woman eating bar

US Nutrition Bar Market Trends for 2024

Here's a look at the 2024 US nutrition bar trends of flavor, indulgence, and protein+—along with key insights on what consumers want most in a bar.


The 2024 bar trends in the US include:

  • Flavor-forward
  • Indulgent experience
  • Protein plus functional benefits

Snacking Is Strong

Snacking is going strong in the US, as consumers seek out convenient, often on-the-go food and beverage products for nourishment, comfort, and even health benefits. Consumers’ growing interest in healthier lifestyle choices is driving a rise in healthy snacking, with nutrition bars playing a key role in this area.

Glanbia Nutritionals most recent consumer health & wellness attitude and usage study revealed that one out of five consumers consumed a protein bar in the prior three months.1 While granola/oat/cereal bars lead in popularity, protein bars are close behind.2 The most frequently consumed bars are:

  • Granola, oat, or cereal bars (33%)
  • Protein bars (20%)
  • Diet/weight-loss bars (3%)3

What Consumers Want in Bars

A pleasurable snacking experience is essential for today’s bar consumers, with taste and texture at the heart of this. “Great tasting” is an important attribute in an energy or protein bar for more than half (56%) of US consumers, making it the number one cited attribute.4 Over one-third (34%) say “enjoyable texture” is important.5

protein bars

For 50% of US bar consumers, “high protein” is important in these products.6 Consumers are more likely to perceive snacks with added protein as healthy than similar snacks without the protein.7 For example, 67% think protein bars are healthy, compared to 50% for cereal bars.8 Using functional proteins optimized for bars is a way to add the protein consumers want, along with exceptional texture and clean flavor.

Top 2024 Nutrition Bar Trends

Considering their significance to consumers, it may be no surprise that taste, texture, and protein underlie the top nutrition bar trends for 2024.

1. Flavor-Forward

Leading with flavor is a compelling strategy to stand out in the sports snacks and bars, with Innova noting the popularity of che, peanut, fudge, salted caramel, and brownie flavors in recent US sports snacks and bars launches.9 Though tried-and-true decadent flavors are the most appealing bar flavors to consumers (including peanut butter chocolate (53%), chocolate (46%), and fudge brownie (45%)),10 these flavors can also be elevated for a more premium offering as in Elavi’s Chocolate Goji Berry collagen protein bar.

2. Indulgence

While indulgent flavors are a must in 2024, indulgent textures also contribute to the total experience—for example, chocolate chip cookie dough-style bars, which offer a doughy texture with the added crunch of chocolate chips.  Innova highlights an increasing presence of dark chocolate flavors in US bar launches, with recent launches of Lola Dark Chocolate And Peanut Probiotic Energy Bar and Ready Clean Dark Chocolate Coconut Almond Flavored Protein Bar.11

cookie dough

3. Protein+

With protein fast becoming an expectation in bars, brands are expanding to bring additional benefits to their consumers, such as functional benefits for mood, immunity, sleep, and especially energy support. Energy claims are becoming more prominent in bars, with two in three young active people (age 16-45 who exercise more than three times per week) indicate they manage their snacking to ensure they have sustained energy to get through the day.12 Language around energy is broadening, as well. BPN’s Field Bar is “made with simple ingredients to fuel your day.”

Bar Ingredient Solutions for Today's Trends

Indulgent flavor and texture, nutritious protein, and functional benefits all begin with the right ingredients. Our bar ingredient solutions and formulation expertise can get you there. 

Learn more about our solutions, including our custom nutrient premixes, and Flavors by Foodarom®. If you’d like to learn more about how to turn your nutrition bar idea into a reality, connect with us today. 


1-3. Glanbia Nutritionals, Health & Wellness Attitude & Usage Study, 2023.
4-8. Glanbia Nutritionals, Healthy Snacking U&A Study, 2022.
9. Innova Market Insights, Category Review: Sports Snacks & Bars in US & Canada, September 2023.
10. Glanbia Nutritionals, Healthy Snacking U&A Study, 2022.
11. Innova Market Insights, Category Review: Sports Snacks & Bars in US & Canada, September 2023.
12. Glanbia Nutritionals, Healthy Snacking U&A Study, 2022.

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