When you’re shopping for healthy snacking options for refueling at the office, after school, or on-the-go, you have a few things to consider. Usually, your goal is an easily portable single-serving snack that fills you up and tastes great.
But then there’s the question of refrigeration.
Should you prioritize buying products from around the fresh perimeter or shelf-stable snacks? Is there a nutritional difference between snacks stored in the fridge and those that are always kept at room temperature? Are there some snacks that can be good in or out of the fridge? And how is that even possible?
We’re here to demystify the whole situation. Here, you’ll find out which snacks require refrigeration and why, and how some snacks stay okay at room temperature. And, we’ll let you know how you can keep Perfect Snacks fresh in or out of the fridge.
Why You’ll Find Better-For-You Snacks Around the Fresh Perimeter
Grab a basket and let’s start our little journey at the fresh perimeter. In a traditional grocery store layout, the fresh perimeter is the outer ring of shelves and refrigerators where fresh, better-for-you foods are typically located. These include:
- Fruits, vegetables, and other produce
- Freshly baked goods
- Self-serve nuts and grains
- Meat, poultry, and seafood
- Milk, cheese, and other dairy products
- Refrigerated snacks
All of these foods have a few qualities in common — attributes that set them apart from foods typically found in the center aisles. Foods located along the fresh perimeter contain fewer preservatives, fewer less-healthy fats, less sodium, and less added sugar. In general, they contain more whole-food nutrition and go through little to no chemical processing. If they are processed, it’s usually through old-school, mechanical methods.
For instance, a freshly baked loaf of bread made from scratch on-site at your local grocery store is probably made with methods you might use at home: by mixing together a few basic ingredients that you can actually name, and baking the dough until it reaches golden-brown perfection. But it won’t last very long at room temperature, so you should enjoy it within a few days.
A packaged loaf of sliced bread in Aisle 7, on the other hand, is built to last. The ingredients go through a significant amount of chemical processing and contain artificial preservatives that keep the final product from going bad while it’s in transit to your local grocery store.
Similarly, a fresh piece of fruit plucked off the vine and displayed in the produce department can usually be stored in the fridge or at room temperature for a short period of time. Its diced fruit cup equivalent can last significantly longer if it’s swimming in heavy, sugary syrup infused with preservatives.
We all know what a peach looks like when it gets overripe and goes bad, but you’ve probably never seen a diced peach cup go bad. That invincibility might raise a red flag for someone looking to fill their plate with the most natural, healthful foods with the most nutritious ingredients.
Why Consumers Prefer Fresher Snacks
Consumers and parents have told us that the top characteristics they associate with the phrase “healthy food” are minimally processed, organic, and natural. Shelf-stable snacks found on those long shelves in the center of the grocery store don’t always meet these criteria.
According to a Mayo Clinic article, “Fresh foods are generally healthier than the processed foods you’ll find in the center aisles. […] Preservatives are chemicals or additives in food that keep them shelf-stable and make them last longer. If foods don’t have any added preservatives, then they need to be refrigerated to keep fresh.”
It really is as simple as that. When foods are fresher and closer to their original, whole-food-ingredient state, they often need refrigeration to stay fresher for longer. Foods that can stay shelf-stable for months on end generally contain more of the artificial additives that nutrition experts recommend keeping at arm’s length. So, refrigerated snacks are often your best bet.
How Perfect Snacks Stay Fresh in and out of the Fridge
Perfect Snacks offer the best of both worlds. They’re refrigerated snacks that can be safely and conveniently stored in and out of the fridge. So, whether you’re looking for an easy, on-the-go snack or something to stash in the fridge while working from home, we’ve got you covered. (They really are perfect!) But how is this possible? Well, it all boils down to how they’re made and what they’re made with.
Rather than mysterious chemical preservatives, we drop a drizzle of organic honey into our recipe. Honey is not only a better-for-you source of sweetness, but it’s also an incredible natural preservative that’s been keeping food fresh for centuries. We also recommend refrigeration because it gives honey an extra boost of preservative power and helps maintain that iconic cookie-dough texture.
But the nice thing is, Perfect Bars are still totally safe and delicious when stored at room temperature — and you’re good to store them that way for up to seven days straight. So, whatever plans you have for the week, your favorite protein bar will be happy to tag along.
Even if you accidentally leave one out for a little longer, it won’t go weird and make you sick. It’s just that the oils in the organic nut butter we use will start to separate like they do in the jar. So, the Perfect Bar will start to dry out and it won’t taste quite as perfect. (But, in our experience, when there’s a delicious Perfect Bar patiently waiting in your bag, it’s kinda hard to forget it’s in there!)
Meet the Most Perfect Refrigerated Snacks
A stroll around the fresh perimeter will reveal that there are lots of great refrigerated snacks out there. For instance, there are loads of fresh, bite-sized fruit options like grapes, berries, and pomegranate seeds to choose from. You might enjoy snacking on sliced veggies and hummus, or choosing from chilled snack packs featuring a balanced mix of bite-sized flavors. A few spoonfuls of low-fat Greek yogurt can also hit the spot when you’re hungry for a snack.
But, of course, you can also find Perfect Snacks along the fresh perimeter too. Depending on your snack style, we’ve got plenty of options for you to choose from:
- Perfect Bar: Our crowd-pleasing protein bar that comes in an array of flavors
- Perfect Bites: Poppable snack bites to share with friends and family (or your future self)
- Perfect Kids: Pint-sized kids’ snacks created to satisfy little tummies and taste buds
- Peanut Butter Cups: A better-for-you take on your favorite sweet treat
In addition to signature refrigerated snacks like our Peanut Butter and Almond Butter Perfect Bar flavors, there’s also our fair-trade Dark Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter, our dairy-free Chocolate Walnut Brownie, and so many more. Kids can choose from Peanut Butter Cookie and Chocolate Chip, and chocolate-lovers can try all four of our decadent Peanut Butter Cup flavors. Whatever way you go, you’ll be enjoying whole-food protein and a blend of superfood ingredients in every bite.
Just find a store near you and look for our boxes and individually-sold bars in the refrigerated section. Or, shop our collections online and we’ll deliver your favorite refrigerated snacks straight to your doorstep!