The popularity of protein bars amongst adults continues to be high, with almost half (46%) of adults claiming to have purchased one previously, rising significantly from the purchase levels recorded in 2016 research (30%). Recent research on behalf of Retail Intelligence by Empathy Research, amongst a nationally representative sample of 1,011 adults aged 18+, sought to identify how behaviour in relation to protein bar consumption may have changed year-on-year, and which brands are being purchased most frequently.
Almost two-thirds (64%) of those aged 18-24 have purchased a protein bar before, rising from 47% in 2016. Males (50%) are more likely to purchase protein bars than females, but with over 4 in 10 (42%) having ever purchased, females are a very important consideration in this category.
Fulfil is the main brand in the category currently, with a third (33%) of those who have ever purchased protein bars purchasing from this range, with a quarter (25%) purchasing Fulfil most often. Interestingly, the purchase of Fulfil is driven by females (34%) and those aged 25-34 (44%), with support from those aged 18-24 (38%).
The key barrier of entry to the category for those who have not yet bought a protein bar, but could see themselves doing so, is the cost of the protein bars. In 2016, 40% of those who were likely to purchase a protein bar in the future but had not yet done so, claimed it was because the bars were too expensive. In this year’s results, this figure has risen to just over half (51%) of those who are likely to purchase in the future. Further to this, there are just over 4 in 10 (42%) of this cohort who aren’t sure of the benefits of protein bars so there continues to be work to do for brands to convince consumers of the benefits of protein bars.
For more information into purchase behaviour in the protein bar and supplement category, please contact Robbie Clarke at Empathy Research,
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