Snack and nutritional bars are not only growing in popularity, but they represent an innovative category that keeps up with trends and is rewarded for its creativity. “A decade ago, food bars primarily targeted athletes, diet-specific consumers and the morning daypart,” says Jennifer Williams, marketing director domestic advertising, California Walnut Board and Commission, Folsom, CA. “Today, bars are formulated for all eating occasions, from an on-the-go breakfast option to a mid-morning snack and a dinner meal replacement.” And as these eating occasions have expanded in snack-fueled diversity, so has the consumer base.
Millennials, for example, are a key demographic, especially as they become parents, says Pam Stauffer, global marketing programs manager, Cargill, Minneapolis. “For millennials, snacking is a lifestyle, and they consume significantly more snacks than their baby boomer parents. They’re not, however, looking for junk food.” And this is where bars can enter the picture.