Snack, nutrition and performance bar consumption is on the rise, with sales forecasted to reach $8.2 billion in 2021, a five-year gain of 23%, according to Mintel’s “Snack, Nutrition and Performance Bars U.S. April 2017” report.1
Bars are valued as convenient grab-and-go snacks used between meals or as a meal replacement, driven by increasingly hectic lifestyles.2 On-the-go Millennials tend to buy more bars than other demographic groups.
The rising consumer demand is fueled by:
- Growing interest in healthier, more nutrient-dense snack foods
- Increased snacking and on-the-go purchasing
- Shifting population demographics and blurring of lines between traditional meals and snacks
- Medically-driven attention on weight and sugar management
- Consumer interest in product innovation
As a result, bar brands are being challenged to deliver new formats, sizes and shapes with on-trend flavors, ingredients and claims. To succeed in a growing market, bar brands must:
- Plan properly with manufacturers and distributors to ensure stock is available.
- Keep products relevant in a growing market that will inevitably attract new entrants and increased competition. Brand/product renovation strategies might include: expansion of new forms and categories, new flavors and textures, cleaner label ingredients, and updated packaging, followed by relevant marketing strategies and diversification in distribution channels.
Bites and mini bars appear poised for growth—and are piquing consumer interest, with 29% of consumers interested in trying bite-size bars or truffles, 24% interested in protein balls, and 20% interested in trying smaller sized bars, according to a 2017 bar innovations survey.4
These on-the-go bites and mini bars give consumers the better-for-you convenience they love, and they provide brands a great price/ounce basis and another new marketing opportunity to show off ingredient-healthy product.3
These smaller formulations of existing bars on the market benefit from on-the-go and convenience trends. Consumers see these bite-sized products as a nutritionally dense on-the-go option that is better for casual snacking.
Brands will experience the biggest benefit when their bite-sized products correspond with their target audience’s desires—e.g., delivering bite-sized portion control to weight-conscious consumers or a quick source of energy to consumers looking for sports and active nutrition. Some brands are taking advantage of bites to offer a smaller “mini” option of a popular bar or to deliver a new experience in shape, taste and texture. Packaging options for bites include resealable pouches, bulk pack shareable pouches, and individually or dual wrapped versions.
Nellson is the industry leader in bars, with over 50 years of bar-making expertise. We have helped develop products in every nutrition bar segment and have a great deal of experience working with a variety of formats and ingredients ranging from common proteins to complex active ingredients and hygroscopics (botanicals/fruit and veggie powders). Our recent expansions have provided us ample growth capacity for our customers to meet current and future demands in this high-growth market.
Contact us today to see how you can take advantage of this growing opportunity.
1 Mintel’s “Snack, Nutrition and Performance Bars U.S. April 2017” report
4 Lightspeed/Mintel survey in Mintel’s “Snack, Nutrition and Performance Bars U.S. April 2017"