Healthy Height targets growing kids snack bar market with functional, ‘picky-eater approved’ bars

By Mary Ellen Shoup

- Last updated on GMT

Photo Credit: Nutritional Growth Solutions
Photo Credit: Nutritional Growth Solutions

Related tags kids snacks Snack bars Food for kids

Nutritional Growth Solutions (NGS) and its Healthy Height brand is entering the kids snack bar category with a bar line that balances research-based, “growth-boosting” nutrients with a kid-approved flavor profile.

Healthy Height enters a competitive set of snack bars aimed at kids, a market which experienced an 11.3% CAGR between 2016-2020 in new product launches globally, according to Innova Market Insights.

According to Innova, in response to parents’ interest in more snack products with functional claims, kids bar manufacturers are increasingly focusing on making gluten-free, protein, and whole-grain claims, representing 50%, 24%, and 24%, respectively, of new global product launches.

Parents are increasingly seeking products that support specific aspects of children’s health with protein, calcium, vitamins, and probiotics in high demand, notes Innova.

And as schools, summer camps, and other recreational activities open up for kids, on-the-go consumption behavior is picking back up resulting in rising demand for snack products that parents and kids can easily take with them.

"As a busy mom, the bars are especially beneficial as an on-the-go snack instead of the typical kid snacks loaded with sugar and artificial colors,”​ said Liron Fendell, CEO and managing director of NGS, who said the company wanted to create a bar fortified with key nutrients but with a kid-friendly flavor profile. 

Healthy Height Snack Bar 3

Research-backed nutrition profile

Healthy Height kids nutrition bars contain a milk protein isolate and whey protein isolate blend providing 12g of protein and 5g of sugar per 1.5-ounce bar.  The bar formula provides 15% of the daily value (DV) of calcium, 10% DV of iron, 10% DV of vitamin C, and 20% DV of zinc.

The bars also include 350 mg of arginine, an essential protein-building amino acid.

According to NGS, the new Healthy Height bars are formulated with the same nutritional profile as the company's patented shake range​ which has been clinically proven to help increase growth development in children aged 3 to 9 years.

According to a prospective, randomized, controlled trial published in the Journal of Pediatrics​, 200 healthy, lean, short, prepubertal children (between three and nine years of age) were given Healthy Height nutrition shake (n =100) or a placebo supplement (n=100) along with their evening meal for 6 months.

At 6 months, the children who consumed at least half of the recommended daily intake of Healthy Height demonstrated “significant increases in height and weight, compared to children consuming the control supplement,” ​​the company said.

At one year of the study, children who included Healthy Height in their diet for a one-year period added 13.8% to 34% to their annual growth in height.

Each bar is a single serving and like the Healthy Height nutrition shakes should be given to children as a supplemental snack to complement their existing diet.

Healthy Height snack bars (in addition to the shake powder formula) are available on the Healthy Height website, and NGS notes that it is seeking multiple distribution channels to penetrate the US retail market.

‘Picky-eater approved’

During the development stage of the kids snack bars, NGS invited 3- to 9-year-olds to taste samples of the bars in different flavors and textures, while providing feedback based on a set of predetermined criteria.

The input for the test group helped the NGS R&D team finalize the existing bars, which are available in two kid-approved flavors: cookies & cream and strawberry cupcake.

However, the formulation process wasn’t completely straightforward, notes NGS. Using functional ingredients such as vitamin C and iron (which together produce an unfavorable taste profile, said NGS) to make a bar that met a specific set of nutritional criteria – and that also tasted good –  was a challenge for formulators.

To resolve the undesirable taste profile of the combination of iron and vitamin C, the company utilized ingredients that would naturally add vitamin C and iron with the addition of acerola powder (vitamin C) and maca root powder (for iron).

“Our patented formula was developed after more than 20 years of research on the link between nutrition and growth in children,”​ said Fendell. “Both forms of Healthy Height, the shakes and snack bars, are ‘picky eater approved’ to help parents seeking alternative options for children who might not qualify for growth hormone therapy.”

Curious about the state of the snack bar market? Watch last month's Snack Bar Trends webinar available ON DEMAND HERE


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