KANSAS CITY — The bar category is bursting with innovation, as snack makers seek to develop products with nutritious ingredients, indulgent flavors and everything in between.
The Kellogg Co., Battle Creek, Mich., recently rolled out new chewy snack bars under its Special K brand. Made with chocolaty chunks, salted pretzels, fruit pieces, chewy rolled oats and a sprinkling of rice crisps, the bars come in four flavors: berry medley, blueberry, salted caramel chocolate and salted pretzel chocolate. With 9 grams of whole grains and 100 calories each, the new line is geared toward women looking for a “tasty snack in a variety of craveable combinations – sweet and salty, fresh and fruity and decadently chocolaty,” according to Kellogg.
7-Eleven, Inc., Dallas, also is targeting healthy snack seekers with two new yogurt-drizzled fruit and nut bars with less than 200 calories each. Available in cranberry cashew and pistachio and mixed berries varieties, 7-Select GO!Smart bars are gluten-free and made with organic sweeteners, including agave and brown rice syrups, which have a lower glycemic index than sugar.
"In discussions and development for more than a year, the two varieties of GO!Smart bars are made in small batches from recipes created especially for 7-Eleven," said Sean Thompson, senior director for 7-Eleven’s private brand. "Besides those listed in the bar's name, ingredients include whole grain, crisp brown rice, flax seed, raisins, roasted peanuts, sunflower oil, sea salt, a yogurt-flavored coating and natural flavors."
Also new to the market is a line of high-fiber bars that has been rebranded under new ownership. Formerly Gnu Foods FiberLove bars have been relaunched after the brand was acquired by Pittsburgh-based NuGo Nutrition in January. Now called Fiber d’Lish, the bars are soft-baked with a proprietary blend of soluble and insoluble fiber. Made with a mix of grains and seeds, plus prebiotic inulin, the bars contain 12 grams of fiber and 130 to 160 calories. Flavors include cinnamon raisin, orange cranberry, chocolate brownie, apple cobbler, banana walnut, coconut macaroon, blondie bar, carrot cake, blueberry cobbler and peanut butter chocolate chip. The products are Non-G.M.O. Project verified, and 9 of 10 varieties are vegan.