Kerry releases protein snack bar research whitepaper
The nutrition company has revealed what is most important to consumers when it comes to buying protein snack bars in its new research whitepaper.
Kerry has revealed what it thinks are crucial insights for manufacturers in its research white paper.
Kerry, the taste and nutrition company, has released a research whitepaper on the emerging topic of protein snack bar development and manufacture, entitled ‘Choosing the Right Protein for Your Snack Bar’. The paper also reviews the latest trends in consumer preference in the areas of ingredients and bar tastes, important trends and regional regulations in formulation, along with the application of plant, dairy and mixed protein in new bar concepts.
According to Kerry, “Snackification” – the movement toward snacking versus eating distinct meals – was on rise pre-Covid, leading consumers to begin paying much more attention to the nutritional value of snacks.
The nutrition company claims that since the onset of the pandemic, consumers have started to feel more vulnerable, which has accelerated a desire to incorporate healthier foods into their diets as a means to support long-term health goals.
Breaking it down further, the appeal of protein specifically has led sales of snack bars with ‘high’ or ‘added’ protein claims to grow exponentially as a category. In 2019, the sector was valued at $6 billion. Globally, snack bar launches featuring high/added protein have moved from 17 percent in 2015 to 33 percent in 2019.
“We believe the upward trend in demand for protein-fortified snacks will continue over the long term, driven by rejuvenated consumer interest in healthy eating and underpinned by dynamic innovation in the category. With new sources of protein being discovered continually and new tastes/delivery formats constantly being innovated, snack bars’ fortunes have taken a noticeable turn upward,” says Mindy Leveille, Strategic Marketing Manager – Proteins, at Kerry.
“Sales of snack bars with high or added protein claims continue to rise as consumers respond to a ‘feel good’ factor around purchasing snacks that pack an added nutritional punch,” adds Leveille. “Consumers everywhere recognise the value of protein in snack-size portions, and protein-added snack bars are a quick and convenient way for busy people to get a tasty nutrition boost. Our research and development whitepaper provides a treasure trove of information designed to assist bar manufacturers as they search for just the right protein for their snack bar formulations.”
Kerry identified a couple of considerations in particular for bar product development within its whitepaper. It claims that consumers want alternative plant protein sources, and adds that there is a growing trend toward flexitarian protein bars — hybrids that incorporate both plant and animal protein.
While sustainability in manufacturing is certainly valued, according to Mintel (a global market research company), as many as 75 percent of consumers believe taste is the most important factor when purchasing a protein product.
“There are many emerging ingredients and flavours to apply in protein snack bars, ranging from coffee cold brew, to mango, to tomato and basil, with the latter being a savoury alternative to sweet cereal bars,” says Leveille. “Our whitepaper presents a number of protein bar concepts to provide inspiration to bar developers for their next new product development.”