LABNOSH: THE FUTURE OF MEAL REPLACEMENTS?

on

Okay hold the eye-roll. I’m not drinking these to lose weight.

Sometimes with my schedule (and also because I’m too lazy to eat out), I have thought about having a meal replacement bar or beverage to pacify the stomach.

When I came across LabNosh on Qoo10, it seemed attractive to me because of the flavour profiles that was marketed. From fruits like Korean apples to Israeli bananas, to Sri Lankan tea and German chocolate, the extensive range piqued my interest. The designer bottles also looked attractive.

So a few clicks and a week later, they arrived in the mail.

save-new(6)

LabNosh is a South Korean company, and they claim that their line provides “the most progressive form of alternative meals in a bottle.”

Each bottle is said to mirror a well-balanced adult meal, with 3 major nutrients and 20 different vitamins in each bottle. Given that sometimes all I have for lunch is 3 pieces of prata, this seemed a healthier choice?

Plus it seemed really straightforward. You just fill it up with cold or room temperature water to the line at the side of the bottle, then shake for a few minutes to get the powder mixed in. And at less than $4 a pop, it’s pretty affordable.

So after a few days and more than a few shakes, here are my findings:

GRANOLA YOGURT

Description: Perfect harmony of sweet and sour premium plain yogurt with granola and dried cranberries.

save-new(4)

Does it taste anything like the label? Yes.
Likeness: 3.5/5
Sniff test: Fruity and probiotic drink-like.
After shaking: Still fruity but also more sour. Not very easy to dissolve and clumps are common. Cranberries also get stuck.
Thickness: 3.5/5
Sweetness: 3.5/5

Final verdict:
The first taste hits hard, and the sour notes of the yogurt can easily go into the unpleasantly-tart zone. The bits of cranberries give a nice chew and piquant bite, but you can only have them at the end of the drink, as they stubbornly stay at the bottom. The granola is almost non-existent.

GREEN CEREAL

Description: The simple and subtle flavour made up of Haenam (S. Korea) green tea, subtle taste pf premium five grains and crispy flake of brown rice.

save-new(2)

Does it taste anything like the label? Yes.
Likeness: 4.5/5
Sniff test: Wheaty and matcha.
After shaking: A bit more bitter with rice pop aroma. Easy to dissolve.
Thickness: 4/5
Sweetness: 4/5

Final verdict:
This straight-up tastes like a thinner version of a matcha latte. If you add ice and poured it in a nice cup, it might look half decent. It is too sweet for me, but the rice pops helps a little because they were oddly quite bitter. It lingers as an aftertaste but is not as unpleasant as some others.

BLUEBERRY YOGURT

Description: Sweet and sour taste of mix of superfood blueberry and sour plain yogurt.

save-new(3)

Does it taste anything like the label? Yes
Likeness: 4.5/5
Sniff test: Probiotic drink and grape notes.
After shaking: More pronounced but similar scent. Dissolves after some time. No bits.
Thickness: 2.5/5
Sweetness: 3/5

Final verdict:
This is really easy to drink. The taste feels like your standard berry-flavoured yoghurt or probiotic drink. Almost like a fruit candy at times. It tastes more refreshing than the others and will be a good lunch option. It’s also surprisingly not as sweet as the rest, and so finishes off without much stickiness or cloying aftertaste.

SWEET POTATO

Description: Sweet and deep flavour with harmony of Korean purple sweet potato and sweet pumpkin.

save-new(1)

Does it taste anything like the label? Not really.
Likeness: 3/5
Sniff test: Milky and nutty.
After shaking: A bit of sweet potato comes out. Very hard to dissolve completely. A lot of clumping.
Thickness: 3/5
Sweetness: 3/5

Final verdict:
Unassuming flavour. The tuber notes really comes out at the end, after a more milky and smoothie-like start. The sweetness feels different to the rest – more palatable. Imagine a smoothie with a small piece of sweet potato blended in. Enjoyed the no-bits given the heavy flavour profile.

UVA MILK TEA

Description: Rich and sweet flavour of uva black tea which is cultivated in the high reaches of Sri Lanka, and also depicted as the top three black tea.

save-new

Does it taste anything like the label? Yes.
Likeness: 4/5
Sniff test: Mildly nutty, wheaty and salty.
After shaking: Creamier and more intense nose, to the point of mildly offputting. Easiest to dissolve and contains no bits.
Thickness: 3.5/5
Sweetness: 4/5

Final verdict:
Although this tastes the most similar to the labelled flavour, it is not exactly the nicest. It’s like the Stepford Wives of the bunch: it looks and tastes like milk tea, but something’s a little off. It reminds me of a poor man’s Thai milk tea with an odd overtone of vegetable aromas. The sweetness also has a cloying aftertaste.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Although I have not taken any other meal replacements before, LabNosh doesn’t exactly convince me to investigate further. From taste to purpose, it comes across unsatisfactory.

In terms of staving hunger, it does keep it at bay, but only for a good 3 hours. Anything above, it really depends on your usual food intake. The accompanying bloat isn’t exactly on my list of things to like as well.

LabNosh may suit certain office workers with light appetite and not-fussy tastebuds, but the rest – well, let’s just say the Bak Chor Mee need not worry anytime soon.

If I had to pick my favourite from the 5 flavours, it’s either the Sweet Potato or Blueberry Yoghurt. I didn’t try the Chocolate flavour given it was pretty straightforward, but would think that another option if I ever had to.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Monch Weller says:

    This reminds me a lot of the Soylent meal replacement drinks from a few years ago, albeit more affordable?

    Like

    1. morgaga says:

      I haven’t had experience with those, so I can’t compare and compare, but yes this is indeed very affordable! It may work for some as a granola bar replacement maybe?

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s