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US Snack, Nutrition and Performance Bars market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Snack, Nutrition and Performance Bars market, its consumers and the major players who make up that market.

Market

Point of sale market data

In conjunction with IRi, extensive point of sale data shows you what consumers are spending their money on

Market Size

How big is the market today and what is our 5 year forecast? Includes both best & worst case scenarios

Market Segmentation

What are the different segments within the market and how are those individual segments performing?

Consumer

Consumer behaviors

What are consumers looking for, what drives their buying habits and what are their main purchase influencers?

Demographic breakdown

From iGen & Millennials to Baby Boomers & beyond. Who is spending money and what are they spending it on?

Representative sample

We gather our data from real-world consumers, selected to accurately reflect precise global demographics

Players

Company strategy

What are the key players doing, what has been successful for them and what was their marketing spend?

Product innovation

Using data from our Global New Product Database, what products were launched and how well were they perceived?

Opportunities

What happens next, which areas are likely to experience growth and what opportunities exist within the market?

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Beth Bloom, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Dollar sales of snack, nutrition, and performance bars saw steady year-over-year growth from 2012-17 (+20% overall). 2017 represents a slight slowdown, with an estimated 2.6% increase over 2016 (0.1% when adjusted for inflation). While consumer interest in snacking, protein, and functional foods positively impacts the category, a growing array of snack options, some of which promise functional deliverables, with cleaner formulations, challenges bars. This slower pace of growth is expected to continue in the near future. While product innovation is on track, category players will need to emphasize bar strengths (eg convenience, indulgence) and address challenges (eg high sugar content). Beth Bloom
Associate Director - Food & Drink

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

This report discusses the following key topics:

Definition

For the purposes of this report, snack, nutrition, and performance bars are defined for this Report as:

  • Snack bars: cereal and snack bars, such as Nutri-Grain; and granola bars, such as Nature Valley
  • Nutrition bars: health/nutrition bars, including food bars that contain additional nutrients, such as fiber, protein (non-athletic), calcium, etc; also includes bars positioned as meal replacements (non-weight loss)
  • Performance bars: athletic bars used for fuel during athletic endeavors or to enhance physical fitness or exercise, such as PowerBar; includes performance-focused protein bars
  • Weight-loss bars: bars meant for diet and weight loss/weight management, such as Slim-Fast and Zone bars

Value figures throughout this Report are at retail selling prices (rsp), excluding sales tax, unless otherwise stated.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Dollar sales of bars grow 20% from 2012-17, slower growth projected through 2022
            • Figure 1: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of snack, nutrition, and performance bars, at current prices, 2012-22
          • Future growth projected to slow in most segments
            • Figure 2: Sales of snack, nutrition and performance bars, by segment, 2012-22
          • A third of adults think bars are too high in sugar
            • Figure 3: Attitudes toward bars – Challenges, by bar consumption, February 2018
          • The opportunities
            • Two thirds of US adults eat bars
              • Figure 4: Bar consumption, February 2018
            • Three quarters of consumers turn to bars for snacks
              • Figure 5: Reasons for consumption – Any bar, February 2018
            • Protein amount is second only to good taste as a bar attribute of interest
              • Figure 6: Important attributes, February 2018
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Dollar sales of bars grow 20% from 2012-17, slower growth projected through 2022
                • Snack bars lead; performance bars gain share
                  • Convenience store sales see strongest growth from 2012-17
                    • Competing categories make a play for cleaner functionality
                    • Market Size and Forecast

                      • Dollar sales of bars grow 20% from 2012-17, slower growth projected through 2022
                        • Figure 7: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of snack, nutrition, and performance bars, at current prices, 2012-22
                        • Figure 8: Total US retail sales and forecast of snack, nutrition, and performance bars, at current prices, 2012-22
                        • Figure 9: Total US retail sales and forecast of snack, nutrition and performance bars, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-22
                    • Market Breakdown

                      • Snack bars lead, performance bars gain share
                        • Figure 10: Sales of snack, nutrition, and performance bars, by segment share, 2012-17
                      • Future growth projected to slow in most segments
                        • Figure 11: Sales of snack, nutrition, and performance bars, by segment, 2012-22
                      • Convenience store sales see strongest growth from 2012-17
                        • Figure 12: Total US retail sales of snack, nutrition and performance bars, by channel, at current prices, 2012-17
                    • Market Perspective

