Snack, nutrition and performance bar innovation is boosted by consumers’ return to on-the-go lifestyles.
Etera Foods is launching its flagship product and what it calls a new category of post-workout muscle recovery bars with the debut of The After Bar. The bar is made with non-hemp-derived CBD, which means it can never contain THC.
Etera Foods partnered with PureForm Global to use its CBD derived from citrus. The technology used to extract CBD from citrus terpenes (aromatic compounds in oranges) involves no toxic solvents and preserves their organic essence, according to the company. Each After Bar contains 20 mg of PureForm CBD.
“The After Bar is in a unique position by way of our partnership with PureForm Global,” said Blake Godlove, founder and chief executive officer of Etera Food. “By utilizing their citrus-derived CBD, we can offer consumers a completely risk-free form of CBD that has all of the amazing recovery benefits, without the possibility of a THC inclusion.”
Vegan, soy-free, gluten-free and non-GMO, The After Bar contains a blend of Sachi Inchi protein and pea protein, providing 14 grams of protein. Paired with carbohydrates from fruit and healthy fats from nuts, the bars contain a balanced macronutrient ratio optimized for recovery, Etera Foods said. The After Bar comes in three flavors: Dark Chocolate Cherry Matcha, Antioxidant Berry Fusion, and Original Harvest Trail.
The Dark Chocolate Cherry Matcha After Bar blend dark chocolate, tart cherries, organic ceremonial-grade matcha, almonds, dates, quinoa, cherries, coconut, pumpkin seeds and vanilla beans. Each bar contains 290 calories, 18 grams of sugar, 12 grams of fat and 4 grams of fiber.
The Antioxidant Berry Fusion flavor features almonds, dates, quinoa, blueberries, cranberries, goji berries, coconut, dragon fruit, noni fruit, ginger, vanilla beans and turmeric. Each bar contains 290 calories, 20 grams of sugar, 11 grams of fat and 4 grams of fiber.
The Original Harvest Trail variety combines pumpkin seeds, quinoa, raisins, coconut, vanilla beans, turmeric, almonds, dates and ginger. Each bar contains 290 calories, 19 grams of sugar, 12 grams of fat and 3 grams of fiber.
“After two years of research and development, Etera Foods has taken the gap between flavor and functionality in stride,” Mr. Godlove said.
The After Bar is available on the company’s website for $24.99 per six-bar pack.
Lenny & Larry’s is adding nutrition bars to its portfolio of products with the introduction of The Complete Cookie-fied Bar.
Non-GMO Project verified and gluten-free, the bar is formulated with 12 grams of plant-based protein, has 6 grams of sugar and 5 grams of prebiotic fiber. The Complete Cookie-fied Bar is available in two flavors: peanut butter chocolate chip and chocolate almond sea salt.
“As the originators of the protein cookie, we see many things with cookie eyes, and we saw the bar category needed something more unique,” said Jolie Weber, chief executive officer of Lenny & Larry's. “Lenny & Larry's fans love our cookies for their delicious flavor and more nutritious profile, so now we're bringing them a cookie in a bar. Just as important, it's on-trend with consumer desires for plant-based protein and lower sugar.”
Distribution for Lenny & Larry's Complete Cookie-fied Bar will be nationwide at 7-Eleven stores as well as online at Amazon and Lennylarry.com. The suggested retail price for a single bar is $1.99.
Think! Products is pumping up its protein-packed portfolio with new High Protein Crisp Bars.
Available in chocolate and lemon flavors, the bars feature a soft cake-like layer atop a crispy core. The bars include a protein blend consisting of soy protein crisps, milk protein isolate, whey protein, calcium caseinate and casein. Sweetened with stevia, each gluten-free bar contains 140 to 150 calories, 15 grams of protein and 2 grams of sugar.
“We tested countless recipes to arrive at a Crisp Bar that is incredibly satisfying at every bite, rich in flavor and texture, and packed with protein to fuel your day,” said Perri Gordon, vice president and general manager of lifestyle brands for Think! parent company Glanbia Performance Nutrition. “From rock climbing or volunteering, to teaching or playing drums — our goal at Think! is to give you the fuel to do what you love, and we created our new Think! High Protein Crisp Bars with that objective.”
