General Mills has rolled out a nut-based bar line under its Nature Valley brand and also developed a nut, fruit and chocolate line of Real Good Bars under a new Food Should Taste Good brand as part of a flurry of recent NPD.
Kelly Fulford, senior category development manager at General Mills Convenience, said bar development had been a strong focus for the company as the sector evolved.
“What we’re seeing bars emerge to, in terms of category trends, is more simple ingredients. So, less is more,” she told BakeryandSnacks.com at Sweets & Snacks Expo 2015 in Chicago.
She said the Real Good Bars, for example, contained a number of simple ingredients – nuts, fruit and chocolate – and similarly, the Nature Valley bars contained nuts and seeds.
Clear and simple
Fulford said that for the development of both bar lines, packaging had been particularly important and General Mills had decided to go for clear packs in both instances.
“As consumers are looking for simpler, wholesome ingredients they also want to see the product they’re purchasing, and so we have spent a lot of time and energy on packaging and design.”
“Clear packaging is definitely an emerging trend and one that will go into other categories too but bars is definitely the leader right now,” she said.
Fulford said the appeal of clear packaging likely went back to long-instilled consumer association with fresh foods like veg, bakery and sandwiches that were always packed in clear material.
“I think it really goes with the health and wellness trends. These consumers can see [the product] for themselves,” she said.
Fulford said that while the breakfast occasion was a clear target for both bar lines, particularly in the c-store environment, the products held appeal in other eating occasions.
“We talk about breakfast, but consumers are eating bars more and more throughout the day beyond breakfast,” she said.