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Description

Description

"The popularity of snacking helps and challenges snack, nutrition, and performance bars. The bars category has experienced steady growth as consumers look for healthy and convenient ways to satisfy hunger (and cravings), resulting in dollar sales gains of 17% from 2014-19. However, the pace of growth has slowed as snack competition heats up. The bars category will do well to promote its offerings as prime snack options and, at the same time, take advantage of its association with other occasions, including meal replacement and exercise. Differentiation, both from competitors outside and within the category, will be required for future growth."

- Beth Bloom, Associate Director - Food & Drink

This report will look at the following areas:

  • Bar sales continue to grow, but slowly
  • One third of bar eaters have increased bar consumption in the past year
  • Bar buyers are flavor loyalists

What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Top takeaways
          • The issues
            • Bar sales continue to grow, but slowly
              • Figure 1: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of snack, nutrition, and performance bars, at current prices, 2014-24
            • One third of bar eaters have increased bar consumption in the past year
              • Figure 2: Reasons for increasing bar consumption, November 2019
            • Bar buyers are flavor loyalists
              • Figure 3: Bar statements – formats, November 2019
            • The opportunities
              • Diverse functionality can help bars be the clear go-to
                • Encouraging consumers to start the day with bars could spark all-day engagement
                  • Figure 4: Bar consumption occasion, November 2019
                • Sugar amount edges out price as a choice driver, can’t be ignored
                  • Figure 5: Bar attributes of interest, November 2019
              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                • Bar sales continue to grow, but slowly
                  • Performance bars and nutrition bars battle it out for number two spot
                    • Snacking grows, snack categories stay afloat
                      • Consumers look to whole foods and exercise as roads to health
                      • Market Size and Forecast

                        • Bar sales continue to grow, but slowly
                          • Figure 6: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of snack, nutrition, and performance bars, at current prices, 2014-24
                          • Figure 7: Total US retail sales and forecast of snack, nutrition, and performance bars, at current prices, 2014-24
                      • Market Breakdown

                        • Performance bars and nutrition bars battle it out for number two spot
                          • Figure 8: Total US retail sales of snack, nutrition, and performance bars, by segment share, 2017 and 2019 (est)
                          • Figure 9: Total US retail sales of snack, nutrition, and performance bars, by segment, 2014-24
                        • In their words: Consumers prefer to manage weight loss by other dietary means
                          • “Other” channels pull further ahead as bar sales leaders
                            • Figure 10: Total US sales of snack, nutrition and performance bars, by channel, at current prices, 2014-19 (est)
                        • Market Perspective

                          • Snacking grows, snack categories stay afloat
                            • Figure 11: Snacking frequency, January 2015 and November 2018
                            • Figure 12: Percentage growth in select snack categories, 2014-19
                        • Market Factors

                          • Consumers look to whole foods and exercise as roads to health
                            • In their words: Consumers associate whole foods with nutrition
                              • Consumers are avoiding sugar
                              • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                • General Mills loses share, holds on to 22% of category sales
                                  • Continued strong growth of Quest leads to acquisition
                                    • Convenience plays a strong role in purchase intent
                                      • Two brands reverse the tide for the weight loss segment, for now
                                      • Company and Brand Sales of Snack, Nutrition and Performance Bars

                                        • General Mills loses share, still holds onto 22% of category sales
                                          • Quest’s continued strong growth leads to acquisition
                                            • PepsiCo MULO dollar sales decline by 6%
                                              • Bar brawl doesn’t hamper growth
                                                • Figure 13: Share of sales of snack, nutrition and performance bars, by company, 52 weeks ending November 3, 2019
                                                • Figure 14: Sales of snack, nutrition and performance bars, by company, 52 weeks ending November 4, 2018 and 52 weeks ending November 3, 2019
                                            • What’s Working

                                              • Convenience plays a strong role in purchase intent
                                                • Two brands reverse the tide for the weight-loss segment, for now
                                                  • Figure 15: Multi-outlet sales of weight-loss bars, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2018 and 2019
                                                • Aiming at special diets can help short-term growth
                                                  • Quest edges toward nutrition bar dominance
                                                    • Figure 16: Multi-outlet sales of nutrition bars, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2018 and 2019
                                                  • Clif keeps climbing within the performance segment
                                                    • Figure 17: Multi-outlet sales of performance bars, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2018 and 2019
                                                  • Weight-loss bars make strongest movement on sugar reduction
                                                    • Figure 18: Sugar totals in bar launches, by segment, 2017-19*
                                                    • Figure 19: Leading sweetener types in bar launches, by segment, 2017-19*
                                                • What’s Struggling

