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The snack is back! Judging from the amount of growth within the nutritional bar category in the past year, snacking is definitely en vogue. Incremental annual sales totaled $117.5 million across food, drug and mass retailers, with the exception of Walmart, according to SymphonyIRI Group. Out of all over-the-counter growth categories for the 52 weeks ended April 17, nutritional bars as a category took in more dollars on top of what they had generated the year before than any other category, bar none.
There are plenty of divergent consumers contributing to this growth — from dieters looking for a healthier snack solution to the athletically inclined seeking out the best calorie/protein/carbohydrate combo. General Mills last year introduced a 90-calorie version of its Fiber One snack bars, which contributed to 10% retail sales growth for this line in 2010, according to the company’s annual report.
The consuming demographic also spans young and old. According to a February 2011 Mintel report, young adults are consuming the most nutrition and energy bars as meal-replacement solutions, and older adults are looking to nutrition bars as a healthy way to improve their overall diet. “Fifty-four percent of consumers say they don’t have enough time to eat breakfast. They want easy, grab-n-go choices that are still low in sugar and simple carbs,” stated Atkins CEO Monty Sharma speaking about the launch of six new Atkins Day Break products in April.
Snacks sporting high protein and low sodium claims currently are experiencing the strongest growth, according to a SymphonyIRI Group report on snacking released in May. Annualized sales of high protein snacks are up 7.6%, and low-sodium snacks are up 6.2%.
The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Nutritional Snacking Mid-Year Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.