“Clean foods have risen in popularity over the years as consumers have become more health conscious and savvy regarding how to power their bodies both on and off the field,” Eric Zaltas, vice president of R&D at Premier Nutrition Corporation, said in a press release.
The bars hit national and local retailers in July, including Kroger and Woodman’s Foods. Beginning this month, the product will be sold at Publix and Winn Dixie. The PowerBar Clean Whey Protein Drink will be available starting October 2016, a spokesperson told NutraIngredients-USA.
“PowerBar Clean Whey protein bars and drinks are on trend with the movement toward removing artificial sweeteners, colors and flavors from foods and utilizing high quality proteins, like the whey protein we use in the Clean Whey product line,” Zaltas added.
How PowerBar defines “clean”
As sports nutrition products become more mainstream, manufacturers are seeing more of an overlap of fitness-oriented individuals who pay close attention to free-from claims and other labels on the nutrition products they buy.
But technically speaking, there isn’t a clear definition of what it means to be simple or clean label. In PowerBar’s case, it meant using a minimum amount of sugar, at only 2 g per serving, as well as eliminating artificial sweeteners. The company spokesperson said that PowerBar is using the term “clean”, “because of their high quality protein source, natural colors and flavors, low fat content and strong nutritionals.” Additionally, the bars’ sweet taste comes from stevia leaf extract and erythritol, which is found in fermented yeast.
The bars come in three different flavors: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, White Fudge Raspberry, and Cookies & Cream. The gluten free bars are 60 g per serving, with 20 g of protein in each bar, and a total carbohydrate amount of 25 g.
Beyond the athletes: PowerBar’s new direction targets active lifestyle consumers at large
“After 30 years, the landscape of sport has evolved and so have we. We are broadening our audience to acknowledge that our products are beneficial to today’s athlete and extend far beyond the elite marathoner or triathlete,” PowerBar VP of marketing Doug Cornille told NutraIngredients-USA in a previous interview.
Back in April, the company unveiled its new direction of targeting a mainstream audience, coinciding with the mainstreaming of sports nutrition in general.
After a long stint as a brand under Nestle, PowerBar was acquired by Post Holdings in October 2014, and its operations moved out of the Nestle Nutrition Corporation campus in Florham Park, NJ, to the Bay Area in November 2015. Since then, a new marketing team under the operation of Premier Nutrition Corporation, a subsidiary of Post Holdings, has brought the brand beyond the bar.
Previous launches this year include the Reduced Sugar Protein Bars, PowerBar Chocolate and Vanilla shakes, and Simple Fruit Energy Food (pouches of fruit puree) that is targeted towards outdoor and bike shops.