Jan 28, 2015

Sweet or Savory? Radical Changes Ahead For The Snack Bar Category


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It’s no secret that convenience is paramount to consumers in a world that continues to move faster. From smoothies and shakes, to bagged and boxed lunches, nutrition on-the-go is booming. The snack bar category in particular has skyrocketed with double-digit growth, thanks to portability and a health-forward perception. With an oversaturated category and limited shelf space, how can a company expand or break into the category?

Food trends have been favorable toward innovation in recent years, as American’s taste buds become more adventurous. Tapping into the evolution, Clif Bar and KIND Snacks are peaked to upend the snack category, thanks to new lines of unorthodox savory snacks. According to the Wall Street Journal, athletes in particular are overwhelmed by sweet tastes, and are reaching for snacks with more neutral to savory flavor profiles. Yet beef jerky and a bag of chips can only go so far. After two years of testing, Kind released five savory energy bars with unique combinations like honey smoked barbecue, Thai chili, honey mustard and roasted jalapeño. Clif Bar follows suit this February with individually packed energy gels in flavors like pizza and sweet potato french fries. Yes – you heard that right – is filet mignon next?

Kind Strong Barsimage via KIND Snacks

These curious new flavor combinations present a new kind of adoption curve for consumer’s taste buds. Is the climate ripe for such a change? In a new study on the category, WSJ likens the trend to the rise of artisanal sour beers which required multiple tastings among consumers, and have prevailed as a mainstay in the brewery world ever since. It’s all about acquired taste. The verdict is still out on these savory snacks, but it is clear that brands are listening to consumers, and the innovation ahead boasts new and exciting products to come.

The possibilities for product innovation are endless. Contact BrandJuice today to discuss a targeted strategy for your business.

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