Walnut Community

Food bars that are functional, provide all-day snacking and contain plant-based ingredients are trending with consumers. So why not grab a bar with an ingredient that satisfies everything that consumers want? Food bars with walnuts are gaining an advantage in the highly competitive category by being able to deliver taste, texture and nutritious properties via a single, whole ingredient.

The growth of food bars remains impressive many years after its debut into the market. Glanbia’s U.S. Nutrition Bar Market Trends for 2020 report shows that bars are a $9.6 billion market in the U.S. alone, with the top subcategories including snack, meal replacement, nutritional, performance and weight loss bars.

Food Navigator dissected a March and April sales study about food bars from research analyst firm Bernstein and found that cereal and granola bars are the big winners year-to-date (YTD). In this category, sales have been spiking for bars that provide comfort, nostalgia and re-creation of childhood pleasures. All-natural, high-protein and low-carb bars also are predicted to see increases as demand for protein and all-natural products shows no sign of slowing.

Although the nutritional bar category dipped slightly YTD, Bernstein predicted that those numbers were temporary and expected “the nutritional bar category to return to overall growth on the strength of ‘mega dietary trends such as wholesome/natural and high protein/low carb.’

Walnuts are the ideal ingredient for bars because they check all of a product developer’s boxes, including taste, texture and nutritious properties. From a flavor perspective, walnuts carry a unique and subtle nutty flavor profile that complements chocolate, vanilla, fruit and more. Walnuts also have the perfect bite, being neither too hard nor too soft. This is key in nut-dense bars that require a binder to keep all of the ingredients together. A hard or overly chewy bar will turn off customers even if the flavor is perfect. Walnuts deliver the flavor and the texture to make any bar a winner.

And when it comes to nutrition, walnuts are a clear winner, as they are the only nut that provides a significant amount of plant-based omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid, with 2.5 grams per ounce. One ounce of walnuts also contains 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber and is a good source of magnesium and phosphorus.

We recently scoured supermarket shelves and found these amazing made-with-walnuts bars.

Chocolate Walnut Raw Energy Bar, ATAQ

ATAQ’s Raw Energy Bar Chocolate Walnut variety is made with plant-based ingredients including walnuts, cocoa butter, gluten-free oats and dates. These bars are positioned to athletes to use during a tough workout or as a midafternoon snack.

Chocolate Cocoa Bar, Freedom Bar

Aptly named as the solution for a convenient meal, Freedom Bar’s new Chocolate Cocoa variety includes a minimal ingredient listing with walnuts, dates, cocoa powder and sea salt. There are 4 grams of plant-based protein in each certified gluten-free bar.

Banana Bread Bliss, Taste Bars

These made-with-walnuts Banana Bread Bliss bars present the perfect nostalgic taste of home: banana bread. The low-carb, no-sugar-added, gluten-free bars provide 6 grams of protein per bar, along with 8 grams of dietary fiber.

Apple Pie Paleo Bar, Blue Dinosaur

If pie is more of what you’re craving, try America’s favorite pie in a bar: apple. Made with walnuts, dates, cinnamon and coconut oil, it’s the next best thing to an apple pie fresh out of the oven.

Chocolate Walnut Collagen Bar, Caveman Foods

Need a chocolate fix? Grab these Chocolate Walnut bars, which contain 5 grams of grass-fed collagen and all the flavor of a brownie with less guilt. They contain 11 grams of protein per bar and are gluten-, grain- and soy-free.
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