Sports performance bars sales expected to rise

Sports performance bars are expected to have a $198 million sales growth by 2016 with men age 18-34 leading the consumer market.

Performance bars used by runners, triathletes, cyclers and other athletes are expected to have a sales growth from $260 million in 2011 to $458 million by 2016 according to Mintel. Men ages 18-34 are more likely than other adult age group to consume performance food with 54 percent reporting they use these products. Following close behind in the report are women age 18-34 and men age 35-54 who each have a 45 percent rate of use. Of those that consume performance products, 64 percent do so because they like the taste and 54 percent do so because they are easy to use.

Serious performance product consumers continue to shop for these products at health and fitness centers as well as retailers such as GNC, Vitamin Shoppe and Vitamin World. New product development should note that consumers are looking for high fiber or high protein bar options .

As companies prepare marketing strategies for performance bars, Mintel urges them to focus on educating their consumers about the ingredients and usage of their specialized performance products. An example of a company using this strategy is PowerBar who offers a customized nutrition and training plan for clients in conjunction with the use of their PowerBar products. "The target market is looking for great taste and nutritional knowledge. Value for these products will grow as consumers increase their nutritional knowledge base and pallet for such products,” says Matt Malcangi, Certified Personal Trainer and Owner of Mom’s Bars.

The MSU Product Center, in partnership with Michigan State University Extension, provides product development and marketing plan 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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