As consumers become more health conscious, they are demanding more nutrients from their snacks. This preference has blurred the lines between protein bars and snack bars, creating a bar category with a greater consideration set than ever before. Bar manufacturers have capitalized on this movement and a new hybrid bar has surfaced.
Whether it’s a breakfast bar, snack bar, granola bar, or health bar, consumers are seeking out bars that promote protein more than ever before, and brands are taking note. 31% of bars sold online now contain ‘protein’ in the product name, which is up from 28% last year. In fact, CLIF Bar alone went from 59% of online sales coming from products containing ‘protein’ to 66% within one year. CLIF Bar has the greatest share of online bar sales, trailed by KIND. While KIND has experienced healthy growth this year, they are struggling to find their niche within the hybrid bar space. With just 17% of online sales coming from ‘protein’ labeled bars, KIND has the opportunity to grow their business by making protein a bigger emphasis in their products.
It’s not just protein that consumers are seeking from their bars. We continue to see brands enter the space with health-conscious labeling and emerge as true competitors in the space. Garden of Life, which is most commonly known for vitamins and probiotics, has seen nearly 4x growth in bar sales YOY. Brands that emphasize gluten-free in their item description are taking off as well. That’s it, The Gluten Free Bar, and Perfect Bar have experienced 5x, 3x, and 3.5x growth respectively for products containing ‘gluten-free’ in the name. Products that boast descriptors such as no preservatives, all natural, vegan, and superfoods on their labels are appealing to the ever expanding health-conscious consumer.
Pursuing the latest consumer trends, like health consciousness, can improve your market position and allow you to reach a new set of consumers. While this might mean stepping out of your niche category, it’s essential to do so. Online purchase behavior data can help you anticipate these trends and react before share is at stake.
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