itself. Though one thing I found extremely disappointing about the original flavor was that these pieces had a lot harder texture. At times, I felt like I was eating banana jerky, and not the delicious banana snack the coconut flavor introduced me to. I wouldn't say that the flavor is bad, but the original flavor just felt too dry for me. I am not exactly sure why the moisture level and texture vary so much between the original flavor and the coconut one, as they both claim to have reduced 80% of the water level in the bananas. The only difference is that the coconut variation contains 1/4 of a coconut but in turn has one less banana than the original flavor. But I guess that little change is what makes a huge difference in the texture between the two variations. Had I tried the original flavor before trying the coconut one, I probably wouldn't have re-ordered the product. But luckily for my nephew and I, we tried the coconut variation first and we've definitely become a big fan of this snack.
-Coconut flavor Banana bites have a great texture and are extremely delicious.
-Coconut flavor chewy bites are bite size squares, making them a healthy and delicious snack that even my two year old nephew can enjoy.
-The 3.5 oz bags are the perfect size for an on the go snack that can easily fit into a diaper bag, lunch bag, or even the back of a cycling jersey.
-Great alternative snack for cyclists. I can easily store this snack in my biking jersey.
-Original and Coconut flavors only contain non-genetically modified organic fruit/drupe and nothing else. No added sugar or preservatives that we may commonly find in other fruit snacks.
-Good source of potassium and fiber, though I would be careful feeding too many of these chewy bites to little kids as it can definitely increase their bowel movements. Not ideal when you plan to be out for an extended period of time.
-Not sure whether this is a pro or con, but the coconut bites are dangerously addictive
-Color isn't the most appealing, as people usually associate browning or blackening with rotten bananas. But rest assure, it is normal for them to be that color as Barnana uses a natural process of dehydrating the bananas without adding other ingredients or using preservatives in their original or coconut flavor. I can't speak for the other flavor variations as I haven't tried them nor have I looked up their ingredients.
-Original flavor variation has a much harder texture than the coconut square bites, it almost feels like banana jerky at times.
-The original flavor bites come in weird shapes. Not the biggest issue in the world, but when you get used to the coconut square bites the random shapes from the original flavor aren't as appealing.
-Not exactly the cheapest dehydrated fruit snack out there
-People have reported having their Barnana products arrive molted, sticky, goo'ed, etc. I have ordered a few shipments directly from Amazon.com and never have faced any of those issues. I recommend that you are very careful from which seller you order the snack from, as you don't know what kind of condition the seller stores the product in. The safest bet is probably ordering directly from Amazon, or at the very least fulfilled by Amazon.
I highly recommend the coconut flavor, as it is both chewy and tastes great. However, I am not sure I can recommend the original flavor. I would probably give the original flavor a 3/5 stars, as the consistency nor flavor is anywhere as good as the coconut variation. It seems my nephew still somewhat enjoys the original flavor, though clearly not as much as the coconut ones as he has yet to finish a bag of the original flavor. My biggest recommendation is to simply stick to the coconut flavor, and be sure to pay close attention to the seller. I hope you guys enjoy the snack as much as I do!