Functional Candy Bars should be niche-specific

Product developers emphasize need for the functional candy bars to specialize in order to succeed.

Herza Schokolade, functional chocolate specialist group of Stern Wywiol Gruppe, said that the functional candy bars are “booming” and has a fast-growing market. It was further emphasized that the key to success in the business is by developing products that are focused and “specialized.”

“In times where big players dominate the cocoa market, you have to find your niche and produce and deliver tailor-made products,” Dennis Stoffers, product manager in Herza Schokolade, told

The ongoing trend is creating candy bars that “look and taste like ‘normal’ food.” The challenge is in making products with lower fat and sugar content that promotes “wellness” in the consumers.

“This segment grows the fastest followed by users wanting candy bars containing high contents of cereals and fibers,” added Stoffers.

Moreover, Marc van Essen, key account manager, said that there is a focus on active sports that as a niche has further diversified into separate specialties. “There are now special candy bars that meet the specific nutritional demands of different forms of sport.”

The whole idea of specialization roots from the varying needs that different groups of people look for. For instance, van Essen explained, “Cyclists need different nutrients from body-builders, so there is a correspondingly high level of diversification.”

In the coming years of producing functional candy bars, the industry is looking at higher use of less processed ingredients like fruits, nuts, and peanuts. This will be accompanied by clean labeling and clear packaging.

Also, a specific age group that they are planning to target includes those older than 50 years old. “This group is constantly growing and they can afford to pay for food with added benefits.”