Pro cyclists and energy bars - like chips and salsa - and the image of success must work because there we are at bike shop and grocery store buying those little packets of anti-bonk like alien abducted zombies. But do they (the Pros) really like em? One of my favorite quotes from George Hincapie back in the Discovery days was referencing the food in the musette bag - "oh, I love it when there's a snickers in there" - wait! Snickers? Not Cliff or Hammer or Powerbar? Yip, you got it, just the plain ol' five-n-dime candy. Because it taste like FOOD!!
So this is mostly for the newbies who might stress about this on your first big club ride or long awaited inaugural century - get the one you can stomach and puts a smile on your face :"). Think about it - if you eat it and you like it, it will probably stay down - verses the one that turns your stomach a mile after the feed station you so generously paid for.
PS - I bounce every few months to a different bar - mostly taste and swallowability. My two current favorites are pictured above - Hammer (almond raisin @ 220cals w/10g protein) and Balance (carmel nut blast @ 210cals w/a whopping 15g protein). The Hammer is definitely one of easiest bars going down, and taste is okay. Balance nut blast is mostly a "chocolate & carmel" blast - like eating that Hincapie snicker.