When it comes to snack and nutrition bars, convenience and taste rank high among what consumers crave, according to a recent article published in Food Technology magazine by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT).
But within this category, author Melanie Zanoza Bartelme, examined eight flavors and trends that are emerging in the industry.
According to Bartelme, these trends include:
Protein: Soy protein and whey protein continue to star in the majority of new product launches, but many other sources such as pulses, nuts, lamb and bison are appearing as well. Plant-based pea protein and microalgae are also making their way into products. Some protein bars are also high in fiber, another attribute desired by many.
Cricket Flour: Cricket flour is a nutrient dense-protein sources that can provide a wealth of functional benefits without taking a toll on the environment. Crickets are a complete protein and can be raised using less water, feed and space compared to other animal-based protein sources.
Savory Flavors: Mango curry, chipotle barbeque, sundried tomato and basil, black olives and walnut are new savory flavors seen in bars recently. Many people consider these types of bars as a as a meal replacement.
Texture: Inclusions like nuts in different sizes, crisps, clusters, and other ingredients can add unexpected texture and flavor to different bars and enhance the eating experience.
Seeds and Ancient Grains: Pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, flaxseed, and ancient grains such as amaranth, quinoa, millet, sorghum, teff, and buckwheat are all becoming more popular additions to bars.
Alternative Binders: To comply with clean label desires and the move towards reducing the use of refined sugars, manufacturers are using nut butters, dried fruits, brown rice syrup, date syrup, and coconut sugar as binders.
Special Populations: While athletes have often been the target of protein and energy bars, more bars targeted to women, men, and children are being created specifically for that particular segment’s needs. New bars also target consumers looking to follow a certain diet such as gluten-free or low-carb.
Extra Energy: Bar products with ingredients such as caffeine to help address stress and tiredness/fatigue are also popular.
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