Overview of energy bar industry
The energy bar industry begun with a single creation in 1986 by PowerBar as a means to provide athletes with energy food. This was located in Berkeley, California. Initially, before any form of competition, it was distributed at bike shops and covered major events of running and biking. This saw the rise in demand of the energy bar and the rise in competition in this young industry. The growth of energy bar industry has been quick with its rise to $100 million to over $2 billion by 1996 which is only a decade. In fact, market analysis showed that the industry had an expected growth of 10 percent per year. With the rise of many firms offering the energy bar, different flavors were introduced to meet the needs of various customers. Market research conducted by PowerBar enabled finding various unsatisfied needs which led it to producing better brands than those it originally produced even though it kept its formula of ingredients (40/30/30). The industry has considered through the energy bar to address health including focusing on nutrition needs of the customers rather than just providing energy bars. The rise in various flavors which meets the needs of the customers has made the industry to be highly responsive to changes in customer’s tastes and preferences while various promotional methods have been adopted for the sole purpose of attaining competitive advantages, product positioning and customer loyalty in the industry. The level of competition has continued to grow everyday as customers’ demands are analyzed, market segments unsatisfied selected, the market information critically researched and analyzed and most importantly the ability of the market base continual growth.
Energy bar customers
Initially, PowerBar positioned its product as an athlete’s food. They majorly targeted the athletes for their product and operated as such focusing the energy bar to meet the requirements of the running and biking athletes. However, as other competitors come into the industry, the demands of the customers were identified and found to be plenty (Aaker, 2009, p. 98).
PowerBar customers required effective and efficient energy food which provided them with a source of energy. This specifically considered their energy requirements. Still on the same line six years later, branding of the energy bar as Clif bar was intended to meet the same needs of the customers but with better innovated products. The energy bar that was developed had superior tastes and texture replacing the stick bars that PowerBar was distributing. The customers targeted involved themselves in strained activities that required quick replenishment of the lost energy to successful complete their activities. This made all the products produced between these periods of 1986 to 1992 to have similar features and geared specifically for energy replenishment.
As the demand for the energy bar grew, customers indicated different tastes and preferences resulting to development of a balanced bar. This considers having a blend of carbohydrates, proteins and fats unlike the previous which consisted of carbohydrates and little fats (Upton & Bell-Wilson, 2009). PowerBar is able to respond to the growing needs of the customers by providing them with a much better accessible texture and taste balanced bar which has an inclusion of Protein Plus. This was supposed to cover the customers who required high-proteins in their diet.
With competition, the companies grouped customers into their ages and sex type. This made it easy to fully meet the demands of the athletes depending on their age and sex. Since most of the customers targeted were athlete women the products were geared to suit them completely. It also reflected that their customers had different needs in terms of supplements and vitamins and even so considering this time in the growth of energy bar industry none of the firms had this information. This therefore formed another pool of suitable and potential customers to be targeted. The introduction of the Luna product in line with the energy bar shifted entirely the view of products remaining on energy bars and the company grew so fast with this product (Erickson, 2012, p. 61). This was a nutritional bar that targeted women and not men. Targeting of active women help seclude this niche market that had not been identified and development of the customer base for the firm. The introduction of the Balance bar including Plus, Outdoor, and Gold made a huge success for the PowerBar due to its large acceptance by the customers that had been a targeted. The company also targeted kids hence providing kids energy and nutritional bars including those that addressed health matters to supplement the daily diet.
- Quote paper
- Angela Moore (Author), 2012, Energy Bar Industry, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/270019