Raising the Bar: A Trending Category

Snack bars

The protein/snack bar market continues to make strides after hitting a low point two years ago during the pandemic, when dollar and unit sales both tumbled into middle double-digit loss territory at the midway point of 2020, according to Chicago-based IRI.

The narrative has shifted positively and incrementally: For a 52-week period ending July 10, 2022, snack bar/granola bar/clusters increased dollars 14.9% and units 5.3%, reflecting total c-store activity, according to IRI. The total c-store snack bar category was a $804.4 million market.

Nutritional/intrinsic bars saw dollars and units jump 17.5% and 11% respectively. Among the top five leading suppliers were Clif Bar & Co, Kind LLC, Quest Nutrition, Met Rx, One Brands and Kellogg.

Notable performances by newer-to-market SKUs included Chef Robert Irvines Fit Crunch Bar (Pervine Foods), which gained 249.3% in dollar sales and reflected a small dollar sample size. Also residing outside the top 10 was Barebells Nutritional, which saw dollars grow 432.7% on a smaller newer-to-market sample size.

Other bar segmentations flashed dollar gains, including breakfast/cereal bars at 12.6% dollar growth and granola bars at a modest 2.8% growth.

Read ahead for five recent bar debuts within the c-store channel.

Dible Dough

Dible Dough edible cookie dough bars, a single serve refrigerated treat, are formulated with all-natural ingredients, such as real butter, sugar and peanut butter. They offer a homemade confection that’s convenient and portion controlled. Dible Dough cookie dough bars are ideal for positioning in open-air coolers or freezer areas.

Evo Hemp

Evo Hemp, a USA-grown hemp nutrition company, launched a limited-edition Birthday Cake Hemp Bar that blends hemp seeds, cashew butter, keto white chocolate and all-natural sprinkles. The bars have 12 grams of protein, 4 grams of sugar and 5 grams of fiber per serving. The supplier offers a variety of hemp and CBD products, including gummies, tinctures, capsules, roll-ons, hemp hearts, hemp protein, hemp chocolate, hempseed oil and more.

No Cow

No Cow, maker of plant-based, low-sugar protein bars and powders, launched a new line: Dipped, which feature protein bars dipped in plant-based chocolate. Each Dipped bar is made with a proprietary blend of rice and pea protein and contains 20-plus grams of plant protein, 3 to 5 grams of net carbs and 1 gram of sugar. Six flavors are available: Chocolate Sea Salt, Chocolate Salted Caramel, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, Chocolate Mint Cookie, Chocolate Sprinkled Donut and Chocolate Coconut Almond.

Clif Thins

Clif Thins are a crispy and crunchy take on the brand’s original flagship offering. Made with plant-based ingredients, Clif Thins have 100 calories and 5 grams of sugar per pack. Three flavors are available: Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Peanut Brownie and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut. A box containing seven packs has an SRP of $7.30.


Gluten-free gourmet rice-snack brand Riceworks debuted a rice-based Omega-3 snack bar in three flavors. Focusing on the better-for-you consumer, the rice snack variety consists of whole grain rice with no artificial flavors or preservatives. Riceworks baked multigrain Omega-3 fruit bars contain real fruit filling baked inside its whole grain crust and are available in Apple Cinnamon, Blackberry and Strawberry.