                                                  • Activity in bar claims lacks luster
                                                    • Figure 20: Leading claims in bar launches, by segment, 2017-19*
                                                  • Protein totals declining in protein-focused segments and that’s OK
                                                    • Figure 21: Protein totals in bar launches, by segment, 2017-19*
                                                  • Weight-loss bars boost protein types
                                                    • Figure 22: Leading protein types in bar launches, by segment, 2017-19*
                                                  • General Mills loses snack bar share
                                                    • Figure 23: Multi-outlet sales of snack bars, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2018 and 2019
                                                  • Chocolate dominated category could benefit from fruit introductions
                                                    • Figure 24: Leading flavors in bar launches, by segment, 2017-19*
                                                  • Poor perception of value stunts purchase intent
                                                  • What to Watch

                                                    • More diverse functionality
                                                      • Coffee bars offer a morning boost
                                                        • Rooted in plants
                                                          • Ancient grains make everything old new again
                                                            • Mini bars boost convenience, shrink the sugar
                                                              • Seasonality may help boost perception of freshness, encourage trial
                                                                • Mainstream brands give kids bars of their very own
                                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                  • Snack bars continue to lead bar consumption
                                                                    • One third of bar eaters have increased bar consumption in the past year
                                                                      • The majority of bar eaters do so as a snack, but competition is stiff
                                                                        • Bar buyers are flavor loyalists
                                                                          • Sugar amount edges out price as an attribute of interest
                                                                          • Bar Consumption

                                                                            • Snack bars continue to lead bar consumption
                                                                              • Figure 25: Bar consumption, November 2019
                                                                            • Half of bar eaters eat just one type of bar
                                                                              • Figure 26: Repertoire analysis - Consumption, November 2019
                                                                            • Men are drawn to performance bars, small formats appeal to women
                                                                              • Figure 27: Share of bar consumption, by gender, November 2019
                                                                            • Performance bars appeal to younger consumers
                                                                              • Figure 28: Share of bar consumption, by age, November 2019
                                                                            • One third of bar buyers keep a stash around
                                                                              • Figure 29: Bar statements – purchase habits, November 2019
                                                                          • Bar Formats

                                                                            • Bar buyers are flavor loyalists
                                                                              • Figure 30: Bar statements – formats, November 2019
                                                                              • Figure 31: Bar statements – new flavor, November 2019
                                                                            • Variety packs appeal to parents
                                                                              • Figure 32: Bar statements – formats, by parental status, November 2019
                                                                          • Bar Purchase Location

                                                                            • Supermarkets leading purchase location
                                                                              • Figure 33: Bar purchase location, November 2019
                                                                            • Performance bar buyers are most likely to utilize online outlets
                                                                              • Figure 34: Bar purchase location, by bar type purchased, November 2019
                                                                            • Younger bar buyers can be reached at multiple outlets
                                                                              • Figure 35: Bar purchase location, by age, November 2019
                                                                          • Bar Attributes of Importance

                                                                            • Sugar amount edges out price as a choice driver
                                                                              • Figure 36: Bar attributes of importance, November 2019
                                                                              • Figure 37: Bar attributes of importance, December 2018 and November 2019
                                                                            • Important attributes vary slightly by bar type and bar occasion
                                                                              • Figure 38: Bar attributes of importance, by bar type, November 2019
                                                                              • Figure 39: Bar attributes of importance, by consumption occasion, November 2019
                                                                            • In their words: Portability and convenience drive snack bar consumption
                                                                              • In their words: Snack bar eaters prioritize taste/flavor and ingredients
                                                                                • In their words: Snack bar consumers keep an eye on sugar, but won’t sacrifice taste
                                                                                  • In their words: Nutrition bar eaters keep their eyes on sugar content
                                                                                    • In their words: Performance bar buyers want natural ingredients
                                                                                      • Women are generally more ingredient conscious
                                                                                        • Figure 40: Bar attributes of importance, by gender, November 2019
                                                                                    • Change in Bar Consumption

                                                                                      • One third of bar eaters have increased bar consumption in the past year
                                                                                        • Figure 41: Change in bar consumption, November 2019
                                                                                      • Increased consumption due to increased health, decreased time
                                                                                        • Figure 42: Reasons for increasing bar consumption, November 2019
                                                                                      • Incorporating fruit equates to health in bar launches
                                                                                        • Close to half of performance bar eaters have increased consumption
                                                                                          • Figure 43: Change in bar consumption, by bar type, November 2019
                                                                                        • Women are more likely than men to be reducing bar consumption
                                                                                          • Figure 44: Change in bar consumption, by gender, November 2019
                                                                                        • Reduced consumption not solely the fault of bars, but can be mitigated
                                                                                          • Figure 45: Reasons for decreasing bar consumption, November 2019
                                                                                      • Bar Consumption Occasions

