The Evolution of Energy Bars: A Healthier Way to Snack
Written by Registered Dietitian, Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, MS, RDN
The Rising Popularity of Energy Bars
Life is overscheduled, supremely packed, and plain ol’ busy! And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it may make less room for the essential things in life…like meals! Whether we are traveling, hustling from activity to activity or simply just on-the-go, we can often catch ourselves in a bind without a warm meal nearby. Thankfully, this active lifestyle lends itself to the ever-present rise in eating on-the-go and that’s where energy bars, like Kate's Real Food, come into play.
There’s nothing worse than being mid-hike, mid-commute, or even mid-meeting and find your stomach rumbling so loudly that the person next to you may hear your belly calling out for food. Energy bars coming from real food, like Kate’s Real Food bars, are the ideal solution in these scenarios. Not only do they quickly stop your stomach from making some really egregious noises, but they give you an energy boost and quench hunger pangs with whole food ingredients like oats, honey, nuts, and dried fruit.
Navigating the Energy Bar Landscape: From Candy Bars to Natural Snacks
The notion of energy bars has been quite desirable for some time, but natural, organic, and real energy bars are exactly what consumers are looking for right now. They want to be able to look at ingredient lists and pronounce the ingredients with ease and familiarity. But that wasn’t always the case. Take candy bars for instance. They were the first form of “energy bars” because they could easily fit into your backpack and can satisfy hunger in just a few bites. It almost didn’t matter what ingredients were packed into these rectangular, brightly colored, chocolate bars because consumers cared a whole lot less about health and nutrition back then. Nutrition research was still an immature field, obesity and diabetes weren’t an epidemic and we knew way less about the impact ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and trans fats had on our short term and long-term health. In fact, clean eating and health-conscious consumers did not broadly exist the way they exist today! However, now that consumers are expertly aware of nutrition labels, a snack evolution erupted, and these candy bars shuffled towards the back of the line while other energy bars started to make their way towards the limelight.
Real Ingredients, Real Energy: The Kate's Real Food Difference
There have been many rounds of popular energy bars that were considered the “it” bar. From bar flavors that satisfied consumer preferences like birthday cake, to pumpkin spice, these no-so-healthy energy bars had anything but natural ingredients. Loaded with sneaky sugar sources, synthetic additives and protein powders, consumers continued to eat these meal bars and continue with their busy lives. In fact, the bar texture was typically rock-hard by the time it was even in the consumers hands.
Ingredients Matter: Choosing the Right Energy Bar
After more research has come out about artificial sweeteners and how it impacts the brain's desire to continue to crave sweet food, consumers steered farther away from these meal or snack replacements and were hungry for a change. Consumers wanted to eat real energy bars made from real ingredients. They wanted to follow snack trends, like chocolate flavors and nut butters, and started to look for ingredients that were sustainably sourced and had organic certifications. Consumers wanted to feel assured that the company making the energy bars actually cared about what was going inside of the bars and into the bodies of their consumers. And thankfully, Kate's Real Food met the new and evolving snack criteria that consumers cared about.
If there were a texture and taste analysis of the first iteration of energy bars vs an energy bar made with real ingredients there would be no question that Kate's Real Food would reign supreme. The natural ingredients don’t lie in their bars because the fresh ingredients keep the bar texture soft and malleable, unlike other energy bars that would harden after a few weeks on the grocery store shelves. The Kate's Real Food differentiation doesn’t stop with preserving teeth health because their bars are GMO-free and possess organic certifications, using only ingredients that we know are as pure and high quality as it gets.
When it comes to the ideal energy bar, these days consumers deeply care about what is exactly fueling them with this energy. People want to be fully aware of what is powering on their brains and supporting their muscles. More often than not, people would rather choose to have their bodies operate from ingredients like gluten-free oats, organic dried fruit and true source certified honey than a long and dubious word like high fructose corn syrup. Plus, consumers would certainly want to choose ingredients that have functional benefits, such as gut health, blood sugar stability, mood balance, and even immune supporting effects. Rest assured, the ingredients in Kate's Real Food lend themselves to provide such benefits.
Kate's Real Food hits the nail on the target when it comes to understanding what energy bar characteristics consumers want, such as desirable flavor profiles such as Lemon Coconut or White Chocolate Macadamia, sourcing ethically produced ingredients, addressing dietary restrictions all while also caring about nutritional content. There are new dietary needs that consumers care deeply about, especially gluten-free certification and making a non-GMO promise - all of which Kate's Real Food addresses and provides in their bars. They're able to align themselves perfectly with the existing health trends, like gluten-free, ethically sourced, non-GMO, and organic certifications because they care, and listen to what consumers want. Plus, they use real ingredients to help deliver real energy instead of using synthetic ingredients or artificial additives.
Kate's Real Food is a health-conscious consumer's gold mine, sourcing ethical ingredients that are delicious and delivering clean energy in the form of food, like oats, honey, brown rice crisps, not from synthetic ingredients. After reading the ingredient list on a Kate's Real Food package, you feel supported in knowing that your body will be energized from real foods which should make you feel that you did something good for you and your health.