The US based company, who manufactures such natural and organic items as Organic Weetabix, Shredded Wheat, Alpen and various salty snacks and biscuits, is taking advantage of the demand for healthier and fortified snacks. Recent reports have noted the growing market for fortified foods, such as those with added vitamins, fibre or with natural fillings, fuelled by the rising obesity rates. The new Fruit & Yogurt bars from Barbara's Bakery will contain 25 per cent of the RDA for calcium as well as 16 per cent of the recommended intake of whole grain. Various vitamins have also been added to the bars, and they are free from artificial colours and preservatives, the company said. "With calcium deficiency continuing to capture headlines across the country, we are doing our part to help our customers meet their calcium needs without compromising taste or convenience," said Keith Spalding, Barbara's Bakery marketing director. Recent studies have shown that fibre-rich and whole grain foods can help with cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol and diabetes. A recent report by Global Industry Analysts said consumers in North America and Europe are most conscious of the advantages associated with eating whole grains. The US is the largest market, with an estimated $5.6bn (€4.1bn) in 2006, while Europe is expected to have a 29 per cent share of the market by 2010. Companies are taking advantage of this trend by gradually increasing their range of whole-grain products as well as those fortified with vitamins. Barbara's Bakery claims to be one of the founding members of the Whole Grain Council, in the aim of promoting the health benefits of whole grains. The baked whole-grain snacks market has the most potential for growth, according to Global Industry Analysts, with the whole grain and high fibre food market reaching $21bn (€15bn) by 2010.