The energy bar market grew from a grass roots effort focused on the consumer base of performance athletes. These athletes usually obtained products at competitive events that were geared towards the everyday consumer. The build up of this market is attributed to PowerBar, but there was significant contribution from others. PowerBar and the Market
PowerBar began as a company seeking to create a performance-enhancing food that marathoners could consume during an energy-draining race. Initially, the product was marketed and distributed at bike shops and events where running and biking were the competition medium. As this new category began to expand, new entrants began to enter the market. These new entrants began to segment the food bar market into several categories. The primary consumers of the food bar market can be separated into three major segments: energy bars, sports bars, and weight loss bars. In the US, the food bar market is dominated by several companies: PowerBar, Balance Bar, Luna, MetRx, and Clif Bar. Each of these is representative of one of the three major segments in the bar market.
In terms of similarities, the food bar industry as a whole seems to be targeting demographic rather than their target segment. Marketers are focusing more of their dollars into packaging their products to appeal to women. This can be seen by the focus on flavors such as Chocolate Covered Strawberry (Cytodyne's Xenadrine Bar), Almond Bliss (Nature's Plus Especially Yours Bar), and Chai Tea (Clif Bar's Luna Bar).
While some companies in the food bar industry are more a focus on women, they are able to differentiate by the type of women they market to base on the segment each company focuses on (i.e. sports, energy, and weight loss). Women in each category have specific needs that need to be met. For example, an energy bar would appeal to a woman who is a busy executive on the go and has limited time to stop for a meal. Whereas a woman...