Those retailers who frequent trade exhibitions in the bike business will often have taste tested a nutrition product, yet such trials are uncommon on the shop floor. PowerBar’s UK marketing manager Gareth Saunders believes the front line is missing a trick…
Back in 1983 a Canadian Olympic distance runner lost his lead in a marathon a few kilometers before the finish when his body simply ran out of energy. This experience spurred the runner and his wife, a world-class runner and a nutrition specialist, to begin the search for the ideal athletic energy food.
After three years and having creating hundreds of formulations, the pair settled on a unique low-fat energy bar with a balance of carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fibre and protein. Athletic friends of the couple tested the first PowerBars and reported noticeable improvements in performance. Just three years down the line PowerBar was born.
Quickly, word got round among top cyclists, runners and triathletes and usage soon spread to many other sports. Soon the portfolio was widened to cover gels, drinks, recovery and protein products. Demand grew so much that today PowerBar products are distributed in over 35 countries.
Advice for dealers
For the retailer, sports nutrition offers their customer a reason to visit the shop on a regular basis. It’s a key part of the cyclist’s routine and is just as likely to be purchased on a weekly basis as in bulk.
Retailers need to ensure they carry a good range to ensure they have an offering for all levels of cyclists for all occasions. They should also think about displaying in such a way that it is clear to the consumer what should be consumed and when for optimal results. The PowerBar methodology of Before, During and After is a good way to do this.
A retailer can stand out from the crowd and ensure repeat custom by being able to offer their customers nutritional advice. There is no need to study to PhD level. By just learning the basics retailers can assist customers in decision making and ensure they buy the right product.
Sampling is a great way to gain the attention of the newbie. Sports Nutrition has not always had a great reputation for taste and eating pleasure, but the industry as a whole has improved over the last few years. Let consumers see what they are missing by occasionally chopping up a few bars for customers to nibble.
What today’s consumers want
Today’s consumers are no different from today’s professionals in that they want their products to be developed using the latest research and the most up to date available technology. Both want the products to taste good and to come in a variety of formats and flavours to help combat “flavour fatigue”.
Retailers need to be aware of the latest trends. Reading online forums and the industry press will help in this. For example, consumers now want their energy drinks to contain electrolytes for improved hydration and they want to be able to purchase protein bars and protein shakes to help in recovery and off-season strength work.
Zyro distributes Powerbar products in the UK and the sales team is contactable on 01845 521700.
A helping hand from Nestle
Since the year 2000, PowerBar has benefited from the backing of the Nestle Nutrition Research Institute in the development of new products using the most up to date research and ingredients.
In the 2009 the 300 scientists employed by Nestle produced 210 scientific papers and 68 patent applications for new products and technologies. It is this research coupled with links to the Academic Community such as Professor Asker Jeudenkrup at the University of Birmingham that led to PowerBar’s development of the C2MAX combination of glucose and fructose that gives PowerBar says gives its products "the edge in carbohydrate absorption."