Hornby Organic Bars

Hornby? The best bars you’ve never heard of!

Hornby Organic Bars
Our box of assorted bars for testing and a signature Counterpart beverage.

I’m branching out a little from my typical type of review as I wanted to highlight Hornby Organic’s energy bars. Not because they pay me or anything like that (I’m not compensated in any way for the website except if someone wants a guide). I just think they make fantastic bars and it seems that very few climbers and skiers have heard of them. Quite surprising really, they’ve been my go-to bar for a number of years now. Well, time to roll up the sleeves and educate the masses!

Hornby Organic BarsOne more thing. I have to warn you that I’m not a nutritionist. I actually pay fairly little attention to nutrition preferring instead to select foods that are high in calories and taste good when I’m out climbing or skiing. What’s the point of packing around a bunch of high quality food if I won’t eat it? However, that’s not to say the good tasting and nutritious can’t be found in the same package! I just wanted to make it clear that I’m a layman when it comes to nutrition.

The Team:

When I came up with the idea for this article I knew that I had to put together a crack team of independent professionals to help with the analysis and tasting. So I went to my favorite coffee shop / coffee roaster, Counterpart Coffee, and solicited the keen tongue of Tim, the owner. Of course this meant that good coffee was close at hand to keep me focused during the review as a side benefit. I also brought along Nic, my fellow author here at Black Sheep Adventure Sports. Tim’s wife and business partner Emily joined us of course and then to round out the team Crosby, a local guide, just happened by and was hungry. Perfect!

Hornby Organic Bars
Monte and Crosby talking energy bars while Tim and Emily make some coffee.

The Bars:

Now that the stage is set, let’s talk Hornby Organic energy bars. I brought a selection of 7 different bars to Counterpart Coffee for tasting, testing and discussion. In no particular order here’s what we had:

Hornby Organic Bars
Ready for testing
  • Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter
  • Carob Peanut Butter
  • Oatmeal Raisin
  • Chocolate Espresso
  • Chocolate Chip Tahini
  • Sunflower Cranberry
  • Pumpkin Fudge

All of these Hornby bars are organic and certified gluten free. They’re also dairy free and soy free and all the ingredients are recognizable, no funky preservatives or additives. Don’t worry, they still taste good! The bars come in 80g servings and have between 340 and 370 calories per bar depending on the flavor.


Hornby Organic BarsTo assess the various bars we first sampled them, reviewed the ingredients and then after some discussion rated them according to taste, texture and overall impression. I briefly thought about introducing a Cliff Bar into the mix but it seemed a little contrived. I think the Hornby Bars are a step above anyway.


Hornby Organic BarsChocolate Chip Peanut Butter: The overwhelming favorite! It has a nice peanut butter flavor, a smattering of chocolate chips for a little extra sweetness but still much less sugar than a Laura or Cliff bar. Everyone absolutely loved this bar, it’s definitely worth checking out.

Hornby Organic BarsCarob Peanut Butter: The Carob bar got a luke-warm reception. Partly because the previous bar was exceptionally good but also because of the subdued peanut butter flavor. It doesn’t have any chocolate chips but it does have some peanuts and coconut. A decent bar but not amazing.

Hornby Organic BarsOatmeal Raisin: This sweet and moist option is fairly reminiscent of an oatmeal raisin cookie. The reviewers were a little split on it with some thinking it was a bit too sweet though it has the same amount of sugar as most of the other bars, 16g. For ranking, it fell into the middle of the pack.

Hornby Organic BarsChocolate Expresso: New to the line-up this was one of the overall favorites among our testers. However, we did find that the subtle expresso flavor got overwhelmed by the taste of chocolate and nuts. It does taste great mind you, just be warned that the coffee flavor’s a bit understated.

Hornby Organic BarsChocolate Chip Tahini: This has been one of my long-time favorite bars though I preferred the original recipe over the current for both flavor and texture. It scored fairly well with the testers coming in third overall and is worth checking out if you see it in a store.

Sunflower Cranberry: This sticky and sweet bar reminded some of the testers of an old Power Bar. It would have scored a little higher with the reviewers but one of the ingredients is sunflower seed butter which has sunflower seed oil in it. It’s not a huge amount but still a negative overall.

Hornby Organic BarsPumpkin Fudge: This bar was a bit of a disappointment. It’s not unpleasant mind you, rather it lacks a defining flavor. This makes it quite bland. I feel like it needs a little nutmeg, cinnamon, etc. to spice it up and give it a pumpkin pie type flavor. Anyway, this bar scored the lowest so if you’re grabbing a bar to sample Hornby give this one a pass.


Hornby Organic Bars
Sample Box of Hornby Organic Bars

These rolled oat based bars are a solid option. Not chalky like a Power Bar, the texture is better than Cliff Bar and they’re made from quality ingredients by a small family-owned company. Oh, and they taste really good. Well most of the options anyway. Not as good as a Snickers but hey, it’s not a chocolate bar it’s an energy bar.

From the taste testing our favorites are:

  1. Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter
  2. Chocolate Espresso
  3. Chocolate Chip Tahini

These fantastic bars are definitely worth trying and can be found in stores all over Canada. They’re also available online directly from Hornby via their website. Sorry my US friends, they’re not yet available in-store down south.

As mentioned in the intro, I don’t get paid or remunerated in any way for these reviews. I just like the bars and wanted to spread the word. That being said, Hornby did send me the sample box for testing.