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    Healthy, Indulgent Food Bar Sales Pass $3 Billion Mark

    Growth of 5.6 percent projected for the year.

    With ingredient and flavor profiles that run the gamut between starkly wholesome to decadently sinful, the ever-evolving food bar market is taking off and set to pass the $3 billion mark by year's end, according to The U.S. Market for Food Bars, a new report from market research publisher Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com.

    Packaged Facts projects that the far-reaching food bar market will climb to $3.2 billion in 2005, up 5.6 percent from 2004, despite heavy fallout in the low-carb category. The key to the market's growth appears to be diversity: both corporate and product, according to the report. With top marketers ranging from multinational food and pharmaceutical conglomerates to commercial startups offering niche products, selections on retail shelves are just as eclectic -- from traditional granola and breakfast bars to high-tech, motivational diet bars and nutrient-saturated power bars -- with the market infiltrating major demographics, including children, women, ethnic, young adults, health aficionados and time-strapped business executives.

    "Health and variety are the two major growth factors that should continue to drive this industry forward," said Don Montuori, the publisher of Packaged Facts. "Just about every new food bar recently introduced touted either health benefits or nutritional content while continuing to allure consumers with provocative ingredients and flavors that push to blur the lines between health food and confectionery. We're also seeing innovation in packaging and delivery -- such as 'bite sized' versions -- that will continue to provide a novelty appeal, which hits home with consumers."



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