Think! High Protein Crisp Bars are available on Amazon and the company’s website for $16.99 per 10-count box.
Following years of consumer requests, Kellogg subsidiary RXBAR is introducing its first-ever plant-based offering. RXBAR Plant has 10 grams of protein and replaces the brand’s signature egg white protein with pea and almond protein. Flavors include peanut butter and chocolate chip.
Featuring a soft, chewy texture, the bars are formulated with dates, nuts and gluten-free oats and contain no added sugar. The brand boasts the shortest list of ingredients among its competitive set.
“Fans have been asking for a plant-based RXBAR for quite some time,” said Jenny Lindquist, director of experience planning for RXBAR. “Today, we answered that call with a plant-based protein bar that delivers on both quality and taste, both essential to us in the development of RXBAR Plant. That’s why it has been nearly two years in the making, to make sure we did it right.”
RXBAR Plant is available nationwide at RXBAR.com and will debut on shelves at Target, Kroger and additional retailers in the coming months.
A new protein bar brand is preparing to enter the market with savory flavor profiles inspired by breakfast, lunch and dinner ingredients. The three meal occasions are what inspired the name of the brand: BLD Bar.
“BLD Bars don't masquerade as candy bars,” said Anish Vanmali, founder of BLD Bar. “Your choices are no longer limited to dessert-flavored protein bars high in sugar and filled with preservatives. BLD Bars are made to eat at any time of the day.”
Plant-based and gluten-free, BLD Bars come in country ranch, smoky barbecue, margarita lime and everything bagel flavors. The bars are made with pea protein, tapioca starch, puffed quinoa, almonds and canola oil. Each 40-gram bar contains 150 to 170 calories, 8 to 9 grams of protein, 7 grams of fat, 0 to 2 grams of sugar and 10 to 13 grams of net carbs.
“We have spent more than a year testing the market, prototyping and gathering feedback from customers,” Mr. Vanmali said. “Whether you want a refreshing morning boost from our margarita lime bar or you want a late-night snack that won't keep you up like the everything bagel bar, we got you covered.”
Mr. Vanmali launched a Kickstarter campaign on April 27 to move BLD Bars from test batches to large-scale production. Testing began in June to ensure the production process can meet the same quality, consistency and taste of the current recipe, the company said.
“The market research shows there is a demand for BLD Bars,” Mr. Vanmali said. “I'm ready to scale up this brand and bring a revolutionary variety of healthy, nutritional snacks to the market.”
Brave Good Kind (BGK), a snack brand launched by K2 Ventures, in May introduced a poultry-based protein bar. The new Tender Chicken Bars join the brand's flagship product, Tender Chicken Bites, which debuted in March.
Made with antibiotic-free chicken and spices, the gluten-free bars come in three varieties: original, teriyaki and hot honey. The original is seasoned with black pepper and rosemary; the teriyaki is seasoned with soy sauce, ginger and pineapple; and the hot honey is seasoned with honey, paprika and habanero chili powder. Each 0.8-oz bar contains 60 to 70 calories, 8 grams of protein, 4 to 5 grams of carbs and fewer than 6 grams of sugar.
“Since the launch of BGK Tender Chicken Bites, we have received tremendous excitement from consumers who loved our delicious bites for their everyday snacking needs,” said Prabal Chaudhri, president and founder of K2 Ventures. “Consumers also asked us for a more convenient product that they can consume for their active adventures such as hiking, running and road-trips as a meal replacement or sustenance snack that gives them portion control. That’s why we decided to expand our portfolio and launch chicken snacks in a new format.”
BGK Tender Chicken Bars are available in a 9-count caddy for $25.99. Both the bars and Tender Chicken Bites are available on Amazon and on the Brave Good Kind website, with additional retailers to follow.
Nutritional Growth Solutions, a global nutrition company focused on children’s health, debuted the Healthy Height Snack Bar in the United States and Canada in May. The patented, science-based product contains vitamins, minerals, protein and amino acids designed to support growth development in children.
