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The increasing demand among consumers for convenience foods is driving the protein bar market. The major consumers are not only sports athletes, but also those who want to have a wholesome meal without the trouble of cooking prefer buying protein bars, owing to reasons such as weight management, improved muscle mass and increasing energy. However, there is a high demand for taste innovation in the protein bar market as the consumer base is diversified.
The market has the presence of many new players such as Quest Nutrition, whose sales have increased by more than tenfold within a span of two to three years.
Many companies offer protein bars with natural ingredients and without any allergens. Globally, the market for protein bars is expected to register a CAGR of 3.9% from 2018 to 2023. The protein bar market was valued at USD 837 million in 2016.
Evolving Fitness Trends and High Demand for Convenience Food
The key factors such as availability of bars with reduced allergen glutenfree content and high demand for portable convenience foods is driving the protein bar market. Nutritional benefits from protein bars is another demand factor for consumers with more health consciousness. The consumers are seeking protein bars more for maintaining general wellness than for any specific requirement. Manufacturers have witnessed increasing sales of protein free bars. With a wider consumer base high prices are hindering sales in developing countries, mainly in East Asian countries.
Stiff competition from cereal bars is also a restraint. Other restraints are the lack of taste, and high sugar content in many protein bars, which force consumers to rethink about protein bars as a healthy food product. Moreover, marketing campaigns of protein bars by the fitness clubs as a substitute for meal replacement has skyrocketed the sales of protein bars. With increasing number of health clubs and growing awareness for protein bars, the market is expected to spur the demand during the forecast period.
High Protein Content Bars Dominate the Market
The global high protein bars market was valued at USD 468.72 million in 2016 and is expected to reach to witness a CAGR of 3.58%.The high protein bars segment accounted for about 56% of the total protein bar market share as of 2016. High protein bars mainly provide consumers with potentially positive health benefit beyond basic nutrition, low calorie intake, and effective weight management. Protein bars contain a high percentage of ready to eat, easy to digest protein from both animal and plant protein sources. At global market, North America is largest consumer of protein bars, followed by Europe especially Western Europe, Asia Pacific and rest of the world. Currently China is the fastest growing market for protein bars consumption.
Proteins used in bars mainly consist of dairybased proteins such as whey or plant based proteins such as soy. But, now companies are coming with many other sources of plant and animalbased proteins in bars, including pulses, nuts, lamb, and bison.
North America Protein Bar Market Accounts Highest Market Share
North America protein bar market is almost in saturating phase whereas Europe and AsiaPacific market are getting high pace in both production and consumption. Europe holds 26% of the global market share in 2016. Healthy snacks and food supplements are on the rise, with high protein bar brand, demonstrating huge success in UK and China. Natural and NonGMO protein bars is on track to become the bestselling wholesome protein bar in these regions. Asian market influence is increasing in the global protein bar market, with increasing potential and product innovation in China India and other countries.
The market is highly competitive with wide segments such as protein bars to. On the other hand nutrition bars and energy bars have been recently gaining the market attention, compared to traditional protein bars, with growing demand for health and wellness' products. Kellogg's Rice Krispies, Alpen, Nature Valley, Kellogg's Special K, Go Ahead!, Jordans, and Kellogg's NutriGrain are the major brands leading the market.
Major Players: THE KELLOGG COMPANY, GENERAL MILLS, Inc., MARS, Inc., HORMEL FOODS CORPORATION, THE WHITEWAVE FOODS COMPANY, SMALL PLANET FOODS, Inc., PREMIER NUTRITION CORPORATION, QUEST NUTRITION, LLC, MUSCLEPHARM
October 2017: Kellogg Co. plans to buy niche proteinbar company RXBAR for USD 600 million, joining other big food makers in tapping new brands to make up for falling sales of sugary, processed products.
February 2017: A unit of food giant General Mills Inc. has invested in a Denverbased company that makes nondairy, veganbased protein bars and nut spreads for an undisclosed amount.
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