Newswise — CHICAGO—Convenience and taste are high on the list of what consumers want—especially when it comes to snack and nutrition bars. In the February issue of Food Technology magazine published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), associate editor Melanie Zanoza Bartelme writes about unexpected flavors and emerging trends in the snack and nutrition bar category. Consumers can all find a bar to fulfill their specific need including people looking for a meal replacement, athletes looking to up their protein, and those looking to lose weight. Eight new trends in snack and nutrition bars include the following:

1. Protein: Soy protein and whey protein continue to star in the majority of new product launches, but many other sources such as pulses, nuts, lamb and bison are appearing as well. Plant-based pea protein and microalgae are also making their way into products. Some protein bars are also high in fiber, another attribute desired by many.

2. Cricket Flour: Cricket flour is a nutrient dense-protein sources that can provide a wealth of functional benefits without taking a toll on the environment. Crickets are a complete protein and can be raised using less water, feed and space compared to other animal-based protein sources.

3. Savory Flavors: Mango curry, chipotle barbeque, sundried tomato and basil, black olives and walnut are new savory flavors seen in bars recently. Many people consider these types of bars as a as a meal replacement.

4. Texture: Inclusions like nuts in different sizes, crisps, clusters, and other ingredients can add unexpected texture and flavor to different bars and enhance the eating experience.

5. Seeds and Ancient Grains: Pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, flaxseed, and ancient grains such as amaranth, quinoa, millet, sorghum, teff, and buckwheat are all becoming more popular additions to bars.

6. Alternative Binders: To comply with clean label desires and the move towards reducing the use of refined sugars, manufacturers are using nut butters, dried fruits, brown rice syrup, date syrup, and coconut sugar as binders.

7. Special Populations: While athletes have often been the target of protein and energy bars, more bars targeted to women, men, and children are being created specifically for that particular segment’s needs. New bars also target consumers looking to follow a certain diet such as gluten-free or low-carb.

8. Extra Energy: Bar products with ingredients such as caffeine to help address stress and tiredness/fatigue are also popular.

Read the full article in Food Technology hereAbout IFTFounded in 1939, the Institute of Food Technologists is committed to advancing the science of food. Our non-profit scientific society—more than 17,000 members from more than 95 countries—brings together food scientists, technologists and related professionals from academia, government, and industry. For more information, please visit