Nutrition bars: Can encouraging positive thinking sell protein bars?

Nutritional OutlookNutritional Outlook Vol. 26 No. 8
Volume 26
Issue 8

A protein bar brand promotes positive thinking, and it may be helping to sell products.

© Fotoduets -

© Fotoduets -

At this point, nutrition and snack bars are rather ubiquitous. With seven in 10 Americans snacking at least once a day, bars are one of the many ways consumers are satisfying their cravings. According to the International Food Information Council’s (IFIC) 2023 Food and Health Survey, 13% of respondents said they gravitate toward nutrition bars in the morning, ranked fourth after fruits, dairy, and pastries. While bars can be a great vehicle for nutrients such as protein, allowing people to tackle hunger and food cravings on the go, with so many other choices at their disposal, consumers may seek out more indulgent and unhealthy options.

According to the same survey, 61% respondents stated that their mental and emotional well-being has an impact on their food and beverage consumption. Unfortunately, 60% reported feeling stressed, and 51% said that stress negatively impacts their food and beverage choices. Similarly, according to a survey by Mintel, 49% of U.S. consumers report feeling stressed, 38% feel anxiety, 22% feel mental exhaustion, and 20% feel burnout. Another survey of UK consumers by Mintel reports that 71% of respondents manage their stress through exercise and diets, and 62% say daily rituals help lift their mood.

Why is this relevant to bars?

The brand think!, a Glanbia Nutrition company, recently launched a campaign called the #thinkStrong challenge, which leverages consumers’ desire to improve their mental well-being. The six-week challenge, in partnership with wellness expert and New York Times bestselling author Gabby Bernstein, is an effort to engage with consumers to promote positive thought and encourage healthy habits.

“We want to empower our consumers to join us in a challenge to harness the power of their thoughts by challenging them to be ‘Stronger Than You think!’ With mental strength, individuals have the power to transform their lives, but like any other muscle, it needs to be trained and nourished,” says Daniel Domzalski, senior brand manager of think!, to Nutritional Outlook. “Together with Gabby, think! is helping consumers turn positive thoughts into positive action and tap into the true potential of their thoughts fueled by our delicious high-protein bars.”

Engaging with consumers through platforms like Facebook and Instagram can be a powerful tool for brands. According to IFIC’s 2023 Food and Health Survey, 60% of respondents reported being encouraged via social media to make healthier choices. In response to social media, 51% stated they’ve tried a new recipe, and 42% reported trying a new product.

“We have received an incredible response from our community so far, with our consumers using #thinkStrong tags on social and visiting the landing page that hosts the six-week challenge,” explains Domzalski. “In fact, since our campaign launch, we’ve seen a 287% increase in site traffic on the brand’s website, Nearly 120,000 users have visited the Stronger Than You think! campaign landing page.”

Notably, while the campaign is promotional for the brand, the bars are peripheral to the messaging of the challenge. This, and partnering with a respected influencer, lends the campaign and the company credibility and trust.

Want to inject new life into your brand? Make sure you’re connecting with consumers on an emotionally positive level. It’s good for you and good for them.

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