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Bloks provide chewable energy

BY Richard Monks

Since their introduction a few years ago, Clif Bar & Co.’s Shot Bloks have been among the best-selling nutrition bars in the specialty store segment. Relatively new at mass market outlets, the product has quickly become a best-seller in these stores as well. Designed to provide quick, chewable energy, Shot Bloks come in a bar divided into six individual 33-calorie cubes, making it easy to customize and track caloric and electrolyte intake. Made from 95% organic ingredients, the product is described as having a consistency somewhere between a cereal bar and a gel, making it easier to chew than traditional nutrition bars. Clif Shot Bloks are offered in eight flavors, including orange, black cherry, margarita and citrus.

(For the full report, including charts, click here.)

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FruitChia bars pack in nutrients

BY Richard Monks

Alexa Health Products’ FruitChia bars have garnered a great deal of attention over the past year. Made with only two ingredients — fruit and chia seeds — the naturally sweetened, gluten-free bars provide a mixture of antioxidants, dietary fiber, and omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. Research has shown that chia seeds provide a massive amount of nutrients with very few calories. Their high fiber and protein content is believed to help people lose weight, improve bone health and manage diabetes. Research has shown that the little black seeds also help lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, increase HDL cholesterol and reduce inflammation. FruitChia bars are offered in six flavors.

(For the full report, including charts, click here.)

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Healthy intros influence eating habits

BY Richard Monks

While public health officials and the media continue to trumpet how many Americans’ eating habits can adversely affect their health, consumers do not yet seem ready to swear off traditional snack foods in favor of more healthy options.

(For the full report, including charts, click here.)

According to recent IRI data, sales of nutrition bars and other healthy alternatives are showing mixed results.

These trends seemingly go against consumers’ perceptions of themselves. A recent report from the market research firm Packaged Facts noted that since 2004, the number of consumers who say they are healthy snackers has grown from 29 million to 41 million, or from 14% to 18% of the population.

Retailers say that the numbers do not tell the whole story. As more drug stores across the country put added emphasis on their ability to deliver health-and-wellness products, many are expanding their mix, adding such items as fresh fruits and vegetables.

Suppliers also are expanding the definition of snack food, offering more vegetable-based products, a wider range of nutrition bars and healthier versions of category staples, such as low-fat popcorn.

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