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The Energy Bar Industry

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    1. Conduct a thorough analysis of this category’s customer, competitors, market, and environment from the perspective of PowerBar. What are the key strategic questions? What additional information would you like to obtain? How would you obtain it? What are the threats and opportunities? In particular address the following issues: a. How is the market segmented? What are the key customer motivations and unmet needs? What are the similarities and differences among the segments? How might a company link customer motivations to value propositions?

    The market for PowerBar’s was once segmented to only athletes, is now also segmented towards a much larger segment. This segment now includes on the go and health conscious individuals looking for a snack or a quick meal replacement. The customer is looking for something that’s healthy, inexpensive, and tastes good. The other part of the market is still the “athlete” that is looking for a quick boost in energy. There were and still are constant unmet needs. For instance, taste is a huge problem with energy bars in general.

    It’s a constant struggle to create the need with a good taste and variety at a reasonable price that provides the health benefit each individual is looking for. Both segments are looking for a benefit for themselves. At the same time they are both health cautious and as long as PowerBar is meeting their needs they will both listen. Another unmet need is the shift to organic products. What has PowerBar done to attract this cliental? What is the need for an organic energy bar? Customers are motivated by quality, value, and product benefit to themselves.

    How is PowerBar differentiating itself from the 100’s of energy/health bars in the market? b. Identify the competitors. Who are the most direct competitors? The indirect competitors? Substitute products? What are the strategic groups? Clif bar is a direct competitor of PowerBar. Another competitor is the maker of Balance bar which is Bio Foods Inc. However, with new competition PowerBar is forced to re-look at their products and created Harvest, Protein Plus, and Pria to compete with the new energy/health bars on the market. Pria is a bar (not for energy) but nutritious for women which was created to compete with Luna.

    Clif bar realized that there was a market that wasn’t tapped into yet, which was the population which has an interest in vitamins and nutrition. These people weren’t looking for energy but instead a bar that created vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in one. These bars are for the calorie cautious individuals. As this market emerged so did the market that was interested in a low-calorie life style. What can PowerBar provide to this market? PowerBar seems as if they are keeping an eye on the competition but seem to be followers in the market instead of leaders. They look at their competitors and imitate what they have.

    PowerBar is failing to do their market research but instead relied on other companies studies/creations. PowerBar and other companies are trying to get into the women’s market by the low-calorie option bars. However, they have more competition in this market with the Nutri-grain, Quaker Oats, General Mills, Slim-Fast, etc. c. What are the market trends? The growth submarket? The key success factors? The market continues to grow health cautious and PowerBar has the opportunity to take advantage of it through a good advertising team. This is the chance to figure out what the customer wants in a good energy bar or health bar.

    On the other side money may also be a key success factor. Powerbar also emerged in the sports beverage and gel industry to create a more competitive edge and variety for individuals and athletes. d. What are the environmental trends that will affect the industry? Generate two or three viable future scenarios? We live in a fast paced society and people are always looking for nutrients on the go. Eating an energy bar with the nutrients and vitamins one needs instead of a meal when you’re on the run fits great in today society. There is also a great concern over kids and obesity over the past few years and the concern is constantly growing.

    Nutritious bars with the vitamins kids need would be a good market to get into as more and more parents are looking for healthier options for their children. 2. How would you go about evaluating emerging submarkets? What criteria would you use to enter each? Consider PowerBar’s reactions to Clif organic bar. Powerbar split into many submarkets over the years which include Luna, a bar designed to meet women’s needs; Balance, a high protein bar; Pria, a low calorie bar, and Balance Gold, a bar that tastes like candy. What caused Powerbar to get into these submarkets?

    PowerBar saw a success in, with other energy bars put pressure on Powerbar to get up to speed. To get up to speed they researched the other company’s products and created something similar if not better, with Powerbar’s unique touch. Customers needs and wants create these emerging submarkets. What are the new “fad” and diet trends? Companies need to keep looking into tomorrow and not yesterday. Trends are constantly changing and Powerbar has a habit of picking them up. Being in touch with the world is the key. It’s not what “I” want but instead what “you” want. 3. What innovation would support a new entry? How should entries be branded?

    Can brands such as Harvest, Luna Balance Gold, Balance Satisfaction, and others be leveraged? PowerBar’s innovation is to grow in the long run. When ever a competitor created something they created something similar and better. They wanted PowerBar to have everything that is available in the market when it comes to energy bars. We are in an era of technology. With the fast paced society, peoples’ purchasing power over the internet has increased. PowerBar and many other energy bars are now easily accessible. Whether you’re looking for that boost of energy, extra vitamins, or just a healthy snack, according to PowerBar, they have it.

    All the brands the PowerBar created can be leveraged. PowerBar isn’t giving people the opportunity to go buy a product that they don’t offer from their competitors. Instead they create it. 4. Will the energy bar category morph into food bars, with elements diet, tasting like candy, and breakfast replacement dominating as energy definition recedes? How can Nestle’s PowerBar keep that from happening and still maintain is mainstream/supermarket posture? The energy bars have already morphed into protein bars, cereal bars, and snack bars.

    There is always that chance that they can morph into food bars however; the chance of success is very low. Food bars usually advertise as a breakfast bars as opposed energy. Most likely those bars will not enter the gym market as energy bars do since they provide no benefit while keeping physically fit. Nestle energy bars can prevent themselves from becoming a food bar by constant advertising against food bars. They can constantly distinguishing themselves from the current food bars as energy bars and there benefits. Currently in many of the local gyms in the Lehigh Valley offer PowerBar and their products.

    PowerBar is distinguishing themselves from others by contracting themselves in local gyms. They’re making themselves the only one available in gyms. 5. At what stage is the energy bar market relative to the product life cycle? What strategies can be used to extend the life cycle? Do you see consolidation on the horizon? The energy bar market is very relative to the product life cycle. The energy bars are developed based on the customer’s needs and wants. Once they are developed they are introduced and as long as they are accepted by the people the demand keeps on growing.

    In order to prevent this cycle from declining one can provide a variety of products such as PowerBar does right now. They offer different flavors in bars, and bars that meet different needs for each individual. People’s needs are constantly changing, whether its energy, nutrients, or a healthy snack one can find it with energy bars. There is a chance of consolidation with energy bars. Many try to offer the same products. As shown in this article. Anytime another company created an energy bar PowerBar created something similar. One of these companies may buy each other out depending on assests.

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    The Energy Bar Industry. (2017, Feb 14). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/the-energy-bar-industry/

    Frequently Asked Questions

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    Is there a demand for energy bars?
    Energy bars have also found high levels of popularity in the sports nutrition market as sports activities involve lots of energy breakdown and energy bars are a convenient and efficient option for the supply of instant energy to athletes. Hence, the demand for these products is gaining traction among athletes.
    What company makes energy bars?
    PowerBar is an American brand of energy bars and other related products including sports drinks, gels, and the Pria bars targeted at women. The former company had been established in 1986, being then acquired by Nestlé. Acquired by Nestlé in 2000, becoming a brand.

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