Keto-friendly snack options are on the rise -- just check out the new products roundup from the Winter Fancy Food Show last month. And while it may not seem like the market needs yet another keto bar, cookie, nut butter, or chip, according to Innova Market Insights, snacks made up 9% of total keto product launches in 2018 compared with sports nutrition (40%) and supplements (14%), suggesting there's still room for this emerging sub category of snacks.
Outside of market growth trends, consumers are reporting that one of the biggest obstacles to going, and staying, keto is convenience, according to FONA International's research report on the keto trend.
"The keto consumer seeks good taste, and they want it in a convenient package," noted FONA International.
A day on the keto diet requires careful planning and striking the right balance of fats, carbs, and protein in order to achieve and maintain a constant state of fat-burning ketosis, and packaged keto snacks are a necessary shortcut for many, including Nima Fotovat, the president of
Riverside Natural Foods, parent company to GOODTOGO and MadeGood snacks.
"I did the keto diet for some time, and personally, I found doing the meals not as difficult as doing the in between, snacking part of it, that was the area where there weren’t as many options," Fotovat told FoodNavigator-USA.
GOODTO GO bars are 'Keto-Certified' with 13g of fat, 3g of net carbs, 2g of sugar, and 7g of fiber. They are sweetened with erythritol and available in eight flavors.
Soft baked using almond flour
Unlike many other products seeking to achieve a low net carb content, GOODTO GO products are differentiated by their soft, muffin-like texture due to the use of almond flour, which makes up around two-thirds of the bar, according to Fotovat.
"All the protein and all the fat is coming from almonds, but we couldn't be too high in protein. One of the things when following the keto diet, is that people tend to substitute carbs with protein. You need to burn fat into energy, you can’t burn protein into energy [as easily]," claimed Fotovat.
FONA International also noted that another common challenge to following the keto diet is that there's only so much cheese and bacon one person can consume, and there's an opportunity to create products that mimic 'forbidden foods' like breads, cookies, and cakes.
"There have been many solutions that have come up in the last 12 to 24 months, and we’re one of them. We feel ours has its own unique point of difference because it's made from simple ingredients with a cake-like texture," he said.
Strategy for keto fatigue
In US stores, Fotovat noted how keto is becoming more of a destination with retailers merchandising their aisles and displays by specific diet protocols.
"More and more retailers have a subset of ‘keto’ in their bar set. And that’s where we are showing up."
While GOODTO GO bars include 'keto' on the front of its packaging and marketing language, Fotovat commented that he wants the brand to remain flexible and not become beholden to niche diet trends. FONA International conducted a survey in which one third of respondents experience fatigue while following the keto diet.
"I think in the long run, we need to keep working to reduce our sugar intake. We’re going to leverage our products against that [macro trend]," said Fotovat.