Why Consumers Are Choosing Bars
According to Mintel’s 2019 report “Snack, Nutrition and Performance Bars,”2 the primary reasons adults are consuming bars are to snack and to satisfy hunger. Additional drivers include the desire to replace junk food, to have a treat, and to satisfy a sweet tooth. Mintel also reports that just over half of those consuming bars are under the age of forty-five, indicating a strong convenience motivation.
The rise of snackification alongside the growing consumer interest in health and wellness has made bars a popular, go-to product for many consumers. Bars offer not only portable, ready-to-eat convenience, but also a high level of personalization that can range from a vitamin-fortified kids’ snack to a high-performance sports nutrition formula.
The Most Popular Types of Bars
Since bars have the potential to meet such a variety of consumers’ needs, it can be useful for manufacturers to look at which segments within the category are doing particularly well. According to Mintel, the most popular type of bars, in order, are:
- Snack bars
- Meal replacement bars
- Nutrition bars
- Performance bars
- Weight-loss bars
Snack bars are currently the most popular by far as they address a top need in the general population for convenient snacking options. The other types of bars are nutrition-focused and address the needs of specific consumer segments. Increasingly, however, consumers choosing bars simply as a convenient snack are reaching for these nutrition-focused bars as a better-for-you option—especially nutritional bars fortified with important nutrients like protein and fiber.