Consumers’ Changing Snacking Habits
Whether snack bars, protein bars, or kids bars, bars became a top solution for consumers across the country as the COVID lockdowns began. Unaccustomed to cooking, some younger consumers used bars and other snacks to replace meals, while many remote workers with kids at home relied on bars to save time as they managed new demands.
As the lockdowns continued, consumers became increasingly interested in bars with benefits, such as functional nutrition bars for energy, weight loss, or sleep support. Some also used healthy bars as a way to get essential nutrients and support home exercise routines as they prioritized staying well. For others, bars were the solution to better-for-you indulgent snacking to relieve boredom or stress.
For about one-third of US consumers, snacking more and thinking about food more rose during the pandemic (though this is now starting to decline).1 As consumers adapted to the new normal by shifting toward more regular meal patterns and cooking more, the convenience factor of bars became less important. However, things are changing once again, as consumers return to work and school and seek the grab-and-go convenience of bars.