Long considered a convenient breakfast alternative, America’s growing tendency toward multiple small snacks in place of three traditional meals throughout the day opened up new consumption occasions for granola bars. Instead of being merchandised only in the breakfast aisle along with cereal and oatmeal, granola/snack bars started to appear on end caps, as well as at checkout. This led to a few very strong years for the sub-category, but growth appears to be tapering off recently, except in the drug channel.
According to data insights firm IRI, food and mass are the biggest channels for granola/snack bars, with convenience is in third. When regarding the 52 weeks ending mid October, sales of granola bars/snack bars were mostly stagnant when looking across channels, including supermarkets, supercenters, drug and convenience stores, mass, etc. Dollar gains were also relatively flat, at +.2 percent, whereas unit sales were down by 2.1 percent. With volume sales flat, it appears that shoppers bought roughly the same amount of product, but with units sales down, it appears they have moved to slightly bigger boxes.
|Dollar growth||Unit growth||Volume growth|
|Multi outlet, including c-stores||0.2%||-2.1%||0.1%|
When regarding each of the channels individually, grocery and convenience stores saw sales declines, whereas drug posted robust dollar, unit and volume gains.
Source: IRI, 52 weeks ending 10/8/2017