The high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet known as the ketogenic (“keto”) diet continues to gain fans in the food space. According to Mintel’s global database of new products, foods and beverages launched with keto claims accounted for 2.3% of all food and beverage releases between June 2020 and May 2021, compared to only 1.3% of all releases during the same period last year.1 Consumers are looking for keto alternatives to their favorite foods because the ketogenic diet promises benefits for losing weight and of course people will always want to lose weight. While low carb is not a particularly new concept (remember the Atkins diet?), New variations of the ketogenic diet, such as the Whole30 diet, have emerged and renewed interest. Somehow, too, the Paleo diet has keto qualities. With any diet, comfortable on-the-go solutions are an attractive proposition; therefore, it is not surprising that the keto advances into the space of the bar.
According to SPINS, during the 52 weeks that ended on May 15, 2021, products that took advantage of the keto trend — specifically, cookies and stability bars with a low net carbon content — recorded a growth of 21.31. % compared to the previous year.1
It is clear that consumers are interested in keto products and that manufacturers want to get a share of this action, which is not always easy from the point of view of formulation. For example, That’s It (Los Angeles), a bar brand that makes products predominantly from fruit, considered the keto category an important opportunity but also a major challenge. You see, the keto diet limits the number and types of fruits that can be eaten due to the banned carbohydrate content of many fruits. After a lot of work, That’s It got a bar that is not only keto certified, but also has great added value.
“We’ve been overseeing the keto space for a long time,” explains Lior Lewensztain, founder and CEO of That’s It. “We tried to test some novelties, focused on the data, and we came across this convergence of keto and coffee energy in our data as trends that were obviously increasing,” he explains. Nutritional perspectives. “We were very happy to be able to create a vegetable keto product, as well as one of the cleanest keto products you will find, with only six ingredients. If you look at any of these keto bars out there, they just have a very long list of ingredients. We’ve been able to keep it super clean, super premium and still integrate that energetic aspect of coffee. ”
The product, called Keto Kick, contains only six ingredients. In addition to dates and tapioca fiber, there are organic chickpea beans, organic cocoa, sea salt, and Ethiopian organic coffee from a single source that provides 95 mg of caffeine or a cup of coffee worth of caffeine.
For keto bar manufacturers, a lesson that can be learned from this example is that the convergence of attributes will attract a wider range of consumers. Keto is great, in fact, but so is the energy. On the other hand, consumers also love clean label products with small ingredient covers.
Lessons for the future
The bar category was certainly successful during the pandemic due to the lack of movement that needed moving products, but as the country begins to recover from the pandemic, it is important to observe which strategies gave the best results. According to Lewensztain, his brand’s focus on health and well-being allowed it to thrive, even during the pandemic. Focusing on health and wellness can mean clean, healthy ingredients as well as functional benefits.
“I think that’s where consumers went during the pandemic, so we were lucky that we weren’t just a snack bar or a junk food type product,” Lewensztain says. “With the focus on health and wellness, more consumers than ever started paying attention to food in a way that allows them to maintain their health and hopefully make them feel better, so we were perfectly aligned with that. “.
- Shoup ME. “Keto, a long-term trend? The new Keto product launches twice as much last year.”Food Navigator-USA.com. Published online June 28, 2021.