Bar Trends: Global Cereal and Energy Bar Market Overview

Discover the current trends in the cereal and energy bar market

April  19, 2024 – Lifestyles are getting busier and busier, productivity is at an all-time high, and oftentimes it can feel as though there isn’t a moment to rest. With less time to relax, it is becoming increasingly common to need a quick bite while moving from one place to the next. Cereal and energy bars often fill this need, and will likely continue to for years to come. Here are the latest cereal and energy bar trends with a focused look into the market of these snackable products, helping predict where the category is going next.

Category Analysis

Over the past few years, new launches of new cereal and energy bars remained steady, but are now on the rise again. According to our research into cereal and energy bar trends, between October 2020 and September 2022 new product launches dropped by 6.8%, but by the end of 2023 launches have been on the increase.

North America has the highest share of cereal and energy bar launches compared to its overall cereal launches, at 46%. This is followed by Europe with 38%, Middle East and Africa with 35%, Latin America with 31%, and Asia Pacific with 28%. Between 2022 and 2023, new product development share for the top two regions (North America and Europe) has also increased slightly.

Subcategory Analysis in Bar Trends

Comparing the value and volume growth of cereal and energy bar new product launches, they stay largely in line. When looking at cereal and energy bar trends of global launches, Europe is the largest market, contributing 45% of new product launches between April 2023 and September 2023. The region has also increased its share of global launches between 2022 and 2023, rising by 3%.

However, when focusing on sales, North America dominates the market. The region contributed to an average 61% share of the global cereal and energy bar sales between 2019 and 2023.

In the Middle East and Africa, high innovation and value growth in the category is present. Gourmet offerings, vegan choices, chewy bars, a variety of powder coated fruit bites, protein rich balls crafted using nuts with fillings, and persistent clean label claims, all boost the innovation and value growth in the region.

Dm-Drogerie Markt is a key player for new product development of cereal and energy bars. With a 3% share of new product launches, it is the most active launcher tracked between April 2023 and September 2023. Their nut bars, peanut bars with crispy pretzel pieces, oat bars with freeze dried berries, organic coconut slices and date balls with almond-nougat fillings, are popular. The next largest companies in share of new product launches share are General Mills (producing the popular Nature Valley bars), Aldi, Cereal Partners Worldwide, and Kind.

global bar trends

Bar Trends: Popular Claims

Cereal and energy bar trends research shows that gluten-free is the most popular claim, seen on 35% of cereal and energy bars. The next four most popular claims are high source of fiber, high source of protein, vegan, and no additives or preservatives.

When analyzed by region, in Europe, high source of fiber is the most popular claim, in Asia Pacific it is high source of protein, in the Middle East and Africa it is no additives or preservatives, and in North and Latin America it is gluten free.

Bar Trends: Popular Flavors

Milk chocolate is the most popular flavor for cereal and energy bars, at 18.2% of all launches. Additionally, the flavor is most popular in almost every region, except for North America, where it is slightly less popular than peanut butter. An example of a new milk chocolate flavored product is Kind’s Pride Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar.

Peanut is the second most popular flavor, at 8% of all launches. The next most popular flavors are almond, peanut butter, and dark chocolate. Other flavors growing in popularity since 2023 are berry, pistachio, blueberry, apple cinnamon, and banana.

What’s Next in Global Bar Trends?

Free from and reductionism positionings are prevalent in cereal and energy bar trends, with gluten free as the top positioning between April and September 2023. Additionally, no additives or preservatives ranks fifth, and is the top positioning in the Middle East and Africa. GMO free, sugar free, lactose free, reduced calories, and no added sugar are growing in popularity as well.

Health has a renewed focus within the category, with growth in claims of high source of fiber, wholegrain, weight management, and antioxidant.

Fruit flavors are also used more commonly in new products, with varieties of banana, raisin, apple, blueberry, and honey and cinnamon.

Finally, traditional is a growing claim in the Middle East and Africa, and limited edition is doing the same in North America.


This article is based on our report, “What’s Trending in Cereal & Energy Bars – Global.”
If you are interested in reading this report, feel free to request a demo. You can do this by either booking a demo or using our Contact Form.

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