Based on data from Capchavate, although coconut water or coconut juice has experienced a noticeable decline over the past 2 years (especially with the arrival of new alternatives such as cactus water and other exotic botanical water variants), coconut in its oil, flour as well as shredded formats, has been experiencing an uptick.
More specifically, this keto-friendly ingredient that fits in with many free-from wellness trends, has applied itself as one of the key ingredients in functional, individually packaged, on-the-go snack bars – each one differentiating itself with a specific use and a uniquely targeted appeal.
From water to plant-based bars
Plant-based keto bars have been recently cropping up featuring the famously high-fat, low-carb nut. US brand Optimum Nutrition, a performance nutrition product manufacturer, introduced a new line of indulgent snack bars that give non-meat eaters a protein boost with a decadently flavored Chocolate Coconut cake bar made with toasted coconut, brown rice and pea protein, and semi-sweet chocolate. The plant-based, vegan offering is part of the Nature Bites line launched by the company in June 2019, along with three other variants of darkchocolate coated bites.
This comes as no surprise as consumer research studies have found that coconut is most appealing to consumers in confectionary or sweet bakery form. Capchavate data analysis confirms this as well by identifying that the ingredient has been used more by manufacturers in treat format than as a main meal ingredient or within a beverage.
Dang Bar, also a keto-focused snack manufacturer, has created an entire range of whole food bars with an Asian-inspired palate. The Thai-American owned business produced three flavors in 2018 – Lemon Matcha, Almond Vanilla, and Chocolate Sea Salt, all made with sliced Thai Coconut that gives the product a generous amount of plantderived fat content and distinct flavor. Also packed with almonds, chia seeds and cocoa Butter, the slightly-sweet pick-me-upper claims to sustain energy, increase mental focus and reduce appetite in one low-carb treat.
Dietary claims and indulgence benefits
With the success of its initial lineup, the Bay Area-based company then announced an additional three variants in February 2019, delivering more of the East meets West taste profile to their budding range. Cardamom Chai, Toasted Coconut and Saigon Cinnamon Chocolate highlights not only the product’s Asian provenance but also reinforces the brand’s original heirloom recipe which calls for ingredients that complement their showcased fruit.
Nutri-technology pioneer L-Nutra launched Fast Bar as a snack option for those who want to “take advantage of the health benefits of fasting while still receiving nourishment.” Officially released in June 2019, the nutri-bar claims to effectively mimic the body’s state while deprived of food by utilizing coconut oil, which is known to have little to no effect on insulin or blood glucose levels. Combined with a variety of premium nuts and other high-quality components, Fast Bar promotes a “safer, more satisfying alternative for those who want to go on a fat-burning, anti-inflammatory and gut-improving detox through its science-based macro and micronutrient formulation.
“Peeling away from health-related functions and moving on to a more beauty-inside-out application, another coconut-flavored snack bar broke ground in May 2019 with a distinctive good-for-the-skin claim. Beauty Bites by Krumbled Foods has been making itself known in the nutraceutical and beauty industry as “Australia’s first and only collagen bars to combine 5 illuminating, and age-defying ingredients in a convenient, single daily dose.”
Inner beauty claims
Dubbed as the “ultimate beauty snack for girls-on-the go,” the product’s modern white packaging echoes the treat’s clean and natural positioning in three flavors – Lemon and Coconut, Apple Cinnamon and White Choc Raspberry. All variants blend in collagen, probiotics, prebiotics, vitamins with extra virgin coconut oil, coconut flour, as well as natural fruit extracts and vegetable fibers to deliver collective benefits to the skin, bones, hair, nails and even digestive tract. “We could have easily made a dried fruit and nut bar [with added] protein or collagen – which has been overdone to death – but that would have defeated the point. We really wanted to create something that hasn’t been done before. We’ve included ingredients that are good by themselves but when combined, they strengthen and reinforce each individuals’ properties” says founder Keira Rumble via its press release.
As the number of products launched with coconut as the star ingredient continues to rise, industry players are driven to find new ways to leverage on this multi-tasking component with a health halo