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Functional Ingredients and Label Claims Continue to Lure Consumers

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According to the latest numbers from Packaged Facts market research, 49% of all U.S. consumers buy nutritional bars, beverages, or both. Food and beverage products using functional ingredients with functions like nutritional support, weight loss, increased energy, and meal replacement were included in their analysis. However, energy drinks, sports drinks, milkshakes, granola bars, and snack bars with no nutritional purpose were excluded from their analysis. The Packaged Facts’ National Online Survey consisted of 2,000 U.S. consumers aged 18 and over.

Convenience is Key to Category Growth

Brands have been positioning their nutritional drinks and bars as convenient, healthy, on-the-go options for the busy American. As a result, sales have skyrocketed over the past five years. The market has hit $8.8 billion in 2016 with an annual growth rate of 9.5% over the past five years. Packaged Facts predicts a bullish future for the two categories with combined sales reaching $13.1 billion by 2021.

Younger generations are key purchasers with highest use rates. Many of the Millennials and Gen-Xers see being busy as a “badge of honor” so these products are essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Packaged Facts found that 57% of all U.S. consumers are drinking nutritional beverages as a meal replacement.

Functional Ingredients: Superfoods and Protein


Functional ingredients are booming, and nutritional drinks and bars are using them to enter the market with a unique value proposition. The barriers to entry are low, but gaining significant market share is a different story. High protein content is expected from consumers at this point with 72% saying they look for that feature when purchasing nutritional drinks.

Some nutritional bars and drinks are turning to innovative superfood solutions to increase nutrient support claims. Brands are using products like GrandFusion to enhance their bars and drinks with natural vitamins from up to twelve fruits and vegetables without impacting flavor or texture. Interested in learning more? Click your industry in the navigation and learn more about how GrandFusion could benefit your products.

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