According to results of the 2013 IFIC (International Food Information Council) Food and Health Survey, 68% of consumers consider fiber content when purchasing foods and beverages, while 63% consider protein.
And protein- and fiber-rich nutrition bars are flying off store shelves at the speed of light. A recent report from Packaged Facts stated that sales of nutrition bars are expected to reach $2.6bn in 2013 (+14% vs 2012) and approach $3.9bn by 2017.
“In 2012 there were 27.7m consumers who ate at least one nutrition bar in the last 30 days. Nutrition bar users constitute 12.1% of the population,” said the report. “There are 3.9m adults who ate 10 or more nutrition bars in the past 30 days, and 14.6m who ate five or more bars during this period.”
Kip Underwood, specialty business director, Protein Solutions, DuPont Nutrition & Health, noted: “Consumer demand for convenient, portable and healthy snacks is driving growth in the nutrition bar market, but whether consumers are focused on general health, weight management or meal replacement, the widespread appeal of protein and fiber, and their ability to deliver a feeling of satiety, can be critical to the success of a snack product.”
In response to this demand DuPont has launched the Supro Nugget 138 to provide protein and both soluble and insoluble fiber in a crunchy, textured format. In addition to giving product developers increased flexibility in formulation, the nuggets are said to remain crisp over time in application while delivering the taste and eating quality consumers demand.
The ingredient is said to be well-suited for those nutrition bars intended as breakfast alternatives or for meal replacement, as pairing protein and fiber helps to deliver increased satiety, a key to effective weight management.
The product could offer similar benefits in other healthy snacks, clusters, trail mix, granola-type cereal, and baking applications, said DuPont. It is also appropriate for use in bars designed to offer moderate protein levels (<12g), and can be combined with other protein and fiber ingredients to reach targeted levels.
Consumers of nutrition bars
Back to the Packaged Facts report and the data indicated that nutrition bars consumers are a varied bunch. Nearly one in three adults seriously involved in weight training use nutrition bars, while other groups with a high percentage of nutrition bar consumers include karate/martial arts enthusiasts (28.5%), aerobics enthusiasts (27.5%), users of cardio machines (24.7%) and joggers/runners (24.4%), reveals the report.
Heavy users are also more likely to be watching their weight, says the report.
“Consumers of at least three nutrition bars in the last 30 days have an above-average propensity to be on a diet. More than four in ten (43%) agree with the statement ‘Most of the time I am trying to lose weight by dieting’, compared to only 29% of adults on average.”
The nutrition bar market will also benefit from long-term trends in eating habits, it predicts.
“Between 2007 and 2012, the number of consumers who often snack between meals increased at a faster rate than general population growth.”
Women are more likely to eat nutrition bars
According to Simmons NCS data, women are more likely to eat nutrition bars (55% of those eating at least one bar in the last 30 days are women, while 45% are men), says Packaged Facts.
“Female consumers of nutrition bars outnumber their male counterparts 15.2m to 12.4m and offer a major opportunity for nutrition bars as well as other sports nutritionals geared especially for women.”