Recent years have seen a monumental surge in the popularity of healthy snacking, including protein rich bars and other treats that can go hand-in-hand with a healthy lifestyle and high-energy training. Here are some of the latest innovations from highly ambitious brands from Ireland and beyond
18 February 2020
The health and wellness revolution that has taken place in Ireland in recent years has led to the growth of the healthy snacking segment. Increased interest in specific diets as well as growing participation in sports and gym activity has seen a number of Irish and international brands capitalise on the desire for quasi-indulgent snacks that also provide a healthy injection of protein at just the right time, whether it’s before or after sports or elsewhere.
Life on the go
2020 is going to be a big year for Nutramino, building on the momentum of the launch of the Nutra-Go low sugar protein snacks and ready to drink shakes ranges. Nutramino offers a mix of taste and functionality that helps consumers make better snacking choices with a balanced range of products that satisfies cravings for a treat on the go.
Nutramino aims to support consumers for “life on the go”. To that end, it has become the official snack to the Ladies Gaelic Football Association – one of Europe’s fastest growing sports organisations. In this year of the 20×20 campaign, Nutramino says it proud to back an organisation that promotes female sports in every corner of the country. It will be working with the organisation to help promote strong nutrition messages across the counties and club units and help them grow their numbers of players and members.
Nutramino has a range of in-store promotions planned for 2020 which will showcase the good work of the LGFA and help retailers drive sales of these higher margin snacks. The brand is currently in close to 400 stores, with a promotion that allows consumers to win an exclusive LGFA training kit to encourage them to keep going even during the dark February nights.
The Nutra-Go range includes a mix of low sugar high protein formats and three tasty shakes meaning retailers can meet the differing needs of consumers that come into a store whether they are looking for something sweet, great taste without the guilt or a quick boost of energy.
Q&A with Paul Fullam, country manager Ireland, Glanbia Performance Nutrition
Q: Who is the ideal target audience for Glanbia Performance Nutrition in Ireland, and how do you ensure your brands are a go-to choice for these consumers?
A: Our snacking products are designed for the growing number of active consumers seeking a healthier choice of snack or a protein boost after exercise or when on the go. Glanbia Performance Nutrition is unique in that we can leverage a portfolio of strong brands to address the differing needs of consumers and offer a choice of formats to broaden the appeal of the category.
Under our Nutramino brand, we offer a great tasting range of low-sugar protein snacks and ready-to-drink shakes suitable to all active consumers. Nutramino offers that Scandinavian mix of taste and functionality, and is doing very well, particularly in forecourts and convenience.
Our recent partnership with the Ladies GFA looks set to help grow the brand significantly in 2020 and we have an exciting range of in-store promotions planned to showcase that partnership and elevate the brand further.
Our other hero brand Optimum Nutrition is the world leader in protein powder, and appeals strongly to regular gym goers and athletes with a performance goal. Our recent launch of the Optimum Nutrition high protein snack range has broadened the appeal even further, with the ultra-soft Optimum Bar and deliciously crunchy Protein Crisp Bar proving popular with consumers who want something different from the traditional protein bar experience.
Finally, we have an exciting promotion leveraging our partnerships with both Leinster Rugby and Munster Rugby coming in April.
Q: How significantly has Nutramino grown within the Irish marketplace?
A: Nutramino has had major progress in Ireland over the last two years. Working in partnership with PRL and Leyden’s, we have grown distribution across the gym, convenience, grocery and forecourt channel.
Our research shows that consumers want choice when it comes to protein snacking. It is no longer good enough for a retailer to offer just another flavour of the same chewy bar. Our retail partners are telling us that when different formats such as our Nutra-Go Low Sugar Protein Wafer or Optimum Nutrition Protein Crisp Bar are available, consumers will try them and keep coming back.
In short, building a multi-format range which appeals to more consumers helps grow total sales for the category.
Q: What advice would you give retailers in order to drive Nutramino sales? Particularly those retailers who may be limited in terms of shelf space?
A: While many retailers now stock several flavours of similar protein bars, the majority are missing out on significant additional revenue by not meeting the changing needs of consumers.
We recommend prioritising a choice of format and brand over yet another flavour extension. Help consumers with their desire to make better choices by clearly signposting and placing healthy and protein snacks at front of store. Place beside or within chocolate confectionery to offer a clear choice; this will drive sales of higher margin options versus traditional confectionery. Seeing as 46% of all healthy snacks are consumed with a hot drink, place protein snack options next to coffee machines to drive incremental spend. Finally, for those retailers that do have space, we have seen great results from well-designed temporary FSDUs – particularly when linked to a powerful promotion such as our ‘win an exclusive LGFA training kit’ offer with Nutramino, which is currently in stores nationwide.
