4 Trends Redefining The Global Nutrition Bar Market

27 May 2020

2 min

Top 4 trends impacting the global nutrition bar market

High performing ingredients for bar applications

More than any other factor, the purchase decision driving bar purchases is the sensory experience.

To meet this need, NZMP offers a broad range of SureProtein™ Bar ingredient solutions that deliver improved taste, texture and superior functionality.

Two pieces chocolate flavour protein energy bar on end  isolated on white background



The rise of healthy snacking and protein bars

Driven by the increasingly busy lifestyles of consumers, grab-and-go convenience is experiencing rising demand among consumers. Modern eating styles have replaced traditional eating patterns, characterised by frequent snacking instead of having three structured meals a day. [1] In North America, the snacking category is experiencing one of the strongest sales growths with an estimated retail value of US$139bn and growing at 3.8% (2019-2024). [2]

Bars, in particular, have experienced an uptick in consumption as a healthy and convenient snacking option. Over the past 5 years, snack launches have been dominated by bars in the US, UK, German and Australian markets.[3] Convenience and the nutritional value of bars are top reasons for the rising bar consumption.[6]


of US consumers have snacked on bars in the past 12 months.[4]

As manufacturers move to stay ahead of the competition, distinct bar formats that segment the market have emerged. These include: 

  • Muscle recovery bars
  • Energy bars
  • Indulgent bars 
  • Meal replacement bars

Maximizing appeal of protein bars

Our latest infographic covers these 4 trends: the quality of protein, the importance of taste and texture, the ability to generate additional appeal with complementing protein claims and consumer preferences of natural ingredients. 

60% of US consumers consider high protein claims to be important when purchasing healthy snacks

Mintel 2019

The focus has since shifted to the quality of protein, rather than just quantity. 48% of US bar consumers look for moderate amounts of protein (5-14g), with the source of protein as a key driver of bar choice.[5]

As the market moves beyond the realm of professional sports into mainstream active and healthy lifestyle snacking habits, protein remains the leading driver in bar choice. Since 2016, protein bar sales have overtaken cereal bars in the US. It now accounts for roughly half the retail value of the entire snack bar market, estimated at $3.9bn in 2019.[8] 

Asian woman eating a protein bar in green sportswear

Download the infographic to get all the details

Asian woman eating bar, smiling and holding cup

Explore our bar ingredients portfolio 

  • [1] Mintel: Snacking Motivations and Attitudes, US, January 2019
  • [2] Euromonitor: Market Size - North America Snacking, March 2020
  • [3] Mintel GNPD: Q1 2020
  • [4] FMCG: Active Nutrition Survey, Q3 2019
  • [5] Mintel: Snack, Nutrition and Performance Bars, US, February 2019
  • [6] Mintel: Snack, Nutrition and Performance Bars, US, February 2020
  • [7] Mintel: Better for you Snacking, US, December 2019
  • [8] Euromonitor: US Snack Bar Sales 2005 to 2024

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