Available in cookies and cream and strawberry cupcake flavors, Healthy Height Snack Bar has 12 grams of whey protein and 350 mg of amino acid arginine per serving, with no corn syrup, additives, gluten, soy or genetically modified ingredients. Additional ingredients include acerola powder and maca root powder, which contribute vitamin C and iron, respectively.
The bars are formulated with the same nutritional profile as the company’s patented shake range that is clinically proven to support growth development in children ages 3 to 9 when consumed once or twice daily over a six-month period, according to the company.
The research was led by top medical professionals in pediatric endocrinology, gastroenterology, and nutrition. During the development of the bars, children were invited to sample various flavors and textures and provide feedback on the formulations.
“Our patented formula was developed after more than 20 years of research on the link between nutrition and growth in children,” said Liron Fendell, chief executive officer and managing director of Nutritional Growth Solutions. “Both forms of Healthy Height, the shakes and snack bars, are ‘picky eater approved’ to help parents seeking alternative options for children who might not qualify for growth hormone therapy.”
In May, Vital Farms announced its new Breakfast Bars, heat-and-eat, egg-based snacks in four savory flavors.
Varieties include uncured bacon and cheddar cheese with hash browns; broccoli and cheddar cheese with a pastry crust; sausage and cheddar cheese with a cheese crust; and southwest fire-roasted corn with sweet potato. The products are made with pasture-raised liquid whole eggs and cheese, humanely raised meat and vegetables, and contain no added sugar, preservatives or fillers. Each bar has 7 to 14 grams of protein and fewer than 200 calories.
Vital Farms Breakfast Bars will be available nationwide at Whole Foods Market and other retailers beginning in August. The products join the brand’s lineup of single-serve, refrigerated egg bites, which launched last year. The Austin, Texas-based company also offers pasture-raised whole eggs and butter.
Perfect Snacks, a subsidiary of Mondelez International, Inc., increased the snackability of its Perfect Bars in April with new Perfect Bar Snack Size.
Debuting in two flavors — peanut butter and dark chocolate chip peanut butter — Perfect Bar Snack Size bars contain more than 20 superfoods each, the company said. The refrigerated bars are USDA certified organic, Non-GMO Project verified and gluten-free. Each bar contains 120 to 130 calories and 6 grams of protein.
Both bars are made with peanut butter, honey, nonfat milk, eggs, rice protein, kale, flax seed, rose hip, orange, lemon, papaya, tomato, apple, alfalfa, celery, kelp, dulse, carrot spinach, flaxseed oil, sunflower oil, sesame seed oil, olive oil and pumpkin seed oil. The dark chocolate chip peanut butter bar adds fair trade dark chocolate and sea salt to the mix.
“Contrary to their small stature, a snack-size bar is something we've always seen as a sizable opportunity, as we've grown to understand how our fans enjoy Perfect Bar throughout their days and as part of their ever-evolving routines,” said Bill Keith, chief executive officer and co-founder of Perfect Snacks. “We’ve delivered on taste, nutrition and ingredients with a recipe that has stood the test of time — literally, since we were kids — so being able to stay true to our roots while also providing value to our retail partners and customers is a win-win.”
Perfect Bar Snack Size bars come in 8-count boxes for a suggested retail price of $6.99. The bars are available in the refrigerated sections of Target, Kroger, Albertsons and Safeway stores and are rolling out to additional nationwide retailers in the coming months.
“We've seen such immense growth and innovation in Fresh Snacking since we launched the first refrigerated protein bar in stores more than 16 years ago,” said Leigh Keith, president and co-founder of Perfect Snacks. “We're excited to continue fueling the Fresh Set and innovating with formats and flavors that break the mold of what's been done.”
Your Super expanded its plant-based bar line in April with the new Energy Bomb Bar. The plant-based bar is made with dates, cashews, sesame seeds, raisins and a serving of the brand’s Energy Bomb superfood mix, which includes acai, guarana, maca, lucuma and banana powder. USDA certified organic and Non-GMO Project verified, each gluten-free bar contains 210 calories, 5 grams of protein and 39 mg of caffeine.
Epic, a subsidiary of General Mills, Inc., in March launched its first bar made from beef raised using practices to reduce carbon emissions.
