The European protein bar market is projected to register a CAGR of 4.0% during the forecast period (2020–2025).
- The increasing demand for convenience foods is driving the protein bar market. The major consumers not only include sports athletes, but also those who want to have a wholesome meal without the trouble of cooking. Consumers prefer buying protein bars for various purposes, such as weight management, improving muscle mass, and increasing energy.
- The leading players in the protein bar market in the European countries, such as the United Kingdom and Germany, focus on adopting strategies, like product innovations, to expand their product portfolios, while meeting the unique taste requirements of the consumers in their respective countries. For instance, in February 2019, Grenade expanded its portfolio of low-sugar, high-protein snacks to include two new bars: dark chocolate raspberry and white chocolate salted peanut.
- However, inclination toward other alternative protein-rich diets and high sugar content in the protein bars are the major factors restraining the market growth.
Key Market Trends
Hypermarkets/Supermarkets to Drive the Regional Market
Owing to a huge retail space and catering to a wide variety of preferences, the supermarkets/hypermarkets are dominant channels for the sales of protein bars in the country. Factors, like business expansion and the rising number of hypermarkets/supermarkets, add to the sales of these retail formats and significantly contribute to the protein bar market. Supermarkets/hypermarkets provide attractive shelf visibility through display and assortments. As they are often placed at the entrance, at the checkout, and/or in the designated functional food aisles, protein bars invariably attract the consumers’ attention. Additionally, in the developed countries, such as the United Kingdom, considering the growing popularity of protein bars and a changing trend of having them with coffee, Spar hypermarket in Armagh (United Kingdom) expanded its protein bar space to seven shelves, located next to the coffee machine. Thus, customers find it beneficial to shop from such retail stores, as they also offer attractive discounts and schemes.
United Kingdom is Expected to Drive the Regional Market Demand for Protein Bars
Protein bars have gained popularity among all sections of the society in the United Kingdom. The consumers in the country are looking for protein bars that help them maintain their busy lifestyles and provide them with much-needed nutrition. There is a growing demand for protein bars with less or no sugar, no added flavors, gluten-free, and vegan varieties, which help consumers meet their growing obesity concerns. In 2016, General Mills re-launched Nature Valley Protein bars, by adding more protein to the products and making them gluten-free, with 50% less sugar than any other average adult cereal bar in the country. Due to the growing consumer interest in high-protein products and other sports nutrition goods, manufacturers in the field are looking to expand their product offerings through various adopted strategies, like partnerships. For instance, in 2019, Grenade, a global sports and nutrition brand, formed a partnership with Costa Coffee, to launch protein bars in Costa stores of the United Kingdom, which are available in two flavors - peanut butter and birthday cake.
The European protein bar market is competitive and fragmented in nature owing to the presence of many regional and domestic players. Emphasis is given on the merger, expansion, acquisition, and partnership of the companies along with new product development as strategic approaches adopted by the leading companies to boost their brand presence among consumers. Additionally, the companies are implementing strategies that include the provision of products through e-commerce (own websites and third parties) websites, to facilitate a larger targeted audience. Key players dominating the regional market include The Kellogg Company, PepsiCo Inc., QuestNutrition, Clif Bar & Company, Kind LLC., and Optimum Nutrition, Inc.
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