Sweet Snacking

Snack bars are just as tasty as they sound (well, most of the time). Here at Gauge, we usually have a very well stocked kitchen full of snacks and goodies. This includes-you guessed it-snack bars. They can be a convenient meal replacement, or just a delicious treat. The Gauge team lives off of snack bars, and we wondered if other offices had the same idea. To get to the bottom of this, we conducted a series of surveys for one week in order to uncover respondents’ sentiments of snack bars. We are excited to share what we’ve found, and perhaps give you some ideas that may influence your snack bar preferences…

When asked what their favorite brand of snack bar is, 25% of over 700 respondents said Nature Valley. I can’t help but agree. The Nature Valley Crunchy Oats n’ Honey bars were my favorite childhood snack, and something that my mom alway had stocked in the pantry. I suppose a lot of the respondents felt the same way! In second place was KIND at 22%, and then Chewy at 19% in third place. Runners up included CLIF, Larabar, LUNA, and Kashi. But what makes Nature Valley the clear winner? What do they do as a brand that makes their snack bars stand out?

For starters, there are several factors that respondents consider when choosing between different snack bars. Out of almost 1000 respondents, an overwhelming 29% said that ingredients is the most important attribute that they look for when choosing a snack bar to eat. This could mean that they are looking for a snack bar with ingredients that they do like, and ingredients that they don’t like. For me, I usually only choose foods that have ingredients that I recognize. Otherwise, who knows what you’re putting in your stomach? Nutritional information came in second at 27%, and then reason for eating the snack bar at 18%. Surprisingly, packaging came in dead last, meaning that it is not as important of an attribute as some may think it is.

As we discussed before, snack bars are extremely convenient. They can act as a meal replacement any time of the day, or something to eat in between school and soccer practice and homework, or as just a tasty treat full of chocolate (definitely) and nutrients (hopefully). Well, 33% of almost 800 respondents agree: convenience is the element they like best about snack bars. Unsurprisingly, taste came in second at 23%, then healthy ingredients (16%), keeps us full (15%), and gives us energy (10%). All of these are true, but what about the negative side of snack bars. I mean they can’t be all good, right? Out of almost 800 respondents, 42% said that snack bars are too expensive. This was surprising to me. I suppose I’m not purchasing the new, “organic,” “non-GMO,” etc. snack bars while I’m at the grocery store. There are lots of new brands out there now that strive to be the best on the market. But with all of those fresh and unique ingredients comes a higher price! In accordance to what I said earlier, 26% of respondents then said that they do not like snack bars that have too many processed ingredients. I agree-I don’t want to be unsure about what I am eating! Then comes weird taste, texture, and the fact that they cannot always recognize all of the ingredients.

Lastly, we had to ask the most important question: what’s the best part of a snack bar? Is it the chocolatey goodness? Or nutty taste? Or fresh fruit (because we don’t all get enough servings a day…)? No surprise here-43% of almost 800 respondents said that chocolate was their favorite ingredient in a snack bar. Then, we have nuts (25%), granola (14%), fruit (12%), honey (3%) and spices (2%). So, if any snack bar companies are reading this, remember-chocolate is always the answer.

Although I love snack bars and am definitely a little biased, there are elements that can be changed in order to bring an overall better experience. Chocolate was seen as the best ingredient in snack bars across the board, and while respondents loved the convenience of snack bars, they definitely do not like the high cost!

Do you want to gain market insight on your most important and time-constrained business questions? Just create a free account on Gauge and tap into our all-mobile panel today! With the Gauge app,  your company can quickly target a custom audience, create questions, and obtain feedback from thousands of customers, in just minutes.


The  Gauge Team


For more information, check out our infographic:
Sweet Snacking