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Trends, insights and nutritional characteristics of the functional bar market

  • What is a protein bar?

    How has sports nutrition evolved over time, what is shaping the market today, and what concepts are capturing the consumer?

    What is a mainstream amount of protein?

    Which protein doses are benchmarks for protein bars? What is the link between format, serving size and dose? Is a shift towards lifestyle and active nutrition causing a decrease in typical protein dose?

    The influence of protein source

    In a market dominated by dairy and animal proteins, how are other protein sources disrupting the landscape? What are the barriers and facilitators to using different protein sources, and which are more likely to take off (particularly with a rise in vegan products)?

    If it fits your macros

    HiLo bars are still a dominant proposition in the sport and active nutrition market, aimed at consumers who follow stricter macronutrient guidelines. These bars fit specific nutrition criteria, but at what cost? How are these nutritionals achieved, which ingredients are used, and more importantly how does this fit in with the growing drive for naturalness? How can these more ‘traditional’ bars be further innovated?

    The healthier protein bar

    How are nutrition bars bridging the gap between naturalness and function, whilst sticking to the rising interest in protein? How do these bars compare to other protein bars in terms of ingredients, nutrients and claims? Which other product propositions and innovation are better suited to/can be facilitated through nutrition bars?

    A drive to differentiate

    How are bars becoming more functional through targeting other areas of health and lifestyle? Which are showing promise of growth, and which are pioneers that are still quite niche?

    Flavour fatigue or flavour intrigue

    What is the flavour structure of products, and how does this differ between product types? Just how dominant is permissible indulgence in bars, and are there any unique and novel/innovative flavours?

Nick Morgan

Nick began his career as an exercise physiologist in elite sport before working at GSK and then consulting into the active nutrition industry since 2010. His primary focus is on how our understanding of science, the consumer and the market integrates to underpin business strategy and innovation.

Eva Prato Luna

Eva has a passion for sports nutrition and a flair for data analysis. Her primary focus is translating the detail of thousands of data points into actionable insights