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June 11, 2019

Nutrition Bars Category on Amazon Hits a Healthy Stride

The Nutrition Bars category on Amazon is highly competitive but also fairly healthy – 65% of brands are losing less than 10% of revenue due to availability issues or loss of the buy box to 3Ps. KIND is clearly the category leader, but Quaker, Clif and Quest Nutrition are viable competitors.


This BrandIQ Quadrant benchmarks brand performance by the critical disciplines of supply chain operations and marketing. Who is best able to both drive and fulfill demand on Amazon in this category? The metric that underpins marketing is Share of Voice (how often your brand appears in organic or paid search results), and for operations it’s revenue leakage (how well are you able to avoid losing sales because shoppers are unable to buy your product because it’s unavailable, lost buy box to 3Ps, etc.). Given Amazon’s ever-increasing complexity and speed, mastering both is not simple.

High IQ Brands


KIND is clearly the leader in this category, while Quaker (Pepsico) and Clif are solid challengers. KIND’s 6.1% share of voice is tops by far for the category. KIND leads in both organic share of voice (5%) and paid (10%). It’s 2% revenue leakage is due to even amounts of availability issues (1.1%) and loss of the buy box to 3Ps (0.9%). All are very sound metrics.

Clif and Quaker are barely over the line in the High IQ Brand quadrant. It’s simply a lack of marketing muscle that’s holding them back. Clif is a little light on the paid share of voice side (2.9%) which puts them at #4 in the category, with several brands right behind them (e.g., Health Warrior, Belvita). Clif is fairly strong on organic share of voice though (4.2%), and is just a bit behind KIND. Quaker has the opposite issue with strong paid share of voice at 6.3% and lighter organic share of voice at 2.5%.

Both Clif and Quaker are having availability issues which is causing them to lose 7.4% and 5% of revenue to this cause, respectively. They excel at holding on to the buy box though, and are losing only 0.1% and 0.5% to 3Ps.

Niche Performers


With 10 brands, the niche performers quadrant is sizable. Quest is the top performer and falls just outside of the High IQ Brand quadrant. RXBAR is also something of a standout performer, though its 9.5% revenue loss puts it on the edge of the laggards quadrant. RXBAR is feeling some pain from availability issues which account for 7.3% of its revenue loss. {{cta(‘dfbe99f1-5035-4f0f-92cf-3ee7360911df’)}} to compare the performance of all the brands.

Aside from Quest, share of voice for the brands ranges from 1.6% for RXBAR, down to Kashi at 0.9%. That’s a pretty tight cluster of brands. On the revenue leakage side there’s a significant range from 9.2& (Larabar) down to 1.9% (ZonePerfect). Larabar, like RXBAR, is on the verge of slipping into the laggards quadrant.



As is typical, the laggards quadrant is a challenging place for a brand to reside. This quadrant is rather unique in that the brands’ share of voice has a wide range, from 1.1% (Ghiradelli) to 2.4% (Hershey’s). And on the revenue leakage side the story is similar with a very broad range from 18% (Special K) all the way up to 69% (Nutrigrain). SpecialK, FiberOne and Hershey’s look repairable as they’re all hovering near 20%, but the other brands are pretty much pegged to the y-axis. It’s never a pretty picture in this quadrant.

Look-alike Categories


The Snack Food Bars category on Amazon is quite similar in structure to the Nutrition Bars category. There’s the obvious similarity of products and brands, but the placement of the brands across quadrants is similar as well. They are both highly competitive categories, although snack food bars is more concentrated with top three brands pulling in 8% to 11% share of voice, vs. 3% to 6% for nutrition bars.


nutrition_bars_amazon_keywordsOur data was drawn from an automated, daily analysis of top keywords in the Amazon L3 Nutrition Bars category over a one-year period. Our method focused on 1P brands and their associated SKUs. Marketing performance was determined by analyzing Share of Voice which essentially divides how many times a brand appears in search results, by the total available slots in the search results. Our system looked at both organic and paid ads for the top keywords discovered for the Nutrition Bars category on Amazon. Our system focused on page 1 search results and the product page for each SKU. Each appearance of the brand in organic search and paid ad slots was given equal weighting. Revenue Leakage was determined by an algorithm that analyzes inventory availability of the SKUs on the product page and translates that into estimated revenue missed for each brand due to things like a SKU being Currently Unavailable, Inventory Encumbrance, Item Under Review, a 3P seller taking the buy box, etc.

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