The Epic Beef Barbacoa-Inspired Bar is the first bar to bear the Savory Institute’s Land to Market Ecological Outcome Verifications (EOV) Seal, which illustrates the product was made using regenerative farming practices that improve soil health, biodiversity and ecosystem functions. The beef used to make the new bar is sourced from White Oak Pastures, which offsets 80% of its greenhouse gas emissions through regenerating soil practices.
The gluten-free meat snack contains 11 grams of protein and 4 grams of total carbs per serving.
“At Epic, it is our mission to improve the current agricultural system,” said Steve Rosenzweig, PhD, senior soil scientist at General Mills. “Epic’s new EOV Beef Barbacoa-Inspired Bar demonstrates General Mills’ pledge to drive positive change in our food system and ensure a sustainable future.”
The Beef Barbacoa-Inspired Bar is available at Whole Foods Market and on Epic’s website with a suggested retail price of $2.99.
In March, MadeGood Foods built out its snack bar portfolio with new Chocolate Drizzled Granola Bars, available in three flavors: Cookie Crumble, Birthday Cake, and Vanilla. The gluten-free, organic bars contain no peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, egg, soy, sesame or shellfish and retail for $4.99 per box of five bars.
“Granola bars have always been one of our most popular products, and customers are looking for new, craveable flavors and offerings that can satisfy a sweet tooth without guilt,” said Nima Fotovat, president of MadeGood Foods. “These new bars hit the sweet spot. The delicious chocolate drizzle makes the products feel extra indulgent while still delivering nutrients from six different fruits and vegetables.”
In February, Real Food Bar, an Austin, Texas-based snack startup, debuted plant-based protein bars made with upcycled ingredients.
The company transforms surplus vegetables into powdered ingredients for the bars. Real Food Bar incorporates upcycled kale, sweet potato and cauliflower, plus pea protein, cashew butter, tapioca fiber, agave syrup, coconut oil, pea protein crisps, sunflower oil, sea salt, vanilla extract and sunflower lecithin.
USDA certified organic and vegan, Real Food Bars contain half the sugar as the leading nutrition bar in the United States, twice the fiber and half the net carbs, the company said. The bars are gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free and non-GMO. Flavors in the initial launch include cherry cashew, chocolate sea salt and peanut butter. An espresso chip flavor was added in May.
The chocolate sea salt bar is made with unsweetened chocolate and cocoa. Each bar contains 210 calories, 15 grams of protein, 11 grams of fiber and 7 grams of sugar.
The cherry cashew variety includes dried cherries and coconut flour. Each bar contains 190 calories, 15 grams of protein, 11 grams of fiber and 10 grams of sugar.
The peanut butter flavor features peanut butter, peanuts and peanut flour. Each bar contains 210 calories, 15 grams of protein, 11 grams of fiber and 8 grams of sugar.
The espresso chip bar is made with unsweetened chocolate and coffee. Each bar contains 210 calories, 15 grams of protein, 10 grams of fiber and 7 grams of sugar.
“In addition to the nutritional benefits of Real Food Bars, we’re committed to addressing food waste in our supply chain,” said Anna Sullivan, co-founder of Real Food Bar. “We rescue imperfect veggies and convert them into delicious powders that are found in every bar. By doing so, we are doing our part to reduce the staggering 3 billion tons of food that is wasted every year in North America alone.”
Real Food Bars are available on the company’s website, Amazon and Walmart.com as well as at select Whole Foods Market locations in Austin.
Clif Bar & Co.’s Luna brand in February launched Luna with Prebiotics Bars, featuring 2.5 grams of prebiotic fiber per serving. Made with organic rolled oats and a creamy vanilla flavored coating, the Non-GMO and gluten-free bars contain 8 grams of protein and come in Tangerine Zest and Wild Cherry flavors.
SimplyProtein, a nutritional snacking brand owned by Wellness Natural Inc., in March announced that it would launch SimplyProtein for Kids bars in the United States in the spring. Already available in Canada, the kids format is gluten-free, Non-GMO Project verified and features 6 grams of protein and 2 grams of sugar per serving. Flavors include chocolate brownie and strawberry vanilla.
