With 2020 behind us, everyone is looking for a way to move forward into a better year. Moving your business into a better year means predicting what the trends will be and what opportunities are ahead in the near future.

For nutrition bar companies, this means knowing what customers will demand of their products, and what will lead your business to successfully capture more market at a higher profit. Forming a strategy around these upcoming trends will be essential to make sure 2021 is a great year for your company and customers.

Ethically Sourced Ingredients

With the unusual events of 2020, consumers have had an abnormal amount of time to reflect on how they spend their money and what they consume. Last year saw many social justice issues come to light, and worldwide inequality was no exception. Sourcing socially responsible and sustainable ingredients in 2021 is top of the list for conscious consumers.

Not only will this practice help companies avoid the risk of being associated with unethical farming and labor practices, but it can also be a large selling point for many brands wishing to distinguish themselves from the competition. What’s more is that brands that ethically source their ingredients, or work with co-packers who do, are making a huge positive impact on the communities and farmers where the products are procured from.

Keto Diet-Approved Protein Bars

The ketogenic (keto) diet is continuing to grow in popularity into the new year. Trend diets can often be a pitfall for brands that invest in producing formulas specifically for that diet, only to have it fade into obscurity as the next fad rolls around. The keto diet is actually almost 100 years old, however, and is only gaining in popularity. Originally used as an epilepsy treatment, as more consumers find maladies that keto can alleviate, this diet will continue to grow in popularity.
For nutrition bar brands, working with a co-packer or private label provider who can help formulate keto-friendly nutrition bars could be the key to unlocking a new, growing consumer market.

Immune Boosting Ingredients

Like all years, 2021 will have trends that were instigated by the year that preceded it. With the global pandemic still posing a threat, and likely doing so well into 2021, the year will continue to have the same health-focused backdrop.

As people restructure their lives around navigating the pandemic while staying healthy and safe, products that boost immune systems are already gaining huge popularity. Consumers have been latching on to any advantage to stay healthy, and with so much focus on health over the past year, it’s likely this trend won’t abruptly disappear when the pandemic is under control.

Carob As An Ingredient

Carob has been gaining steam for a while now. As consumers pay more attention to sugar intake as well as where those sugars come from, carob will prove to me an MVP ingredient in 2021. Carob is naturally sweet and healthier than chocolate, so it can easily function as a substitute. While chocolate will likely never go out of style, the nutrition bar market is one where consumers will gladly choose carob over chocolate and will even be a decisive factor in purchasing a product.

Chickpeas As an Ingredient

Chickpeas will be another all-star ingredient in 2021 as it’s been gaining popularity year over year. From 2018-2019, U.S. product launches with chickpeas as the main ingredient rose 74%, and that trend continues to grow.

Chickpeas offer excellent healthy proteins but have a neutral taste, meaning they are incredibly versatile. For this reason, nutrition bar brands and co-packers are able to utilize them in many different flavor profiles. Another advantage, besides their adaptable flavor, is that consumers are familiar with the ingredient and its health benefits, making them more likely to try a protein bar that is formulated with chickpeas.

Transparency From Manufacturers

Consumers have spent more time in their kitchens cooking and baking over the last year than many have ever spent before. With a spotlight on how food is made and where it comes from, consumers will demand more transparency from the brands they buy. Manufacturing processes, ingredient sources, and more will be under the microscope.

Nutrition bar companies can get ahead of this by utilizing sustainable, healthy, and ethical sourcing methods, and practicing responsible manufacturing procedures. Manufacturing under food safety certifications such as the Safe Quality Food (SQF) certification, and holding well-known and reliable dietary certifications that customers trust is a good way to prove to consumers that they can rely on your brand. Working with co-packers or private label servicers who carry these certifications is an easy way to make sure you’re following the strict guidelines set forth by the certifying organization.

Make the information about your processes easily available to consumers, and make sure you work with partners who are actively certified in delivering safe and healthy products.

As businesses look hopefully to 2021, your nutrition bar brand can plan for success. Knowing the needs and wants of your customers is the first step. Try incorporating these top trends into your nutrition bar line to provide consumers with healthy, new products they can trust.