Cereal bars
The growing popularity of cereal products among athletes is driving the category.

LONDON — The global cereal bars market is set to reach about $14 billion by 2020, and the Americas will continue to have the largest share of the market, according to a new report from Technavio, a global technology research and advisory company.

New products, an increase in demand for low fat cereal bars, the increasing popularity of on-the-go grab breakfasts, the change in snacking culture, and broad retail distribution that encourages both planned and impulse buying decisions are expected to be key drivers in the category over the next five years, Technavio said.

“Manufacturers in countries such as the U.S. are emphasizing protein and fiber content in cereal bars as a substitute for breakfast items such as bagels and cereals,” said Vijay Sarathi, lead research analyst with Technavio. “The demand for cereal bars is also emerging from countries with an increasing number of immigrants, such as Canada.”

The report identifies Europe as the second largest market for cereal bars. Growth in the region is being driven by the busy and hectic lifestyle of its population, thus prompting consumers to look for on-the-go consumption options, such as cereal bars, Technavio said.

“In Denmark and Germany, cereal bars are considered one of the healthiest on-the-go breakfasts,” Mr. Sarathi said. “Similarly, in Norway, growing health awareness among people is expected to fuel the cereal bars market.”

Also driving the market for cereals bars is the growing popularity of the products among athletes. Additionally, vendors are positioning cereal bars as a meal replacement solution, highlighting its convenience to their customer base. Vendors also have introduced various new products, such as protein bars for women.

A key factor influencing the global cereal bars market is growing demand for sugar-free cereal bars, Technavio said. The research group drew attention in its report to the growing demand for sugar-free cereal bars, pointing to the World Health Organization’s recommendation that children and adults should decrease their daily intake of sugars to less than 10% of their total energy intake. Though some cereal bars are healthy and have high nutritional value, some also contain high levels of sugar. As a result, Technavio said sugar-free cereal bars are becoming increasingly popular in all regions.

“The introduction of sugar-free cereal bars such as Russell Stover Sugar Free Breakfast Bars Chewy Granola and Sorbee Sugar Free Cereal Bars has encouraged the calorie conscious group to become consumers of this market,” Mr. Sarathi said. “Sugar-free cereal bars are also marketed to diabetic patients as safe edibles between meals.”