                      • Competing categories successfully make a play for functionality
                      • Market Factors

                        • America’s love of snacking benefits snack categories
                          • Figure 13: Snacking frequency, March 2017
                        • Close to half of consumers eat breakfast on-the-go or skip altogether
                          • Figure 14: Weekday and weekend behaviors, May 2016
                        • Three quarters of adults are currently managing their weight
                          • Figure 15: Weight management status, July 2017
                        • Diet health may be a stronger focus than exercise
                          • Figure 16: Lifestyle statements, February 2018
                        • 84% of consumers are limiting the amount of sugar in their diet
                          • Legislation grows less sweet on sugar
                            • Aging population may justify need for functional nutrition
                              • Figure 17: Share of population by age, 2013-23
                          • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                            • General Mills controls 25% of MULO dollar sales of bars
                              • Smaller brands gain big in the nutritional and performance segments
                                • Chocolate dominates across all segments
                                  • Protein claims continue to climb in most segments
                                  • Company and Brand Sales of Snack, Nutrition, and Performance Bars

                                    • General Mills controls 25% of MULO dollar sales of bars
                                      • Sales of snack, nutrition, and performance bars by company
                                        • Figure 18: Share of Multi-Outlet sales of snack, nutrition, and performance bars, by leading companies, 52 weeks ending Dec 31, 2017
                                        • Figure 19: Multi-Outlet sales of snack, nutrition, and performance bars, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2016 and 2017
                                    • What’s Working?

                                      • General Mills brands represent more than a third of MULO sales of snack bars
                                          • Figure 20: Multi-Outlet sales of snack bars, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2016 and 2017
                                        • Smaller brands make big gains in the nutritional bar segment
                                            • Figure 21: Multi-outlet sales of nutritional bars, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2016 and 2017
                                          • Chocolate dominates across all segments
                                            • Figure 22: Snack, nutrition, and performance bar launches, by leading flavors, 2014-18*
                                            • Figure 23: Snack, nutrition, and performance bar launches, by growing flavors, 2014-18*
                                          • Protein claims continue to climb in most segments
                                            • Figure 24: Snack, nutrition, and performance bar launches, by leading claims, 2014-18*
                                            • Figure 25: Snack, nutrition, and performance bar launches, by growing claims, 2014-18*
                                          • Whey proteins appear among leaders in most segments
                                            • Figure 26: Snack, nutrition, and performance bar launches, by leading protein types, 2014-18*
                                            • Figure 27: Snack, nutrition, and performance bar launches, by growing protein types, 2014-18*
                                        • What’s Struggling?

                                          • Dollar sales of weight-loss bars decline in MULO channels
                                              • Figure 28: Multi-Outlet sales of weight-loss bars, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2016 and 2017
                                            • Volatility seen in MULO sales of performance bars
                                              • Figure 29: Multi-Outlet sales of performance bars, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2016 and 2017
                                            • White sugar leads as sweetener type across segments
                                              • Figure 30: Snack, nutrition, and performance bar launches, by leading sweetener types, 2014-18*
                                          • What’s Next?

                                              • Going green
                                                • Embracing indulgence
                                                  • Getting your fill
                                                    • Nuts about cashews
                                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                      • Two thirds of US adults eat bars
                                                        • Three quarters of consumers turn to bars for snacks
                                                          • Protein amount is second only to good taste as a bar attribute of interest
                                                            • The majority of bar buyers purchase multi-packs
                                                              • A third of adults think bars are too high in sugar
                                                              • Bar Consumption

                                                                • Two thirds of US adults eat bars
                                                                  • Figure 31: Bar consumption, February 2018
                                                                • Men make up the majority of performance bar eaters
                                                                  • Figure 32: Share of bar consumption, by gender, February 2018
                                                                • Performance bars find strongest appeal among young adults
                                                                  • Figure 33: Share of bar consumption, by age, February 2018
                                                              • Reasons for Consumption

                                                                • Three quarters of consumers turn to bars for snacks
                                                                  • Figure 34: Reasons for consumption – Any bar, February 2018
                                                                • Men are more likely to eat bars for functional outcomes
                                                                  • Figure 35: Reasons for consumption – Any bar, by gender, February 2018
                                                                • Bars don’t need to be all things to all people
                                                                  • Figure 36: Correspondence analysis – Reasons for consumption, February 2018
                                                                  • Figure 37: Reasons for consumption, February 2018
                                                              • Important Attributes

