With the popularity of sports and fitness, energy bars have become a muchpursued rising star among people. Among them, protein-based energy bars (hereinafter referred to as protein bars) are widely welcomed by fitness foodies. Protein bars, which are made from milk protein, soy protein or other plant proteins, are mainly aimed at endurance and strength trainers and are designed to promote the recovery and growth of muscle tissue after exercise. However, so far, there is no uniform standard for the specific protein content in protein bars. Some domestic institutions believe that at least 25%-35% protein should be contained in a nutrition bar so that it can be called a protein bar. 

According to the results of Innova market research, the newly launched protein bars continued to grow worldwide. While North America is today's largest and most active market for high-protein energy bars, the Asia-Pacific region is the fastest-growing market, with a compound annual growth rate of 25.4% for new nutrition bars with protein claims. Besides, protein-claimed cereals and energy nutrition bars (72.4%) accounted for a larger market share than sports nutrition bars (27.6%) . In China market, the number of new snack bars launched each year has soared from several to hundreds in 10 years, with a surge of 40 times! The extent of its popularity is so evident.

Though the numbers look good, most Chinese consumers have no concept of what protein bars and energy bars are. The bars they tend to associate with are sugary, high-calorie chocolates, such as the Snickers bars known as the hungerslayer. Therefore, it is necessary to enhance consumer education and publicity in China to promote greater sales of sports healthy snacks like protein bars and energy bars. 

At present, the market size of snack bars in China is about 37 million US dollars, which still remains a large space for development. With the growth of fitness groups, better-for-you snacks like energy bars will also become a promising market segment. Although there are many snack bars in China, but most of them are mainly high-fiber cereal bars, while protein energy bars are rare. Typing keyword as "protein bar" in Tmall, the result turns out to be quite some foreign brands of protein bars, such as foodspring, Nutrend and PhD. In addition, such products are not easy to find or only with a very few choices in large supermarkets and imported snack stores, according to consumers. In other words, protein bars is still relatively blank in the domestic market, and this may become a great business opportunity for imported snacks.


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