“Moms are looking for low sugar snacks for their kids,” said Michael Lines, president and chief executive officer of Wellness Natural. “They’re also looking for peanut-free and tree-nut free school snacks.”
The children’s segment is one of the only growth areas in the bar category, he added.
“One of our largest competitor’s core business is declining, but their kids business is up 11%,” Mr. Lines said. “When you look at our kids product, what sets it apart is that we only have 2 grams of sugar. The nearest competitor has 5, and there are some competitors with upwards of 70 grams of sugar.”
Texture and protein content also help the kids bar stand out.
“Our regular bars have between 11 and 15 grams of protein while the kids bars have 6,” Mr. Lines said. “That’s important because it gives it a lighter, crispier texture versus a denser product.”
In February, Over Easy broke into the breakfast category with a new line of better-for-you breakfast bars formulated with organic oats, nut butter, honey and cage-free egg whites.
Made with 8 to 10 ingredients each, Over Easy breakfast bars are available in four flavors: apple cinnamon, banana nut, peanut butter, and vanilla matcha, with more flavors and product variations scheduled to launch throughout 2021.
The apple cinnamon bar is made with organic oats, almonds, honey, almond butter, tapioca fiber, dried apples, cage-free egg whites, cinnamon, vanilla extract and sea salt. Each bar contains 220 calories, 9 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber and 9 grams of sugar.
The banana nut bar is made with organic oats, almonds, honey, almond butter, tapioca fiber, dried bananas, cage-free egg whites, vanilla extract and sea salt. Each bar contains 220 calories, 9 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber and 9 grams of sugar.
The peanut butter bar is made with organic oats, peanuts, honey, peanut butter, tapioca fiber, cage-free egg whites, vanilla extract and sea salt. Each bar contains 220 calories, 11 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber and 9 grams of sugar.
The vanilla matcha bar is made with organic oats, almonds, honey, almond butter, tapioca fiber, cage-free egg whites, vanilla extract, ceremonial grade matcha and sea salt. Each bar contains 230 calories, 10 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber and 10 grams of sugar.
Over Easy was founded by Kyle Maggard, a West Point graduate, former Army Captain and father of two. Frustrated with the high sugar content in most convenient breakfast foods, he started creating breakfast bar recipes in his kitchen in 2018 while pursuing an MBA at Harvard Business School. Mr. Maggard worked on the recipes for months, committing to only using ingredients he could find in his own kitchen, before settling on the final products, then left Harvard to focus full-time on Over Easy.
“People talk about Big Tobacco, Big Pharma, and Big Oil … but what about Big Breakfast?” Mr. Maggard, also the chief executive officer, said. “Legacy breakfast companies have been pumping us full of sugar every morning for decades, and now breakfast on social media is dominated by ridiculous recipes and unrealistic 10-step morning routines. We all just need a breakfast that tastes great, is healthy, and doesn't slow us down, and as a dad with a toddler and a newborn, I understand this now more than ever. I created Over Easy to offer people a realistically delicious start to their day — through simple, healthy and great tasting breakfast bars.”
Over Easy breakfast bars are available for $2.49 per bar on the company’s website and Amazon, as well as in Whole Foods Market stores in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions and in select Giant Martin locations. The company plans to expand distribution to the Midwest and West Coast in the coming months, with national distribution with select retailers anticipated by the end of the year.
Your Super’s new Super Bars, launched in February, are formulated with dates, nuts and one of the company’s branded mixes, including Super Green, Golden Mellow and Chocolate Lover.
The Super Green bar tastes like lemon pie, according to the company. The bar is made with dates, cashews, lemon oil and the Super Green mix, which features wheatgrass, barley grass, moringa, baobab, spirulina and chlorella powder.
The Golden Mellow mix includes turmeric, ashwagandha, ginger, cinnamon, lucuma and pepper. The mix is combined with dates, cashews and almonds to formulate the Golden Mellow bar.
Cacao, carob, coconut, chia seeds and lucuma make up the Chocolate Lover mix, which is combined with dates, almonds and sea salt to create the chocolatey tasting bar.
