LOS ANGELES — Protein bar company thinkThin is rebranding as think!, reflecting a shift in consumer perceptions of products positioned as diet foods. The brand launched in 1999 and offers a range of gluten-free protein bars and oatmeal products.
“think! has always been the most powerful part of our brand and at the center of what we believe,” said Cherry Joh, vice-president of marketing. “We recently launched our new ‘I think! I can’ marketing campaign that shows the determination and nutritious source of energy needed to accomplish your goals. think! sets us up for future growth as we broaden our consumer target and product portfolio.”
Along with the name change, the brand is adding three new high-protein bar varieties in June, including berries and creme, coconut cake and double caramel. The products contain 20 grams of protein and 3 grams of sugar or less.
In recent years, consumers are focusing less on weight management and more on wellness. As a result, food manufacturers and retailers are reconsidering how to present products to the market. Nestle S.A., Vevey, Switzerland, repositioned its Lean Cuisine business, and Kellogg Co., Battle Creek, Mich., rebooted its Special K brand to address shifting consumer views of health and wellness. More recently, Weight Watchers reintroduced itself as WW with a new statement, “Wellness that Works,” with the goal to attract a broader audience.
Glanbia P.L.C., Kilkenny, Ireland, acquired thinkThin L.L.C. in 2015 for $217 million. In 2016, in an interview with Food Business News, thinkThin president Michele Kessler said, “We don’t consider ourselves a diet brand, and we don’t think our consumers do either. The vast majority of our consumers aren’t on a diet when they’re eating our product. It’s just part of their healthy active lifestyle. Our ads don’t talk about dieting in our messaging.
“Certainly we try to develop products that meet a broad range of consumer needs. We have zero-sugar products that could meet a diabetic’s needs, for example. Gluten-free is also something that the brand has stood for for many years now. We don’t associate with any specific diet; we just like to have a range of products to meet consumers’ individual needs.”