This made consumers choose food bars as quick snack options that can satisfy different hunger requirements of different lifestyles - recreational athletes, workaholics tied up for long hours to their desks, people on dieting for weight gain or lose, irregular meals, etc., and to provide quick energy release with good nutritional values. In today’s food market, healthy snacking alternatives like nutrition bars have been seen gaining momentum, as consumers demand for more functional and nutritional-filled instant foods. Thereby, the Indian snack bar market has forecasted an annual growth of around 25% during the period 2019-2024¹. The snack bar market has seen much growth in western countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Australia. About 34% raise in bar consumption in last year has been seen amongst US consumers². In present times, consumers are much more aware of healthy lifestyle, fortified foods, smaller meal consumptions, which made the food industries develop foods like nutrition bars that combined both nutrition and convenience of consumption. The bar market offers new and healthier snack bars containing dried fruits and nuts, energy bars fortified with high-quality protein and cereal bars that include granola/muesli bars. The consumption of cereal bars made with oats, nuts, honey, wheat, millets, puffed rice and corn, as a snack or meal replacement is expected to intensify the global cereal bar market by 2023. The global cereal bar market has been categorised on the basis of bar types, like snack bars, protein bars, energy bars, granola bars, cereal bars, nutrition bars and others³.
NUTRITIONAL BAR GUIDELINES
Nutritional bars were introduced in early 1980s, and found healthy, convenient and proportioned snacks that provide quick energy release on demand basis and nutrients in adequate amounts to athletes and fitness enthusiasts⁴. The most important concerns in the selection of nutritional bars are their caloric content, hydrogenated fats and sodium content. A few common factors are listed below:
• Select a bar with low fat (less than 5 grams) and fibre content (3 to 5 grams).
• Choose bars with less saturated fats (3gm).
• Check for calories listed on the label, suppose if you are looking for weight control.
• Select a meal-replacement bar with protein (more than 15 grams) and been fortified with about 35% of the recommended daily allowances (RDAs) for vitamins and minerals.
• Athletes should choose an energy bar with less fat (below 5 g), fibre (5 g) and protein (10 g) to provide extra energy during long workouts of more than 60 minutes.
• Along with bars, consume fresh foods like tomatoes or few fruit pieces.
• Choose recommended levels of vitamins and minerals when multiple bars are consumed per day.
• Sodium levels should be kept low to reduce problems associated with blood pressure.
TYPES OF BARS
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