Q: How does Nutramino encompass the brand tagline ‘For Life on the Go’?
A: Nutramino is Scandinavia’s leading active nutrition brand and has that perfect mix of taste and functionality. The Nutra-Go low sugar protein range in particular is light, convenient and proving very popular with those active consumers who are looking for a great tasting way to boost their protein intake while getting on with life.
Q: How important are low calorie counts for your target audience and how do you deliver on this front?
A: Our target audience wants choice, and will reach for different formats to meet their different moods or needs. Great taste, protein and low sugar continue to be very big drivers for us; leveraging our portfolio we can offer a choice of formats with lower calorie options to more high protein options. Our Nutra-Go Low Sugar Protein Wafer has proven popular with those looking for a light, lower calorie option as it comes in two individually wrapped portions so it can be consumed across a day rather than in one sitting. Each serving is less than 100 calories so a very permissible tasty treat.
Optimum Nutrition, the world’s number one sports nutrition brand, has long been the market leader in the protein powder category and with the recent launch of a new snacking range, it is quickly becoming a go-to snack for gym-goers and athletes.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey is a staple in the dressing rooms of Leinster and Munster Rugby, as well being in the kit bags of the Irish sailing team heading to Tokyo for the 2020 Olympic Games this summer.
New improved versions of the top five flavours of Gold Standard 100% Whey have been launched, and Optimum Nutrition has even kicked off a “Love it or Your Money Back” guarantee. A retail promotion in SuperValu is currently running to win tickets to Leinster v Munster at the Aviva Stadium this April.
The Optimum Nutrition high protein snack range has brought the brand into convenience stores for the first time, with 30 years of heritage in sports nutrition coming with it. The range is also bringing new consumers to Optimum Nutrition, with the soft Optimum Bar and the crunchy Protein Crisp Bar (packed with 20g protein) offering consumers a choice and a change.
Despite being on the market just one year, Kind has had a very strong year, selling more than 1.8m bars in 2019. With the amazing success of the core bars in the first half of 2019, the brand launched Kind Protein in July. Protein continues to be the number one attribute that consumers look for in the healthy snacking category, with 69% of consumers favouring protein over any other benefit.
Looking at the healthy snacking bay in most stores, it is clear the trend is set to continue in Ireland. However, consumers are also looking for snacks made from whole, minimally processed, nutrient-dense ingredients that they can see – and pronounce! With that in mind, Kind has lunched three Kind plant-based protein bars which, just like the core range, contain whole nuts as their first and predominant ingredient. Each bar contains 12 grams of protein; eight from said peanuts and four from soy crisps.
Not only are Kind bars a great source of plant-based protein, they also taste great and don’t leave a chalky aftertaste. The three bars in the range are: Crunchy Peanut Butter, Toasted Carmel Nut, and Double Dark Chocolate.
To learn more and stock Kind, visit Kindsnacks.ie or @KINDsnacksIreland on social platforms.
Q&A with Ealron Kennedy, Kind lead manager, Ireland
Q: How significantly has Kind grown within the Irish marketplace since launch?
A: While Kind has been in the Irish market for a number of years, we officially launched with Mars Ireland in January 2019. We have been in triple-digit growth ever since and sold 1.8 million bars in 2019.
We are now the number two singles bar brand in the ‘fruit, nuts and cereal’ singles bar category* just behind Kellogg’s, and we have overtaken lots of the household brands that have been in the Irish market for many years. We launched our 12g Plant Protein range in July 2019 and we are seeing strong growth in this area, which is in line with current trends in Ireland. We believe that our products fill a gap in the market for a better-for-you snacks that are full of nutrition and taste delicious, so we expect this growth to continue strongly in the coming years.
Q: Through the use of different formats, sizes and flavours, how have you encouraged consumers to view Kind as an ideal choice for multiple occasions?
A: Kind currently has 12 single SKUs in the Irish market; nine core Nut bars and three Protein bars. With a wide variety of flavours and different functional benefits, including a good source of fibre and protein, our bars are the perfect choice for occasions such as pre or post-workout snacking, breakfast, fuel between meals or as a treat with a cup of tea or coffee. Kind also has a strong pipeline of NPD coming down the tracks such as breakfast bars, frozen bars and much more which will make Kind the perfect snack for every occasion.
Q: Kind’s packaging is distinctive in that it features a transparent section which allows consumers to see the actual product. Why did you feel this was important?
A: Transparency is one of our brand values that has been part of our DNA since 2004 when Kind was founded: whether that is between Kind associates, our customers, our suppliers and most importantly our consumers. We promise to always use the best quality ingredients and treat them with integrity. These are mostly whole, minimally processed nuts and ingredients that you can see and pronounce. We felt it was important for the consumer to see exactly what they are buying and that allows them to make the choice in full transparency.
