Food Bars Ideal for On-The-Go Consumers

Breakfast/cereal/snack bars are ideal for on-the-go consumers; and they can mesh well with the new Dietary Guidelines.

By Diane Toops, News and Trends Editor

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Growth of the healthier food-to-go category illustrates the potential force of the wellness revolution across a number of categories,” says Ed Kuehnle, president of IRI North America. In the past five years, the overall snack bars/granola bars category enjoyed a 17 percent composite annual growth rate. The wellness segment grew 32 percent.

Low-carb brands have grabbed 13 percent market share in category scanner sales, while energy, protein, fitness or diet/low-sugar bars accounted for 25 percent of share in 2004.  Meanwhile, the category forerunner segments – breakfast/cereal and granola bars – have seen their combined share drop from an estimated 71 percent to 55 percent and rice snack squares from 13 percent to 5 percent since 1998.

Let’s speculate as to what’s next on the label. Look for organic, natural, trans fat-free, more enrichment and bars for specific medical problems – those with allergies, ones for diabetics (sugar-reduced or sugar-free, following the glycemic index or glycemic load) and heart-healthy bars touted to lower cholesterol. And definitely those with healthful ingredients: more fruits, nuts, soy and dairy ingredients and use of whole grains for added fiber to tie in with the new USDA guidelines.

Two is better than one here, too, so look for processors to add coffee to a breakfast bar, cheese to a sandwich-type bar or enrobe granola with dark chocolate for a healthy dessert. General Mills’ Nature Valley rolled out Sweet & Salty Nut Granola Bars in two varieties – Peanut and Almond – in January. It’s touted to those who love sweet, but also crave salty.

Top 10 Vendors of Breakfast/Cereal/Snack Bars

Company Name       Sales ($ millions) % Change
vs. Year Ago
Market Share
Kellogg Co.

228.7

-6.1

44.6

Quaker Oats Co.

92.8

-2.5

18.1

General Mills

70.2

-15.4

13.7

Atkins Nutritionals

28.3

197

5.5

Private Label

23.9

-15.4

4.7

Slim Fast Foods

19.9

-47.5

3.9

Kraft/Nabisco

16.1

n.a.

3.1

McKee Foods Corp.

10.7

-11.1

2.1

Bimbo Bakeries

6.5

-31.5

1.3

Health Valley Natural Foods

4.4

-13.4

0.9

Top 10 Total

$513.2

- 3.6%

 
Source: Information Resources Inc., Sales in U.S. supermarkets for 52 weeks ending Dec. 26, 2004



Top 20 Brands of Breakfast/Cereal/Snack Bars
Brand Name              Sales ($ millions) % Change
vs. Year Ago
Market Share
Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain

$102.6

-1%

20%

Kellogg’s Special K

50.8

24.7

9.9

General Mills Milk ‘N Cereal

49.5

-28.5

9.6

Quaker Fruit & Oatmeal

32.8

-14.8

6.4

Quaker Oatmeal Breakfast Squares

29.5

56.7

5.8

Atkins Morning Start

28.0

195

5.5

Kellogg’s Cereal & Milk

25.6

-9.3

5.0

Private Label

23.9

-15.4

4.7

Quaker Fruit & Oatmeal

19.4

-33.5

3.8

Slim Fast Snack Options

18.9

-48.5

3.7

Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Muffin

16.7

-6.5

3.3

Post Carb Well

15.7

n.a.

3.1

Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Yogurt

14.3

-37.3

2.8

Quaker Fruit & Oatmeal On the Go

11.1

28.9

2.2

General Mills Oatmeal Crisp

10.6

-23.0

2.1

Sunbelt

10.3

-11.1

2.0

General Mills Sunkist

10.2

n.a.

2.0

Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Minis

7.6

-60.5

1.5

Kellogg’s All Bran

5.9

n.a.

1.1

Entenmann’s Multi Grain

5.6

-28.8

1.1

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