Meal replacement and diet bars aim for new flavors and friendly packaging

Meal replacement and diet bar companies should aim for new flavors and friendly packaging to attract consumers.

New product development for meal replacement and diet bars should pay attention to the fact that half of users report trying new types and brands, according to Mintel. The same report shows that two thirds of users wisher there were more interesting flavors or types of bars, such as spicy or sweet and savory combinations. High fiber or high protein options, as well as more natural and organic options are also reported to be desired by consumers.

As companies work to create new products or improve their current products, Mintel suggests they also focus on creating new forms of packaging would increase the ease of use for consumers, such as easier to open and re-sealable packages. The report identifies how some companies are already differentiating themselves from the competition by creating products in snack-sized bites or resealable packages.

As companies struggle to position their brands over the competition, Mintel suggests that they highlight how their product can be a tool to achieve weight-loss and fitness for weight-conscious consumers, similar to Slim-Fast and Special K. "To begin to stimulate the new and older consumers, it maybe smart to share the benefits of basic exercise and how incorporating healthier nutritional choices with a healthier meal replacement bar can lead to life long weight control,” says Matt Malcangi, Certified Healthy Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant and Owner of Mom’s Bars. Another positioning option Mintel suggests is identifying products ability to serve as a tool for multiple functions such as a balanced nutrition supplement, a healthy snack, a fuel for exercise and a diet aid.

The MSU Product Center, in partnership with Michigan State University Extension, provide product development assistance to help Michigan entrepreneurs develop and commercialize high-value, consumer–responsive food products. For more information, visit the MSU Product Center website or call 517-432-8750.

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