Q: How extensive are your marketing plans for Kind in Ireland over the next 12 months?
A: As with any growing brand, we have some pretty ambitious plans for 2020. We are the first European market to support the Kind brand with TV advertising, which will be on all-year round. Our main marketing strategy is bars in hand, as we know when people try our product they are very likely to buy it next time they see it in-store as they just taste amazing.
Field marketing is our bread and butter, whether in-store sampling, in the workplace and gyms, as well as on-street and events such as Wellfest, Thrive and Taste of Dublin. This year we are the Official Snack Partner for Quest Adventure Series and The Great Limerick Run. We will also be returning to the Dublin Marathon which we have been part of since 2017. Events are a great opportunity for us to meet and speak with our consumers and let them learn a little more about our product and get to know us as a brand. Social media is also an important platform for us as it allows us to have two way dialogue with our consumers.
Q: Kind offers numerous health benefits, whether consumers are looking for fibre or protein, vegetarian or kosher options. Why did you feel it was important to cater to all these needs?
A: At Kind, we believe that the consumer shouldn’t have to choose between tasty and nutritious, so we always strive to make products that are both! Our first ingredient in every product is always nutritionally dense; nuts in our core range, which means that our bars are naturally high in fibre, lower GI and high in protein. When consumers began to ask for products that were higher in protein, we created a bar with more peanuts and added soy crisps, bringing the protein content up to 12g. While our products contain honey, they are always vegetarian. It is important for us to be kosher as our bars are sold all over the world.
*(Source: Nielsen Scan Track YTD 2019)
The quark spark
Nestlé Lindahls Kvarg is a high-protein dairy product hailing from Sweden, which is currently experiencing healthy growth in the UK and Ireland. Lindahls Kvarg is available in six flavours: Raspberry, Vanilla, Peach & Passion Fruit, Blueberry & Vanilla, Coconut and Stracciatella. Kvarg is Swedish for quark, which is a specialised type of dairy that can act as a substitute to fatty creams and yoghurts.
The number one quark in Sweden*, the Nestlé Lindahls Kvarg range has a delicious creamy texture – similar to Greek yoghurt – created to help lead a balanced, healthy lifestyle**. Whether you’re a long-time gym-goer or just starting out on a healthy flex, Nestlé Lindahls Kvarg is the perfect partner for a regular workout.
Containing 17g of protein per pot, Nestlé Lindahls Kvarg single pots are also low sugar and fat-free*** and a great addition to your pre or post workout meal plan. Delicious mixed with berries, fruit or granola.
Nestle Lindahls Kvarg pots can be found in the chilled yogurts aisle. To learn more, visit Lindahls.co.uk.
*(Source: In value sales of the total Quark segment: Nielsen 2018)
**(Protein contributes to the maintenance of muscle mass. It is important to have a varied diet as part of a healthy lifestyle)
***(Stracciatella is low sugar and low fat)
Reload the snacks
Sports nutrition brand Grenade is continuing to dominate the snacking world, kicking 2020 off in style with the release of its newest offering, Grenade Reload.
Available in three popular-trending flavours, Blueberry Muffin, Chocolate Chunk and Billionaires Shortbread, this oat bar is the ultimate energy snack thanks to a blend of complex carbohydrates, with higher protein levels to help consumers feel fuller for longer between meals.
Grenade CEO and co-founder Alan Barratt says the brand wanted to start 2020 with a bang. “We wanted to produce an energy bar that is sure to change the snacking world, and Reload does just that,” Barratt says. “We want consumers to get the most out of their day and Reload makes sure they’ve got more in their tank!”
Grenade recognises the latest shopper trends within the healthier snacking sector, and has identified that consumers want a snack that is not only good for them but is going to be satiating and boost energy level. With slow release energy from wholegrain oats and all-natural nut butters, Grenade Reload caters to these needs, thanks to its high levels of protein and fibre, as well as its low sugar content. This brand-new tasty treat is the perfect guilt-free option for those looking to fuel themselves during the day in a healthier way – plus it is vegetarian-certified.
“We’re offering something different to the market,” Barratt continues. “Consumers are looking for great tasting, high quality, innovative snacks that provide something different with a fun and quirky twist. We will continue to push the boundaries within the snacking market – Reload is the newest recruit which we’re confident will be a firm favourite amongst consumers.”
Grenade Reload is exclusively available to purchase from grenade.com, Amazon, and Superdrug. It will also be available to purchase wholesale from sports specialists Tropicana and Muscle Finesse.
