Adults add Shot in arm to Snack Bars

The snack bars and granola bars shelves are shining examples of how product and packaging can evolve to meet current lifestyle expectations. Research from Information Resources Inc. (IRI) says the booming category is changing consumers’ lives.
The functionality of bars — one of the fastest-growing areas in retail stores over the past two years — has matured from the dominance of a kids’ on-the-go breakfast or a “better-for-you” snack to include adult on-the-go diet or fitness food.
Traditionally, snack bars have sold best in households with kids. The bars created an easy-to-consume, healthier breakfast or snack. That approach brought about success with breakfast, cereal and granola bars when the category was in its infancy.
But growing interest in wellness foods is luring adults to snack bars, too. Marketers should take note that this intense consumer interest is creating a glut of competing brands where the traditional rectangular packaging shape dominates.
The category is ripe for packaging innovation, such as owning both a shape and color that communicates product benefits as a key part of a marketing strategy.
IRI says wellness bar growth is particularly “hot,” with composite annual growth of 32 percent over the past five years. Wellness bars now account for 38 percent of a nearly $2 billion category. During the past five years, the snack bar category has recorded composite annual growth of 17 percent.
Quaker Chewy Granola Bars is the category leader. It has sales of $125.9 million for a recent 52-week reporting period, according to IRI scanner data. BP

Top 10 Brands Dollar Sales (millions) % Change vs. Prior Year
Quaker Chewy $125.8 -7.3
Nature Valley $102.3 4.3
Kellogg’s Nutri Grain $98.6 -10.7
Atkins Advantage $84.7 66.6
Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Treats $75.0 -8.5
Atkins Endulge $57.1 388.7
General Mills Milk N Cereal $56.0 -22.9
Kellogg’s Special K Bar $47.6 16.3
Zone Perfect $47.2 24.5
Sunbelt $46.8 -13.3
Category $1,844.9 9.7