7 Nutritional Bars Posting Healthy Sales

Consumers with established value benchmarks related to their nutritional snack bar selections—such as chewy, crunchy, sweet, salty, nutty and fruity—are adding new items to the list. Suppliers are being tasked with delivering higher protein and clean, free-from ingredients, low to no sugar and fewer carbs to notch the sale.

The nutritional/intrinsic health value bar segment of the overall snack/granola category could use a consumer boost, if you go by c-store performance figures. Dollar sales fell 1.2% (to $574.4 million) and units dropped 4.1% in the 52-week period ending Sept. 8, 2019, according to Chicago-based IRI. The much larger consolidated snack/granola bar category fell 1.6% in c-store sales to $853.6 million.

According to Chicago-based Mintel’s Snack, Nutrition and Performance Bars (U.S. February 2019) report, bar brands “should be on guard for the expanding view of what constitutes a snack, and aim to keep their offerings relevant through the assurance of good taste, good value, convenience and nutritional benefit,” says Beth Bloom, associate director of food and drink for Mintel, and author of the report. “Bar makers and marketers will need to establish their unique selling points in order to stand apart from the competition.”

Read on for a look at several nutritional snack bars that have been finding a home in convenience retailers’ sets in 2019.

Photograph: Shutterstock

Paul Allen, owner of Farm 2 Counter, a convenience center and restaurant in Springfield, Mo., says clean-label bars are winning friends and sales in his single location. One leader is Kellogg’s RXBar, which fulfills consumer desires for clean ingredients. RXBar contains four ingredients: three egg whites, six almonds, four cashews, two dates and “No B.S.,” according to the brand tagline.

Photograph courtesy of Kellogg

Probar meal bars come in Blueberry Muffin and S’mores flavors. Launched this past summer, the gluten-free bars are naturally flavored and made with superfood ingredients such as fruits, nuts and seeds. Each bar, which contain at least 9 grams of plant-based protein per serving, is carefully blended, not baked, to maintain optimal nutrition. Probar offers a robust line of plant-based performance foods, including Meal On-the-Go, Protein (formerly Base), Bite, Bolt Energy Chews and live Probiotic Bars.

Photograph courtesy of Probar

Kind entered the nut-butter bar space with the release of Kind Nut Butter Filled Snack Bars. Similar to all Kind snacks, the first and predominant ingredient is a nutrient-dense food. Kind Nut Butter Filled Snack Bars are made with recognizable ingredients, containing no artificial flavors, colors of preservatives. They feature 100% whole grains on the outside and a creamy nut-butter center, and they’re topped with crushed nuts and chocolatey drizzle. They come in Chocolate Peanut Butter and Honey Almond Butter flavors.

Photograph courtesy of Kind

In spring 2019, Epic Provisions, maker of humanely raised, animal-based superfoods, introduced several new offerings, including the Rise & Grind bar line, which incorporates nutrient-dense egg yolks. The 1.5-ounce bar is available in two varieties bacon & egg yolks (with 9 grams of protein) and chicken, egg yolks & apple (with 13 grams of protein).

Photograph courtesy of Epic Provisions

Collagen Protein Bars joined the Caveman Foods lineup in spring 2019. Made with nuts, egg-white protein and grass-fed beef collagen and minus sugar alcohols and artificial ingredients, Caveman Collagen bars have 11 grams of protein, including 5 grams of grass-fed beef collagen and 5 to 6 grams of fiber per bar. They come in Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Walnut flavors.

Photograph courtesy of Caveman Foods

Being Better Matters this year launched Go Better, a line of Protein Wafer Bars made with whole food ingredients and containing no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or GMOs. Each bar starts with whole nuts and creamy almond butter inside light crispy wafers. It is lightly dipped in dark chocolate and features natural ingredients such as hazelnuts, almonds, coconut and honey oats. Go Better bars derive protein mainly from egg whites and other wholesome ingredients, the company said. It comes in four flavors: Coconut Crunch, Hazelnut Crunch, Almond Crunch and Honey Oats Crunch.

Photograph courtesy of Go Better

Brands that combine superfood ingredients with protein, such as Purely Elizabeth Chocolate Reishi, are generating robust sales for Rachel Krupa, owner of The Goods Mart c-store, Silverlake, Calif. “Our customers look at protein, but they equally look at the amount of sugar in the bars they choose,” Krupa says. “We see customers grabbing bars for several different reasons. One is packaging—does it pop off the shelf?”

Photograph courtesy of Purely Elizabeth