Best of both
With its genuinely tasty, healthier alternatives to standard chocolate confectionery bars, Fulfil bars continue to reinvent the snacking category. In 2019 the brand continued to grow and remains category leader with a 71% share in the protein bar market*.
Last year, two new flavours were introduced to the range: Chocolate Peanut Butter and Chocolate Brownie. The latter, Chocolate Brownie, has already become a consumer favourite, the number two healthy bar in value sales and number five in value ROS of all single bars in the 12 weeks to 29 December 2019**.
Fulfil has created a more indulgent protein bar category with these new mouth-watering flavours, whilst still maintaining the positive credentials of 20g protein, less than 3g sugar and nine vitamins in each bar.
Keep up to date on all things Fulfil on Instagram @Fulfil_Nutrition or Facebook at Fulfil Nutrition.
*(Source: ROI Total Scantrack MAT to 29 December 2019)
**(Source: Total Single Bars ROI Total Scantrack to 29 December/ROS for bars with >10% numeric Distribution)
The success of Kinetica is rooted in its dedication to developing products alongside the top nutritionists and athletes in the sporting industry. Since 2009, the brand has developed a complete range of sports nutrition including a successful convenience line.
2020 promises to be an exciting one for Kinetica. The brand started out the year showcasing a whole new look that is sure to make an impact within this commodified category. Some exciting new partnerships were announced, including with Leinster Rugby and Dublin GAA official nutritionist Daniel Davey.
Kinetica is built around quality and trust which is why the brand uses grass-fed protein powders, while all of its products are made with only natural flavours and colours. Kinetica is low in naturally occurring sugars and all products are 100% batch tested and comply with European Food Safety Authority guidelines.
It’s surely looking like 2020 is the year for Kinetica!
To learn more, visit @kinetica_sports on Instagram.
After seven years of development, the Turmeric Co. has officially launched its range of healthy shot drinks in Ireland. The brand is now available in more than 100 Dunnes Stores outlets across the country, as well as selected Spar stores. Created to enhance health and boost the immune system, the brand’s three flavours offer a natural blend of fresh and organic ingredients, with each 60ml shot containing 35g of fresh, uniquely extracted wet Turmeric root.
The original shot, Nature’s Remedy, is the simplest way of adding fresh, organic Turmeric to one’s diet, while the Turmeric Fused with Ginger shot has an additional 2.5g of fresh and organic Ginger root. The range is completed with Turmeric Fused with Beetroot, blended with freshly extracted beetroot combined with flax oil and parsley – a must for anyone who loves nutrition. Additional ingredients in each shot include watermelon, pomegranate, pineapple and lemon, all extracted directly from the fruit.
The Turmeric Co. is the brainchild of international footballer Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu who, after suffering a heavy cruciate ligament injury and experiencing adverse effects to prescribed anti-inflammation medicine, took matters into his own hands. Along with his family, Kanu spent the last seven years developing the product which now stands head and shoulders above others on the market. The products have already won partnerships with some of the world’s most prestigious sporting organisations, including the England Rugby Team and multiple GB Olympic camps, and the brand has ambitious expansion plans in the coming months.
Unlike its competitors, The Turmeric Co. does not use powders or water in any of its shots, and its ingredients offer extraordinary effects on health, from boosting the immune system, fighting common colds, to reducing cellular inflammation around the entire body. Turmeric contains a powerful compound called curcumin, a natural anti-inflammatory that makes it an instant alternative to synthetic drugs and traditional medication, and helps fight infection, reduce inflammation and boost the immune system. Each product also includes piperine, an ingredient which enhances the bio availability of curcumin, the active ingredient within Turmeric by up to 2,000%.
Living healthier lives
Ireland’s number one water brand Ballygowan has teamed up with the GAA and GPA to develop a fitness drink for active lives called Ballygowan Activ+.
Ballygowan Activ+ is the official fitness partner of the GAA/GPA. Delivering on parent company Britvic’s ‘Healthier Everyday’ strategy to help consumers lead healthier lives, Ballygowan Activ+ was developed by Britvic in consultation with the GAA/GPA based on the refreshment needs of both elite sportspeople and today’s everyday health conscious consumer. The added vitamins, minerals and electrolytes in Ballygowan Activ+ help to refresh and replenish the body so consumers can maintain an active lifestyle every day. Ballygowan Activ+ has zero sugar and only 25 calories per 500ml bottle, with two tempting fruit flavours to choose from: Orange or Apple & Raspberry.
Ballygowan Activ+ is the perfect fitness drink, suitable for everyone, no matter what their activity level is – from leading GAA players to a group of friends playing a five-a-side or to refresh after a brisk walk or run.
Ballygowan Activ+ is available nationwide at an RRP of €1.75.