                                                                                        • The majority of bar eaters do so as a snack, but competition grows
                                                                                          • Figure 46: Bar consumption occasion - Nets, November 2019
                                                                                        • Encouraging consumers to start the day with bars could spark attention
                                                                                          • Figure 47: Bar consumption occasion, November 2019
                                                                                        • Beyond snacking, women are targets for meals, men for exercise
                                                                                          • Figure 48: Bar consumption occasion - Nets, by gender, November 2019
                                                                                        • Exercise focus should be on the young consumers
                                                                                          • Figure 49: Bar consumption occasion - Nets, by age, November 2019
                                                                                        • All bar types used for snacking
                                                                                          • Figure 50: Bar consumption occasion - Nets, by bar type, November 2019
                                                                                        • Snack bars are the ultimate on-the-go option
                                                                                          • Nutrition bar consumers do so for convenient energy and satiety
                                                                                            • Performance bar eaters look for energy and nutrition
                                                                                            • Incentivizing Bar Trial

                                                                                              • Snack bar trial strongly driven by flavor
                                                                                                • Increased claims activity and sampling can encourage nutrition bar trial
                                                                                                  • Snack bar marketing will do well to focus on flavor-related ingredients
                                                                                                    • Figure 51: Qualitative word clouds - Ingredients of interest, by bar type, January 2020
                                                                                                    • Figure 52: Qualitative word clouds - Flavors of interest, by bar type, January 2020
                                                                                                    • Figure 53: Qualitative word cloud - Health benefits of interest, by bar type, January 2020
                                                                                                • Food and Drink Shopper Segmentation

                                                                                                      • Figure 54: Food/drink shopper segmentation, February 2019
                                                                                                    • Quality Seekers (34%)
                                                                                                      • Figure 55: Profile of Quality Seekers, February 2019
                                                                                                    • Adventure Eaters (34%)
                                                                                                      • Figure 56: Profile of Adventure Eaters, February 2019
                                                                                                    • Time Savers (17%)
                                                                                                      • Figure 57: Profile of Time Savers, February 2019
                                                                                                    • Value Chasers (15%)
                                                                                                      • Figure 58: Profile of Value Chasers, February 2019
                                                                                                    • Implications of food/drink consumer segments on snack, nutrition and performance bars
                                                                                                      • Adventure Eaters are the most likely bar buyers
                                                                                                        • Figure 59: Bar purchase, by food and drink shopper segmentation, November 2019
                                                                                                      • Increased snacking among Quality Seekers means health-focused brands can benefit
                                                                                                        • Figure 60: Reasons for increasing bar consumption, by food and drink shopper segmentation, November 2019
                                                                                                      • Morning snack occasions presents an opportunity for appealing to Time Savers
                                                                                                        • Figure 61: Bar consumption occasion - snacking, by food and drink shopper segmentation, November 2019
                                                                                                      • Multi-packs appeal to Value Chasers
                                                                                                        • Figure 62: Bar statements – formats, by food and drink shopper segmentation, November 2019
                                                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                                      • Data sources
                                                                                                        • Sales data
                                                                                                          • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                                            • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                              • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                                                                • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                  • Appendix – The Market

                                                                                                                      • Figure 63: Total US retail sales and forecast of snack, nutrition, and performance bars, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2014-24
                                                                                                                      • Figure 64: Total US retail sales and forecast of snack bars, at current prices, 2014-24
                                                                                                                      • Figure 65: Total US retail sales and forecast of snack bars, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2014-24
                                                                                                                      • Figure 66: Total US retail sales and forecast of performance bars, at current prices, 2014-24
                                                                                                                      • Figure 67: Total US retail sales and forecast of performance bars, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2014-24
                                                                                                                      • Figure 68: Total US retail sales and forecast of nutrition bars, at current prices, 2014-24
                                                                                                                      • Figure 69: Total US retail sales and forecast of nutrition bars, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2014-24
                                                                                                                      • Figure 70: Total US retail sales and forecast of nutrition bars, at current prices, 2014-24
                                                                                                                      • Figure 71: Total US retail sales and forecast of weight-loss bars, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2014-24
                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Retail Channels

                                                                                                                      • Figure 72: US supermarket of snack, nutrition and performance bars, at current prices, 2014-19 (est)
                                                                                                                      • Figure 73: US drug store sales of snack, nutrition and performance bars, at current prices, 2014-19 (est)
                                                                                                                      • Figure 74: US convenience store sales of snack, nutrition and performance bars, at current prices, 2014-19 (est)
                                                                                                                      • Figure 75: US sales of snack, nutrition and performance bars through other channels, at current prices, 2014-19 (est)
                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Key Players

                                                                                                                      • Figure 76: Multi-outlet sales of snack, nutrition, and performance bars, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2018 and 2019

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