Energy bars exploded on the American consumer market a few decades ago. There were only a handful of products back then and customers purchased them mainly for quick energy or a convenient snack. Consumers have gotten more and more specific with their energy bar requirements. They have different goals. The energy bar target market is huge and has now been segmented into unique subsets of consumers. Today, a buyer may be interested in the purchase for a variety of reasons. The consumer may be motivated by health/wellness, the purity of diet or the athletic/sports performance of an energy bar.
Energy Bar Segmentation Variable #1:
The athletic/sports realm is a large psychographic market segment for energy bars. Potential buyers appreciate the robustness of outdoor recreational activity and have common interests and needs. It makes sense to target this specific market because of the physical demands of this segmented group. Recreational endeavors are eclectic. People hike, ski, fish, camp and enjoy many physical challenges. The activity may be as adventurous as mountain climbing or as mundane as a morning jog. Athletic people desire vitality and drive. PowerBar offers a quick fix for energy. It is easy to pack, stays preserved and gives the consumer more bang (boost) for his buck ($1.79). In 2008, PowerBar launched its national advertising campaign featuring athletes such as Michael Phelps and Lamar Odom. Their intention was to highlight the effectiveness in sustaining and improving athlete’s athletic ability and endurance. PowerBar’s television and magazine advertising have done the same to promote their product. They emphasize the performance edge their energy bar releases that appeals to both sports enthusiasts and sports participants.
Energy Bar Segmentation Variable #2:
Healthy diets are an immense psychographic segment in today’s energy bar market. Healthy lifestyles have similar interests and energy bars have adapted to these needs offering a variety of wholesome items. The gluten free target audience alone is over 44 million people. Many of these are parents who expect energy bars to be healthy, clean and full of nourishing ingredients. It makes sense to target this vast consumer group. The gluten free products market has undergone a revolution where gluten free products were seen as a specialty niche product, and today, they are known as are mainstream products. There is a significant boom in this market. It’s estimated that more than 15% of North American households are using gluten free products. Changes in American society have made this segment attractive to the food industry. Many schools today have banned nut snack products and replaced them with seed-based snacks. ZEGO energy bars are just such a product and the company has set high standards for a healthy bar. ZEGO bars are made without the top eight allergens and glutens. Their wholesome ingredients of sunflower seeds, brown rice flour, pea and rice protein appeals to moms and health aficionados alike. ZEGO bars are also vegan, grain free, kosher, low glycemic and diabetic friendly. There simply isn’t another bar that provides the nutritious, clean ingredients and allergy and gluten safety that ZEGO does. ZEGO bars are designed for peace of mind. Any mom would be confident to place this $2.50 snack in their kid’s backpack.
Energy Bar Segmentation Variable #3:
Other energy are geared toward leanness, taste and gender. Men are from mars and women are from Venus. So naturally their preferences differ. Demographic segmentation can be divided by gender. Gender segmentation is commonly used within the cosmetics, clothing and magazine industry. Energy bars too. The LUNA bar was the first energy bar aimed at women. It was actually created by female employees of the renowned high selling Clif Bar company. The LUNA bars average at about 170 calories, compared to other Clif bars like the classic Chocolate Chip clocking in at 240. Why is this gender variable so important to energy bar marketers? The LUNA bars seem to be targeted at the calorie counters. Women are typically calorie counters. LUNA Bar is also the first energy nutrition bar formulated to help supply the nourishment women need to fuel their busy lives. LUNA provides nutrients women’s diets often lack, including folic acid, calcium, iron, and vitamin D. The packaging is colorfully attractive and they combine a nice balance of nutrients in a sweet tasting candy-like bar. Women are targeted because they are largely preoccupied with losing weight. For women out there looking to lose weight this year, the many different nutritional bars, supplements and formulas can seem overwhelming. Luna Bars narrow down the choices and are one of the few nutritional bars on the market today that has received excellent weight loss reviews. The Luna Bars are items that suppress your appetite and prevent you from wanting to consume unhealthy snacks. As a result the goal of weight loss is something that is very easily achieved through the help of this. You get to lose weight and also provide your body with all the necessary nutrients that are needed in order to maintain a good existence.
Segmentation in Action:
Women live busy lives. They take care of kids and clean the house, have jobs along with many other duties. If they wake up early and head for the gym they are within an elite market segment of high echelon healthy ladies. Aspen has many such females. I see them at JR gym munching on a variety of healthy energy products.Combining the qualities of the three energy bars could create a whole new market segment.Women crave good taste, purity of product and an energy boost. Coming up with a combination of these qualities in a energy bar could pinpoint a segment that a marketing manager could exploit and phase out the competition. The bar could even be called “Elite”.
The best way to go out of business is to attempt to be all things to all people. Not everyone can or will be your customer, but on a planet of more than 6 billion people, there should still be enough market for you to survive in, if not thrive. Market segmentation allows you to determine what best suits your marketing campaign. Once a target audience is identified it becomes easier to plan and execute effective marketing strategies.
I came across a lot of good nutritional information on ZEMA bars.
A very revealing reading about the expansion of gluten free products and their widespread use in America.
Powerbar and the benefits of using their energy bar.
Powerbar marketing strategies in a slide show.
LUNA bars emphasize their overall benefits especially weight loss.
Short video with Powerbar’s celebrity marketing using Michael Phelps.