Companies Can Charge Customers A Bunch Of Money For Snack Bars Because They Know We’ll Buy’em

There are some things we won’t blink an eye at paying a premium for because, well, that’s just what we do when we want something. Like steak — meat lovers are willing to hand over a hefty chunk of change because part of that high price implies high quality. Such is the case for snack bars, which are enjoying increased popularity right now and commanding high prices.

Snack bar loyalists are keeping the products in great demand, with 1,012 different nutrition bars on the market today. That’s compared to only 226 a decade ago, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing Valient Market Research.

Many popular ingredients in these bars are expensive as sources of protein when compared to a traditional cookie. And if you’re looking at the per ounce price for protein, the WSJ notes, some cost more than a steak.

While candy bars go for about a buck, snack bars command higher prices, with the average bar going for around $2. That’s 100% more than it cost 10 years ago, in a sign that people are willing to pay up for their favorite snacks, says Valient founder Scott Upham, calling the phenomenon “diminishing price sensitivity.”

And of course, there are those consumers who don’t mind paying as much as $3 for a bar that’s perceived as healthy, retailers say. To that end, bar consumption corresponds to household income with households that earn between $100,000 and $149,000 eating the most, according to market research firm Mintel.

Speaking of that steak, bars featuring meat have recently been getting more attention as well, which can be a pricy protein. So you can have your steak and eat it too, with much less mess.

“Five years ago we didn’t consider [meat bars] as an option,” Dwight Richmond, global grocery purchasing coordinator at Whole Foods Market told the WSJ. “It was a fringe element of a jerky category.”

Snack Bars Push the Price Envelope and Find Consumers Don’t Push Back [Wall Street Journal]