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Verdict: 
Great tasting chews with excellent fuelling power, but the packaging is a letdown
Weight: 
51g

Skratch's Energy Chews offer a nice mid-point between a bar and a gel, and are an effective fuelling solution in some great flavours. The packaging is a big letdown, though.

  • Pros: Tasty, subtle flavours, good fuelling source
  • Cons: Packaging makes them very hard to access on the move

I'm a big fan of 'sweets' on a ride. When you don't want something heavy like a bar, but don't feel you need to wave the 'emergency flag' of a downing a gel, energy chews offer a great mid-way point. And Skratch's Energy Chews are a great example of this.

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With a nice chewy texture akin to a very soft Haribo, they're easy to get down, and sit lightly in the stomach. Each sweet is pretty small (5g), and I found it a bit more satisfying to have a couple at a go. Double-dosing like this didn't make them hard to chew, swallow or digest when working hard and breathing hard.

The sweets act in a similar way to a gel, releasing energy into your system nice and quickly, and so are good in desperate moments on a hard ride if you're not such a fan of gels. Skratch has deliberately used two fuel sources – tapioca and cane sugar – for fast carbohydrate absorption. They do feel a bit more solid than a gel; not quite the same 'brick in the stomach' slow energy release of a bar, but much more lasting than a gel or energy drink. Skratch claims that this is the result of the solid fruit drop shape "allowing for sustained, 'slow drip' energy as your body processes the food".

Each pouch contains 10 sweets to chew away at steadily, with a full pouch containing 160 calories and 40g of carbohydrate – which makes the fuel content closer to a bar than a gel. A bar typically contains around 30-40g carbohydrate, a gel typically around 20g carbohydrate.

The chews are available in three flavours; Orange, Raspberry, and Matcha Green Tea & Lemon (which also contains a small dose of caffeine). The latter will most likely stand out to you, and is an acquired taste. I'm not much of a fan of green tea, but I found these quite good; the lemon tempers the herbal tone, leaving just a light floral flavour. The Orange and Raspberry flavours are both subtle but really refreshing and fruity, with raspberry being a particular favourite.

There is one fundamental flaw to the chews, though – the packaging. Much like Honey Stinger's chews, the sweets are in a bag/pouch, and are hard to get at on the move as you've got to carefully reach into the opening and pick one out, while trying to avoid accidentally ripping the bag. As to why Skratch (and Honey Stinger) don't just put the chews into an easy-access tube, like Clif with its Bloks, is a mystery to me. I found that I had to actually stop once or twice to safely pluck a sweet from the bag when I was struggling to get hold of them.

The chews work out at £2.20 per pouch, which is slightly cheaper than the above mentioned Clif Bloks (£2.99) and Honey Stinger Chews (£2.65). Although Skratch's chews are tasty and work well, I'd be tempted to spend more for Clif's option for the ease of access.

Verdict

Great tasting chews with excellent fuelling power, but the packaging is a letdown

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Skratch Labs Sport Energy Chews x 10

Size tested: 10 x 50g

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Skratch Labs says, "Sport Energy Chews are made with simple ingredients and flavored only with real fruit creating an energy chew with a clean bite that isn't coated in wax. They're made with two fuel sources (tapioca and cane sugar) for faster absorption and quicker energy than just using one source alone. The solid fruit drop shape allows for sustained, 'slow drip' energy as your body processes the food.

"Use our Sport Energy Chews as an easy and convenient source of carbohydrate to help maintain blood sugar and performance during prolonged exercise. A single pouch contains ten 'drops' comprising two 80 calorie servings."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Skratch lists these ingredients:

Orange: cane sugar, tapioca syrup, grape juice concentrate, pectin, citric acid, fumaric acid, orange juice powder, sea salt, sodium citrate.

Pouch Size: 50g- contains 2, 25g servings

Amount Per Serving: Calories 80, Calories from Fat 0, Total Fat 0g (0% DV), Saturated Fat 0g (0% DV), Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg (0% DV), Sodium 80mg (3% DV), Total Carbohydrate 20g (7% DV), Fiber 0g (0% DV), Sugars 14g, Protein 0g. Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Raspberry: cane sugar, tapioca syrup, grape juice concentrate, pectin, citric acid, fumaric acid, freeze dried raspberry powder, sea salt, sodium citrate.

Pouch Size: 50g- contains 2, 25g servings

Amount Per Serving: Calories 80, Calories from Fat 0, Total Fat 0g (0% DV), Saturated Fat 0g (0% DV), Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg (0% DV), Sodium 80mg (3% DV), Total Carbohydrate 20g (7% DV), Fiber 0g (0% DV), Sugars 14g, Protein 0g. Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Matcha Green Tea & Lemon: cane sugar, tapioca syrup, grape juice concentrate, pectin, citric acid, fumaric acid, organic matcha tea powder, sea salt, lemon oil, sodium citrate, lemon juice.

Pouch Size: 50g- contains 2, 25g servings Amount Per Serving: Calories 80, Calories from Fat 0, Total Fat 0g (0% DV), Saturated Fat 0g (0% DV), Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg (0% DV), Sodium 80mg (3% DV), Total Carbohydrate 20g (7% DV), Fiber 0g (0% DV), Sugars 14g, Protein 0g. Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
5/10

The packaging isn't great for getting into on the move.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

The drops are a great way of keeping energy levels topped up, offering a nice blend of fast release sugar akin to a gel, and slow burn fuel like solid food.

Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

The energy chews are a similar price point to other energy sweets on the market, slightly cheaper than Honey Stingers and Clif Shot Bloks.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

The chews are a great way of providing sustained energy. I tried them along with energy drink on various rides of different length and felt well fuelled throughout.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The texture is satisfying to bite and chew, and easy to stomach. The orange and raspberry flavours are subtle and refreshing, though the green tea and lemon is more of an acquired taste.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The packaging is pretty poor for accessing the sweets on the move. A tube shape like Clif's Shot Bloks is far better.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

£31.80 for 12 x 50g packs of Honey Stinger Chews (£2.65 each); Clif Bloks are around £2.99 a 'tube'.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? No – purely because of the packaging.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe – though I'd warn them about the packaging.

Use this box to explain your overall score

The sweets are tasty, and provide a great fuelling solution midway between a bar and a gel. They are light and refreshing to eat, and easy on the stomach. If only they were so easy to get to on the move...

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 6ft 1in  Weight: 61kg

I usually ride: Giant TCR / Cannondale Supersix  My best bike is: Giant TCR

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding

4 comments

Avatar
ktache [1018 posts] 2 months ago
1 like

Are they better than Jelly Babies?

Avatar
StraelGuy [1602 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
ktache wrote:

Are they better than Jelly Babies?

 

I seriously doubt it. The hipster is strong with this product.

Avatar
Chris Hayes [341 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

You could get 5kg of jelly babies for GBP 19.95 :-)...Not that I'm advocating gluttony. 

Avatar
HawkinsPeter [2774 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes
Chris Hayes wrote:

You could get 5kg of jelly babies for GBP 19.95 :-)...Not that I'm advocating gluttony. 

Go big or go home!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Giant-Mixed-Fruit-Jelly-grams/dp/B0165B7KLE