By: Catherine Barry, director of marketing, National Honey Board

Step into any supermarket nutrition bar aisle in the United States, and the options are endless—for a reason. With all-day snacking, grab-and-go convenience and meal replacement hitting an all-time high, food bars serve a multitude of consumer demands for all of life’s occasions.

However, what does the consumer want? Recent trends indicate increased functional benefits, more energy, satisfaction as a meal replacement, unique flavors that blend nostalgic ingredients with something new, guilt-free indulgence, clean labels, and plant-forward ingredients. It’s a lot of pressure to put in one bar. Luckily, there is one ingredient that checks off all of the boxes: honey.

A bar made with honey is not only great tasting, it’s also an all-natural sweetener that consumers feel good about eating. It’s not only an all-natural, clean label ingredient, but it provides 17 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon, giving that energy boost no matter what the eating occasion. Fast Bar’s Intermittent Fasting Bar provides a unique take on the energy boost needed after a fast. In the formulation, honey is mixed with additional plant-based ingredients like almonds, macadamias, pecans, and sea salt. 

Honey Mama’s expanded its line of bars with a flavorful variety that satisfies a little bit of tradition with a new twist: Cocoa Truffle Bar Chocolate Cake. The newest flavor combines honey with Dutch cocoa and pecans, and a sprinkle of coconut. 

Honey is also the tie that binds. Have a nut- or seed-dense bar? Mix those with honey and consumers won’t have to worry about crumbles or mess. Kate’s Real Food’s Oatmeal Cranberry & Almond bar includes ingredients like gluten-free oats and brown rice crisps that need the perfect binder: honey. 

Honey is also an ingredient that has benefits in product packaging as well as formulation. The iconic images that honey conveys—a bear, a bee, a dipper or the delicious honey itself—are fun and friendly for consumers, along with being eye-catching amongst a sea of competition. 

One of the most can’t-miss packages in the bread aisle has been Dave’s Killer Bread, so it comes as no surprise that the company’s new Oat-Rageous Honey Almond packaging would stand out on bar shelves. Honey oozes out of the snack bar on the wrapper, which features almonds and organic oats. Talk about a killer new bar.