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Grenade review: The best high-protein snack, bar none?

Protein bars were once a fringe product only eaten by bodybuilders who didn’t care about taste so long as they grew bigger muscles. But in no small part thanks to trail-blazing sports nutrition brand Grenade and its Carb Killa bars, high-protein products are now everywhere, even your local high-end health food store. So what’s the real story behind Grenade’s remarkable rise? And are Carb Killas really the best protein bar money can buy?

Protein bars used to be a niche product, used only be dedicated bodybuilders and endurance athletes who needed such quick access to muscle-repairing protein they were just about prepared to prioritise convenience over tasty.

Nowadays protein bars are everywhere and eaten by everyone, and most actually taste pretty good.

The craze for high-protein snacks, shakes and meal replacement products has been in large part driven by Grenade, a Birmingham-based company that started life selling fat-burning pills but morphed into not only the world’s most popular protein bar brands, but one of the most popular snack manufacturers full stop.

And you know something has well and truly crossed over into the mainstream when you can buy it in your local Marks and Spencer’s.

Where Grenade leads, it blazes a trail for other brands to follow in its wake and many have capitalised on the new markets its help create, including sports supplement manufacturers Bulk Powders, Nocco and Applied Nutrition, meal replacement product firms yfood and Huel, and greens powder maker and ubiquitous podcast sponsor AG1.

What is Grenade?

Grenade is a UK-based sports nutrition company brand best known for its Carb Killa high-protein bars, but it also makes energy drinks, protein powders, pre-workouts and other supplements designed to enhance athletic performance and support weight management.

Established in 2010 by husband and wife team Alan and Julia Barrett, Grenade rose to prominence with its high-energy ethos and attention-grabbing marketing campaigns, including driving military tanks carrying topless bodybuilders along motorways to trade shows and fitness exhibitions across the UK and Europe.

Grenade was acquired by American snack giant Mondelez, owner of Cadbury’s, in 2021 in a £200-million deal but it continues to be distinguished by its bold, military-themed branding and commitment to tasty, convenient and effective products designed to support busy and active lifestyles.

Grenade’s Carb Killa bars are popular for being a tasty and convenient way to increase daily protein intake and come in many flavours, including the brightly-coloured Birthday Cake (above)

What’s the Grenade Carb Killa bar?

The flagship product, the Carb Killa protein bar, was launched in 2015 and since then has consistently ranked amongst the tastiest product in its categories and won fans for its low sugar content and high protein level.

The Carb Killa bar comes in many flavours, including Birthday Cake, Caramel Chaos, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Chocolate Chip Salted Caramel, Cookies & Cream, Dark Chocolate Mint, Dark Chocolate Raspberry, Jaffa Quake, Lemon Cheesecake Peanut Nutter, While Chocolate Cookie and White Chocolate Salted Peanut (the best).

The two most recent flavours are Oreo and Oreo White, because Oreo is now a sister brand to Grenade under the Mondelez group umbrella, with other brand crossovers expected. High-protein Dairy Milk, anyone?

What other products do Grenade make?

As well as Carb Killa bars, Grenade’s product line also includes high-protein shakes, both in ready-to-drink and whey protein powder form, the .50 Calibre pre-workout supplement, which aims to boost energy and endurance during workouts, cans of energy drink and weight management pills.

Of these other products, its fat-burning formula Thermo Detonator, which is designed to support fat loss, was Grenade’s first product launch and still comes in a striking and unmistakable grenade-shaped container.

What’s in Grenade products?

Grenade products typically feature a blend of ingredients to enhance performance and recovery. For instance, the Carb Killa bars are made from a mix of protein blends (milk protein, whey protein isolate), dietary fibres and sweeteners to provide a balanced macro profile suitable for high-protein, low-carb diets. Other products, such as the Thermo Detonator capsules, contain a combination of natural stimulants like green tea extract, caffeine, and cayenne pepper to support metabolism, focus and energy levels.

Grenade’s Carb Killa high-protein bars are made with a mix of milk and whey isolate protein blends and come in a variety of flavours all designed to mimic traditional chocolate bars in

Are Grenade’s products tasty?

Taste has always been the key driver behind Grenade’s products and innovation, especially for its Carb Killa range of protein bars and ready-to-drink protein shakes. As with all foods personal preference is everything, but Grenade does far better than almost any other brand in its space of giving protein bars a similar taste, texture and appearance to traditional chocolate bars and sweet snack products.

Are Grenade products healthy?

All of Grenade’s products are designed with health and fitness in mind, and created to provide the nutrients needed to support active lifestyles. The Carb Killa bars, for example, are high in protein and fiber while being low in sugar, making them a healthier alternative to traditional sweets, confectionery and other sugar-packed snacks. However, as with all dietary or sports nutrition supplements, the clue is in the name because they are designed to supplement a natural, balanced and varied diet and not be a sole source of nutrition.

Who are Grenade products made for?

All high-protein bars and meal-replacement snacks are primarily designed for active individuals who seek convenient, effective nutritional solutions to complement their fitness and dietary goals. The brand targets a wide audience that ranges from professional athletes and bodybuilders to casual gym-goers and health-conscious individuals who may not even go to the gym, but want a healthier way to satisfy their sweet tooth. Grenade’s unrivalled success lies in its ability to cater to those who need quick, portable sources of energy and protein that do not compromise on taste or quality.

How much do Grenade products cost?

The cost of Grenade products varies, with protein bars typically priced around £2.49 each and supplements like the Thermo Detonator ranging from £25 to £45 per container, depending on the size and specific product type. As with many sports nutrition products it can be cheaper to buy in bulk and it’s worthing shopping around to find the best price.

Grenade was launched in 2010 by husband and wife team Alan and Juliet Barratt, with Thermo Detonator fat-burning pills the first product released. Carb Killa bars were launched five years later

Who invented Grenade?

Grenade was founded by Alan and Juliet Barratt in 2010. The couple set out to create a brand that would stand out in the sports nutrition market, not only through distinctive branding and high-quality products but also by providing options that did not compromise on taste or effectiveness. Their innovative approach has successfully captured the interest of a broad audience, ranging from elite athletes to everyday fitness enthusiasts.

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