Premium products, high-quality nutrient profiles and vegan recipes are all key purchase drivers in the protein bar category, according to functional food manufacturer SternLife, and in such a saturated market it's essential to raise the bar in product innovation.
Vegan bars are particularly challenging from a sensory perspective, as their texture and taste differ substantially from milk- and whey-based counterparts.
Revealing its new Vegan Deluxe concept, SternLife says this new concept finally offers a plant-based protein bar with "excellent taste" and "high-quality nutrient profile".
The company's prototype bar delivers 25 per cent of plant proteins from pea, soy and rice, as well as 13 per cent of saturating dietary fibres, and less than one per cent sugar.
Indulgence is the focus of the second concept, Grand Deluxe, which allows for nearly one-quarter (22 per cent) of the bar to consist of creamy filling – double the amount of others on the market - a novelty which the firm says will hit the right mark with protein bar consumers.
Lüder Holsten, Product Manager at SternLife, says the company is also able to customise sensory, nutritional and functional properties of the bars according to desired positioning and target groups.
“Our special focus is on those segments that still offer good positioning opportunities. There is definitely space for improvement when it comes to the existing range of vegan protein bars. This has inspired us to develop the Vegan Deluxe concept. Of course, saturated markets are more challenging in terms of successful product launches, but are by no means unmanageable.
"To stand out from the crowd, innovation and USPs are a must. Our Grand Deluxe concept is the best example of a new generation of protein bars. Never before has there been so much filling in an industrially produced functional bar.”
SternLife provides a comprehensive portfolio of proteins, dietary fibres and functional ingredients, as well as fillings, toppings, inclusions and chocolate coatings.