April 12, 2019  |  Expertise

5 things challenger energy bar brands should know

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In Ideabar’s pursuit of a natural-minded consumer across industries, our proprietary research uncovered insights into the energy bar market. Ideabar analysts conducted a U.S. national online study of nearly 600 respondents balanced for gender and age to understand the popularity of brands, particularly active lifestyle brands, among the general population as well as natural-minded consumers.

America loves energy bars, and with good reason. Energy bars work as an easy grab-and-go snack, a meal replacement, and an energy booster during physical activity. They also offer a significantly more impressive nutrition profile than your average bag of chips or candy.

Here’s what challenger brands, particularly those targeting a natural or active consumer should know:

1. Cliff, Luna and Larabar lead with consumers living an active lifestyle

With nutritional value and convenience on their side, energy bars have quickly become a growing and competitive market. Brands are now competing on price point, flavor profile and label claims.

There are a wide variety of bars in the market that can be categorized by their primary purpose. These categories include weight-loss bars, natural/energy bars, and snack/breakfast bars. Regardless of the group, a few brands dominate the industry.

Our study shows the top three bars in the market amongst consumers who purchase bars regularly are Nature Valley, Cliff and Nutri-Grain Bar. For consumers leading an active lifestyle, Cliff, Luna, and Larabar are ranked most popular.

2. Active Lifestyle + Natural Bar consumers look like this:

Our study shows that consumers regularly purchasing or consuming one or more natural bars monthly, who are also regularly engaged in physical and outdoor activities, are evenly split among males and females, skew younger and have moderate incomes.

3. The “natural bar” consumer, no stranger to the outdoors, skews male

Our study shows that consumers regularly purchasing natural bars lead an extremely active lifestyle. Most natural bar costumers periodically engage in one or more outdoor activities. From archery to snowboarding, and everything in between, this consumer can’t get enough of the great outdoors. This consumer skews slightly male, has a moderate income and skews Gen X or younger.

4. Taste, protein and price are key factors

When it comes to natural bars — taste, high protein and price matter to the customer. Some consumers might also have a slight preference for a bar that is non-GMO and USDA Organic.

5. Protein and sugar do matter

It’s no surprise that the average consumer is more health conscious than previous generations, and natural bar consumers are no exception. In addition to taste, protein and price — low sugar and calories, high fiber and natural ingredients are also relevant to this consumer. The top five bars regularly purchased/eaten by the consumer are made with all-natural ingredients.

To receive a free copy of Ideabar’s Energy Bar study, contact at 561-820-4280.

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