“Not everyone has time to add superfoods to their meals so when we asked our customers what product they needed most the answer was almost always snack bars,” said Kristel de Groot, co-founder and chief marketing officer.
One box containing 10 1.8-oz bars has a suggested retail price of $28.90.
In January, Kellogg Co. ushered its Special K brand into the keto category with a new line of Special K Keto-Friendly Snack Bars.
Available in chocolate almond fudge and peanut butter fudge flavors, the bars contain 160 calories, 12 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein, 2 grams of net carbs and 1 gram of sugar each.
Kellogg’s Special K Keto-Friendly Snack Bars are made with peanut butter or almond butter, peanut flour or almond flour, cocoa butter, oat fiber, soy protein, chicory root fiber, whey protein and stevia.
“Our Kellogg's Special K Keto-Friendly Snack Bars help you win however you eat, whether you're all-in on keto, a dabbler, a first-timer or just want something delicious and convenient with 1 gram of sugar,” said Courtney Bentley, Special K brand manager.
The snack bars are available nationwide for a suggested retail price of $6.99 for a five-count box.
General Mills, Inc. in January expanded its portfolio of Nature Valley bars with new dual-textured Nature Valley Protein Crunch Bars.
Providing 10 grams of protein each, the bars pair creamy and crunchy textures with ingredients such as whole grain oats, peanut butter, nuts, soy protein and whey protein. The protein bars are available in peanut butter and chocolate peanut butter varieties.
The bars contain 200 calories, 2 grams of fiber, 11 grams of fat and 7 to 8 grams of sugar.
“When Nature Valley created the granola bar category in 1975, we launched a delicious crunchy bar that is beloved to this day,” said Carly Anderson, senior brand manager of grain-based snacks at General Mills. “Today, as shoppers seek out protein snacks, there is no shortage of protein bars on the market. However, consumers told us the category lacked a tasty and affordable protein bar with a unique texture — a crunch. We’re excited to launch Nature Valley Protein Crunch, an extension of our popular Protein and Crunchy lines.”
Nature Valley Protein Crunch Bars are available nationwide for a suggested retail price of $4.49 per five-count box.
Zing Bars in January launched a new line of keto-friendly snack bars designed for consumers seeking to reduce their sugar and carb intake, the company said.
Gluten-free and certified kosher, the plant-based bars contain prebiotic tapioca fiber and organic brown rice protein, delivering 10 grams of fiber, 7 to 9 grams of protein and 3 grams of net carbs each. The bars are sweetened with monk fruit and made with MCT oil from coconuts, monounsaturated oils from nut butters and organic cocoa butter.
“MCT oil from coconuts easily converts to energy, nut butters have heart-healthy cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fats, and organic cocoa butter is rich in antioxidants and provides silky-smooth texture and decadent mouthfeel,” said David Ingalls, registered dietitian and chief executive officer of Zing Bars. “We add a very small amount of natural monk fruit for a touch of sweetness, which doesn't add any calories or sugar. For anyone wanting to cut sugar from their diet, I think these are the best tasting bars with the best nutrition on the market.”
The chocolate almond cacao crunch keto bar contains almonds, organic cocoa nibs, alkalized extra high fat cocoa powder, chocolate liquor and sea salt. Each bar contains 210 calories, 7 grams of protein and less than 1 gram of sugar.
The macadamia snickerdoodle keto bar is made with almonds, macadamia nuts, cashew butter, cinnamon and sea salt. Each bar contains 200 calories, 8 grams of protein and 1 gram of sugar.
The peanut butter cookie dough keto bar contains peanuts, sea salt and alkalized extra high fat cocoa powder. Each bar contains 200 calories, 9 grams of protein and 1 gram of sugar.
“As professional nutritionists, we weren't content to just up the fat, drop the sugar, forget the flavor and leave it at that like so many others have done before,” Mr. Ingalls said. “So we tackled it the same way we did classic Zing bars: by combining the best nutrition with the best taste, this time with no more than 1 gram of sugar and 3 grams of net carbs.”
Zing Keto Bars are available nationwide at Sprouts Farmers Market stores and on Amazon.