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[Report] Makers Of Quest Bars Sued Over Mislabeling; Allegedly Overstated Fiber By More Than 750%

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Every fitness junkie LOVES Quest Bars. They’re this generation’s PowerBar. With a stacked lineup of vibrant flavors, solid taste, and a nutrition profile that’s beyond impressive — one that’s pumped with 20g of protein, 16-19g of fiber, only 180 calories, and zero added sugar — they’re an all-around powerhouse.1

Quest Bars even ranked all the way the way up at #1 in our Protein Bar Power Rankings; representing a clean little oasis within a landscape that’s notoriously dirty. They look stellar on paper (or, on the label).

What you probably don’t know is that Quest Nutrition and GNC are currently being sued over mislabeling issues with Quest Bars. Specifically, it’s alleged that their fiber content is overstated by anywhere from 50% to 10x the actual amount; and that calories are understated by at least 20%. The full transcript of the lawsuit is available here, but here’s the snippet that’s relevant:

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So you’ve been gobbling down Quest Bars in good conscience and currently have 16 cases stacked high in your closet. It has ALL of the makings of a Seinfeld Non-Fat Frozen Yogurt situation. What’s your play?

Breathe. Don’t jump on a treadmill for 3 hours or throw your Quest Bars into a dumpster fire. This changes nothing.


 

Our Take on the Quest Bar Lawsuit


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Nobody knows anything definitively. And I won’t pretend like we do. The President of Quest Nutrition also disputed the lawsuit head on, here. But again, that’s his word against the plaintiff’s.

What we do know is that ConsumerLab, an independent testing agency, tested the nutritional content in Quest’s Banana Nut Muffin unprompted. The results? Everything including calorie and fiber content — was identical to Quest Bar labels. 2

That’s a HUGE plus, which leads to a likely explanation. Quest Bars use a number of innovative ingredients to magically balance robust flavor with stellar nutritional content. Sometimes the use of cutting-edge ingredients can outpace testing methods. It’s highly possible that testing procedures used in many labs can’t accurately detect and measure newer fiber variants, specifically isomalto-oligosaccharides (IMOs), that make up a huge chunk of Quest Bars. Some labs don’t even know how to test for IMOs, yet. That would explain the discrepancy between the plaintiff’s test results and those provided by Quest + ConsumerLab.34

But let’s pretend for second, hypothetically, that the claims ARE true. Even then, it doesn’t change my opinion of Quest Bars AT ALL from a nutritional PoV (ethics aside).

The primary claim is a drastic overstatement of fiber content. Personally, I eat Quest bars — and I believe most others do, too — because they’re a clean, HQ protein delivery mechanism. The fiber is a nice little added bonus; like the sprinkles on top of a decadent red velvet cupcake. But they have so many other strong pluses — low sugar, HQ protein content, extremely clean ingredients, and a stevia sweetened line — that even if you cut the fiber down from 17g to 5g, they’d still be marginally better than almost every other protein bar anyway.

And if you’re worried about a potentially *unthinkable* 20% jump in calories, it’s a net increase from 170 to 204 per bar. 34 calories. Gasp.

The Bottom Line: Keep your Quest Bars and continue eating them without thinking twice about it.

*Disclaimer: Lean It Up has no direct financial relationship with Quest Nutrition.

Bryan DiSanto

Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Instagram (@BRYDISANTO) & Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto
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References, Notes, Links

  1. Quest Bar Nutrition Facts []
  2. ConsumerLab — Nutrition Bar, incl. Quest Bars, test results []
  3. Dietary Fiber Testing Methods — Current Status and Ongoing Discussion []
  4. Medallion Labs — Dietary Fiber []