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Nutritional and Cereal Bars in the U.S., 4th Edition

  • February 2015
  • 101 pages
  • Packaged Facts
Report ID: 2736759


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Snack bars continue to serve as a source of quick energy and meal replacements for athletes and fitness buffs. However, nutrition and cereal/granola bars have achieved broad appeal in the pantheon of snacks revered by what has become a nation of snackers. They are a handy way for consumers to stop eating three meals a day at set times and to start eating smaller portions of food throughout the day, whether they are on the go or at home.

Moreover, nutrition and cereal/granola bars conform to a broad cultural shift toward healthier, good-for-you food products. Bars provide an attractive way for food marketers to offer alternative, exotic sources of protein; bold, exciting flavors; ingredients with a shiny health halo resulting from their organic and “natural characteristics; and superfoods and other functional ingredients targeting specific health concerns such as a desire or need for food to be gluten-free. Nutrition bars, which have achieved torrid sales growth in recent years, provide an especially appropriate platform to deliver the kind of dense nutrition today's consumers crave and search for in sources such as ancient grains and healthy seeds, including quinoa, amaranth, sorghum, chia and flaxseed.

Nutritional and Cereal Bars in the U.S., 4th Edition highlights emerging opportunities for marketers of nutrition and cereal/granola bars. For example, the report shows that while 18- to 34-year-old men account for the largest demographic segment of high-volume users of nutrition bars, women of all ages represent the next four largest groups of consumers who use relatively large quantities of nutrition bars. Female Boomers and women in the 65+ age group will be an increasingly important target for marketers. One in six (16.4%) high-volume users of nutrition bars are women 55 years old and over.

The report also focuses on trends shaping the market for nutrition and cereal/granola bars; provides an estimate of U.S. retail sales of nutrition and cereal/granola bars for the 2009 through 2014 period and a projection of U.S. retail sales through 2019; identifies marketing and new product trends; and provides an in-depth look at today's consumers of nutrition and cereal/granola bars.

Scope of the Report

This Packaged Facts report analyzes the market for nutrition bars and cereal/granola bars. When this report refers to both of these products, it uses the terms “snack bars or “bars.

The categories covered by this report are subject to wide differences in semantic usage in data sources such as IRI and Simmons National Consumer Studies as well as company websites and industry and trade publications.

The category “nutrition bars (which are sometimes called “nutritional bars) includes bars marketed as “energy bars, “diet bars, “performance bars, “protein bars and “sports bars.

The equivalent terms used by IRI that appear in figures and tables in Chapter 4 of this report are “nutritional/intrinsic health value bars and “breakfast/cereal/snack bars and granola bars. The IRI category incorporating both of these categories is “snack bars/granola bars.

The analogous categories in Simmons National Consumer Study (NCS) data are “energy/diet snacks and bars and “cereal bars. However, for the sake of clarity and simplification, tables and figures using NCS data in this report use the terms “nutrition bars and “cereal/granola bars. Simmons NCS data on users of cereal/granola bars was compiled from data on users of the leading brands of cereal bars.

The consumer data in this report come from several sources. These include the Packaged Facts National Online Consumer Survey conducted in November 2014. These surveys reflect a panel of 2,000 U.S. adults (age 18+) that is balanced to the national population on the primary demographic measures of gender, age bracket, race/ethnicity, geographic region, marital status, presence or absence of children in the household and household income.

Another source of consumer data in this report is the Simmons NCS for Summer 2014 (and Summer 2009 and Spring 2004 in the case of 5- and 10-year-trend tables and figures) from Experian Marketing Services. On an ongoing basis, Experian Marketing Services conducts booklet-based surveys of a large and random sample of consumers (approximately 25,000 for each 12-month survey compilation) who in aggregate represent a statistically accurate cross-section of the U.S. population.

Retail sales figures credited to IRI (Chicago, IL) are based on IRI aggregated multi-outlet (MULO) sales tracking, which represents sales through U.S. supermarkets, drugstores (including Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid), mass merchandisers (Walmart, Target, Kmart, and Shopko), warehouse clubs (Sam's Club and BJ's, but excluding Costco), dollar stores (excluding Dollar Tree), and military commissaries.

The report is also based upon data collected from field surveys of food retailers in various channels as well as a wide range of industry sources, including company websites, trade publications, business newspapers and magazines, consumer blogs, and annual reports, 10Ks and other releases from public companies.

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