The Energy Bar Industry 401
a. How is the market segmented? What are the key customer motivations and unmet needs?
What are the similarities and differences among the segments? How might a company link
customer motivations to value propositions?
b. Identify the competitors. Who are the most direct competitors? The indirect competitors?
Substitute products? What are the strategic groups?
The Energy Bar Industry 401
The Energy Bar Industry deals in food supplements that are meant to enhance vitamin, energy
levels while maintaining the normal body weights. The major customers are ordinary women as
well as children, teenagers as well as sportsmen and women. PowerBar dominated the industry
for many years until a rival company in the same location developed a superior brand of energy
bar that had a superior taste with a unique texture. Clif bar had unmatched qualities that made it
displace the PowerBar in the market. Balance bar, another competitor was also introduced in the
The Energy Bar Industry 401 2
market with other added nutrients like fat, protein, carbohydrates together with other nutritional
formulas associated with the “Zone diet”. Having been left out of the market, PowerBar
introduced the Harvest which was more accessible in terms of taste and texture. Harvest also
Clif bar segmented the market and branded one of its products known as the Luna, that
specifically targeted sports women with its nutritional aspects that included vitamins and other
supplements. Luna was introduced with a variety of flavors to choose from. The bars were
crunchy and several flavors that captured the unmet needs were like lemon zests and chai tea that
also included extra nutritional value tailored to meet both the taste as well as adequate nutritional
needs of time-strapped women.
PowerBar after studying the market introduced the Pria which had limited calories but had
enough supplements hence entered the market as superior alternative to the Luna, PowerBar’s
greatest rival in the industry.
PowerBars other competitor introduced the Balance strategy which preferred to maintain its
original nutritional formula but added several spinoffs like Balance Plus and Balance Outdoor
that included chocolate coating while others like Balance Gold and Balance satisfaction/endorsed
oasis were positioned to attract women who loved candies as it provided a mix of nuts and
The major motivations being the nutritious aspects of the energy bar together with the low
calories assumptions. The segments concentrated mostly in attracting the women but
differentiated between sports women and those who were time strapped and required full
The Energy Bar Industry 401 3
Customer motivation drives the sales in the market. Targeting customer taste through branding
and promotions adds more value to the product besides creating loyalty and customer satisfaction
(Kotler, Keller, Brady, Goodman & Hansen, 2012).
Customer segmentation are based on the unmet needs of the customers. Time strapped women
require energy and other food supplements that would provide nutritional value when consumed
instead of regular food. Other customers would like to enjoy the energy bars without adding
more calories on their weights. However, the introduction of some products that have been
branded with flavors that only target sales without any safeguard to limited calories. The balance
products have been specifically branded to attract more sales through different tastes that would
attract food and candy lover others have been segmented in performance related categories
especially for sports women and those in need of energy boosts during the day.
In ten year period close to 450 brands were introduced in the market. Differentiated products
targeted different segments that were based on nutritional value like carbohydrates, minerals and
vitamins. Brands like ZonePerfect, CarboLite, Masterfoods’ Snickers among others provided a
blend of minerals, vitamins and proteins.
The Oatmeal Squares meal for women and the salty snack bars have been designed to attract a
particular segment of women.
The Energy Bar Industry 401 4
Kotler, P., Keller, K. L., Brady, M., Goodman, M. & Hansen, T. (2012) Marketing Management, 2
Ed. Essex: Pearson Education Limited.