To maintain a clear understanding of market needs, Solae, LLC conducts ongoing research on various industry segments. Recently, our Key Sensory Driver nutrition bar research study examined the sensory aspects of chocolate-based nutrition bars.
Insightful Consumer Research on Nutrition Bar Attributes
The nutrition bar research study examined sensory aspects of chocolate-based bars, such as appearance, flavor, and texture. More than 300 bar consumers in California, Missouri and New Jersey were asked to rate their attribute preferences on a diverse set of 20 nutrition and snack bars.
All bars selected in the study contained chocolate as a common flavor ingredient, and the bars offered a wide range of nutritional profiles. Sensory profiles of this diverse set of bars were documented using our highly trained descriptive analysis panel, resulting in a sensory perception map.
Flavor and Texture Score Highest with Consumers
Among the findings, flavor and texture were found to be the most important purchase drivers, followed closely by calories, protein content, and price. In addition, the research study found that consumers don’t necessarily distinguish between soy and whey as protein sources — this information can benefit nutrition bar companies that must control costs while still delivering protein content.
The results of this nutrition bar research study can help companies identify optimal sensory characteristics for their products, and discover potential new areas of opportunity to reach consumers. The results enable manufacturers to focus on the attributes that are important to consumers in the category, while saving a substantial amount of time, cost, and effort.
A Company Focused on Customer and Market Needs
This study is another example of our intense customer focus, and our regular practice of proactively developing unique and new technical insights that are relevant and impactful to food and beverage companies.