CHICAGO -- Convenient, portable and often better-for-you, snack bars' broad appeal as a snack or meal replacement has made this compact edible a double-digit growth category across foodservice channels, reported The NPD Group, a leading global information company.
Total dollar volume of snack bars shipped through broadline foodservice distributors to total foodservice outlets grew 15% and units shipped by 13% in the year ending Nov. 2013 compared to same period year ago, according to NPD's SupplyTrack, a monthly tracking service that codes, aggregates and tracks every product shipped from a critical mass of leading broadline distributors to each of their foodservice operators.
Snack bar dollar volume sales grew the most at lodging establishments, which represent the largest share of the category's dollar sales, with a 28% 12-month increase through November.
In addition to lodging, total dollars of snack bars shipped to eating and drinking establishments, noncommercial channels and retail foodservice also increased by double-digits in the year ending November compared to year ago, according to SupplyTrack, which captures information on categories, brands, items, product attributes and operator segment.
Cereal bars, which represent the largest dollar volume share of snack bar types, realized a double-digit gain in dollar sales and units shipped from broadline distributors to foodservice outlets. Granola and diet/health snack bars also saw a double-digit increase in dollars and units shipped over a year ago.
"Snack bars meet the needs of today's on-the-go consumer who is looking for a convenient, nutritious snack or meal replacement," said Annie Roberts, vice president of NPD SupplyTrack. "Having an accurate picture of how snack bars are performing in the foodservice marketplace enables distributors, manufacturers and operators to make better business decisions and best meet their consumer's needs."
The NPD Group, Chicago, provides global information and advisory services to the automotive, beauty, entertainment, fashion, food, foodservice, home, office supply, sports, technology, toy, video game and wireless industries.