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OGT Bars: Is the World’s First Wrapper-Free Protein Bar Really Worth the Hype? 

In the past few months, whether it be just local to my London Instagram algorithm, my social media has been flooded with advertising for a brand called OGT bars. 

These bars claim to be the world's first-ever “wrapper-free”. If you are thinking, ‘How on earth is that possible’ then you will be asking yourself exactly what I did the first time I saw their videos. However, at first glance, the bars looked like an incredible, sustainable option to satisfy my protein bar needs, without feeling bad about the environmental impact. In a world of single-use plastics, this seemed like a one-off revolution. Therefore, I wanted to do some more research into how the bars work, and if they are worth investing in as someone who wants to live a zero-waste lifestyle. 

OGT states that 

“[their] bars are covered in a natural coating that works exactly how a traditional plastic wrapper would. The coating protects all of the ingredients inside, keeping your bar fresh and tasty, but is completely edible”. 

OGT purports itself to have an ‘obsessive globally thinking’ mindset, which I enjoy. Their outer packaging (not the bar wrapping itself) is made of rice paper and cardboard which is entirely sustainable and is undeniably preferable to the 24 million pounds of wrappers and single-use plastics that end up in oceans and landfills each year. OGT is trying to provide a sustainable solution to nourishing those who need that extra hit of protein. 

On their website, it states that the wrapper is made from a totally ‘natural’ coating. I found this to be rather vague, and so after some more research, learnt that the ‘natural coating’ consists mainly of beeswax and Arabic gum. 

This is where I believe OGT runs into a little bit of trouble concerning remaining an entirely climate-conscious business. The idea (and much of the execution) is brilliant and is truly climate-minded. The bars aren’t extortionate either, which is an issue many people run into when trying to make climate-conscious decisions, often put off by the hiked-up retail value of organic food. 

Over the past few years, Arabic gum has caused controversy in the world of sustainable choices. Traffic, a website that highlights the climate impact of certain ingredients has said

‘Senegalia faces multiple threats, including habitat decline due to climate change, livestock grazing, droughts, fires, and overharvesting’ of Arabic gum. 

And it's not just the sustainable impact - Traffic also says 

‘it’s not just the trees that face difficulties. To harvest the sap by hand in the height of the sweltering dry season is strenuous work, often carried out by local families (including children) and seasonal and nomadic workers. Despite the low pay and difficult working conditions, the harvest provides much-needed income to put food on the table during the off-season of other agricultural activities”

The beeswax component is a little trickier to evaluate however; it is not vegan, which many people consider to be a stable of sustainability, yet some beeswax can be harvested ethically and sustainably. It is ultimately a sustainable resource which is climate-positive. I have reached out to OGT to ask for clarification on this matter, but I am still waiting for a comment. 

Another question that arises when considering whether or not to invest in these bars is whether or not they are sanitary. As they are food items, it is natural to be suspicious of their lack of conventional packaging. Their website reassures buyers that

“Don’t worry, no strange hands have been anywhere near your bars! We’re currently a direct-to-your-door service and are not available in retail yet. Your bars are sent directly to your door in one 100% recyclable box (that’s made out of 70% recycled materials). Our special coating means you can just give the bars a rinse like you would with an apple or a pear, and eat away.” 

I think it is a sacrifice that people could make for the saving of single-use plastics, but I do not blame less climate-conscious people for turning their noses up at the potentially unsanitary nature of rinsing your protein bar before you eat it. 

The last point that I will rate these bars on is taste. Now, taste is subjective and we all have individual palates of varying likes and dislikes. However, as protein bars go, these taste great. I was very pleasantly surprised at the apple and blackcurrant flavour, and although the lemon drizzle let me down as a lemon lover, I enjoyed most of the flavours that you can order. 

They come directly to your house as well, which I am hoping in the future will expand outwards, hopefully towards placement into supermarkets and more. I found this to be very convenient, and, as the bars have a shelf life of 3 months, I didn’t feel the need to rush eating them like I have in the past with alternatives such as homemade, perishable protein bars.  

Overall, 10/10 idea with 8/10 execution. They are a relatively new company, so likely have kinks they are still working out. As someone who is aiming for a more zero-waste, sustainable lifestyle, they are a great alternative to other market options and I am excited to see what progress they make in the coming years. 


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