Snacks & Candy

Overcoming the Snack-Bar Malaise

Products at nexus of better-for-you and indulgence
granola bars
Photograph: Shutterstock

CHICAGO — Within the larger snack category, snack bars are struggling the most in convenience stores.

IRI scan data shows snack bars saw dollar sales drop 21% in convenience stores during the 12-week period ending Nov. 1, compared to a 9.9% decline in all channels of retail.

Industry-watchers chalk that up more to circumstance than changes in consumer wants.

Snack-bar sales are struggling “due to more at-home activities combined with a boost in treating,” said Sally Lyons Wyatt of IRI, Chicago.

And snack-bar maker That’s it, Los Angeles, believes regaining relevance is within reach for the segment. The brand offers a portfolio of products that contain no more than five ingredients.

“The feedback that we’re getting from our buyers is that plant-based anything is at the very top of the trends and moving quickly,” Dr. Lior Lewensztain, founder and CEO of That’s it, told CSP Daily News. “I think that, even before the pandemic began, consumers were really starting to pay more attention to better-for-you products and gravitate toward those that are good for their health, … and a global pandemic certainly has not deterred consumers from continuing to seek out more of a healthy diet to maintain optimal immune health.”

“There’s a lot of snack fatigue going on right now,” Wyatt said. “People want better-for-you options but still really want and demand those snacking indulgences.”

Related: Getting Snacks Back on Track

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