                                                                • Protein amount is second only to good taste as a bar attribute of interest
                                                                  • Figure 38: Important attributes, February 2018
                                                                  • Figure 39: Important attributes, by bar type, February 2018
                                                                • Women are more likely than men to be concerned about sugar totals
                                                                  • Figure 40: Important attributes, by gender, February 2018
                                                                • Older consumers look closer at nutritional information
                                                                  • Figure 41: Important attributes, by age, February 2018
                                                              • Bar Formats

                                                                • Pack size
                                                                  • The majority of bar buyers purchase multi-packs
                                                                    • Figure 42: Bar formats – Pack size, February 2018
                                                                    • Figure 43: Bar formats – Pack size, by bar type, February 2018
                                                                  • Men are significantly more likely than women to purchase single bars
                                                                    • Figure 44: Bar formats – Pack size, by gender, February 2018
                                                                  • Multi-packs have stronger appeal among older shoppers
                                                                    • Figure 45: Bar formats – Pack size, by age, February 2018
                                                                  • Protein amount
                                                                    • 23% of bar consumers choose base with 20+ grams of protein
                                                                      • Figure 46: Bar formats – Protein, February 2018
                                                                      • Figure 47: Bar formats – Protein, by bar type, February 2018
                                                                  • Texture

                                                                    • The majority of bar eaters associate bars with being chewy
                                                                      • Figure 48: texture associations – Any bar, February 2018
                                                                    • Consumers associate snack bars with more decadent features
                                                                      • Figure 49: Correspondence analysis – Texture associations, February 2018
                                                                      • Figure 50: texture associations, February 2018
                                                                  • Attitudes toward Bars

                                                                    • Efficacy
                                                                      • Only 10% of consumers think bars deliver on promised claims
                                                                        • Figure 51: Attitudes toward bars – Efficacy, February 2018
                                                                        • Figure 52: Attitudes toward bars – “They deliver on promised claims”, February 2018
                                                                      • Challenges
                                                                        • A third of adults think bars are too high in sugar
                                                                          • Figure 53: Attitudes toward bars, February 2018
                                                                        • Women are more skeptical of bars than are men
                                                                          • Figure 54: Attitudes toward bars, by gender, February 2018
                                                                        • Older shoppers are more likely to be ingredient-conscious
                                                                          • Figure 55: Attitudes toward bars, by age, February 2018
                                                                        • Higher earners are more critical of bars
                                                                          • Figure 56: Attitudes toward bars, by HH income, February 2018
                                                                        • Artificial ingredients struggle with efficacy
                                                                          • Figure 57: Lifestyle statements – Artificial ingredients, February 2018
                                                                          • Figure 58: Lifestyle statements – “I think artificial ingredients are more effective than natural ones”, February 2018
                                                                        • Non-dairy
                                                                          • Three in 10 consumers think protein derived from plants is as effective as that from dairy/meat sources
                                                                            • Figure 59: Lifestyle statements – Non-dairy, February 2018
                                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

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

                                                                                        • Figure 60: Total US retail sales and forecast of snack bars, at current prices, 2012-22
                                                                                        • Figure 61: Total US retail sales and forecast of snack bars, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-22
                                                                                        • Figure 62: Total US retail sales and forecast of performance bars, at current prices, 2012-22
                                                                                        • Figure 63: Total US retail sales and forecast of performance bars, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-22
                                                                                        • Figure 64: Total US retail sales and forecast of nutrition bars, at current prices, 2012-22
                                                                                        • Figure 65: Total US retail sales and forecast of nutrition bars, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-22
                                                                                        • Figure 66: Total US retail sales and forecast of weight loss bars, at current prices, 2012-22
                                                                                        • Figure 67: Total US retail sales and forecast of weight loss bars, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-22
                                                                                        • Figure 68: US supermarket sales of snack, nutrition and performance bars, at current prices, 2012-17
                                                                                        • Figure 69: US convenience store sales of snack, nutrition and performance bars, at current prices, 2012-17
                                                                                        • Figure 70: US sales of snack, nutrition and performance bars through other retail channels, at current prices, 2012-17
                                                                                    • Appendix – Key Players

                                                                                        • Figure 71: Multi-outlet sales of snack, nutrition, and performance bars, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2016 and 2017