Powerbar has added dried fruits and nuts to some of its offerings. (Photo: Courtesy of Powerbar)
Powerbar has added dried fruits and nuts to some of its offerings.

The first portable energy bar. In 1983, Canadian distance runner Brian Maxwell was leading a marathon when he developed stomach problems and lost the race. So he and his wife-to-be, nutrition student Jennifer Biddulph, began cooking up energy foods in their Berkeley, California, kitchen, looking for a mix of carbs and protein without a lot of hard-to-digest fat. In 1986, they settled on a concoction that included oat bran, milk proteins, and fructose syrup, and released two flavors, Chocolate and Malt-Nut.

Rubbery and full of multisyllabic ingredients, PowerBars tasted a bit like cardboard but undeniably started a revolution. By the time Nestlé acquired PowerBar in 2000, grocery shelves were stacked with alternatives like Clif Bar and Balance Bar. Spurred by competition, PowerBar, since bought by Post Holdings, has added dried fruits and nuts to some of its bars, consigning its original taffy-like creation to the dustbin of history.

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.
Contribute to Outside
From Outside Magazine, August 2015
Filed To: Food and Drink
Lead Photo: Courtesy of Powerbar
More Culture