The concept of sports nutrition dates as far back as the ancient Greeks. Stories tell that the legendary Milo of Croton ate a diet purely of copious amounts of meat, bread, and wine to prepare for the Olympics. As recently as the 1908 Olympic Games hosted in London, England, alcohol was used as ergogenic aids are used today. However, in the 19th and 20th centuries, scientists began running experiments into human muscle metabolism. After research uncovered the first understandings of the crucial roles of carbohydrates, fat, and protein, both endurance and strength athletes alike began to experiment with new forms of basic supplementation.
Although the 1950’s saw the first development of dissolvable protein powders, the first majorly marketed and worldly recognized sports nutrition product was born in the University of Florida research lab in the 1960’s. U of F researchers successfully developed a drink to delay fatigue and aid in the performance of the Gainsville Gators football; in other words Gatorade. Then in the early 1980’s, a Canadian athlete and entrepreneur and his nutritionist girlfriend developed the first food-based energy bar in their kitchen, which later became PowerBar.
Since the dawn of PowerBar, food bars (classified into two categories: cereal/granola bars and energy/nutrition bars) have seen have seen an exponential growth. As of 2012, the food bar market is estimated at $57 billion. The blurring of distinctions between cereal/granola bars and energy/nutrition bars have also helped expand the food bar market from aspirational athletes to every day consumers looking for a quick snack or meal replacement.
Food bars can be made from a multitude of ingredients, from nuts and fruits to concentrated protein isolates, and each ingredient presents its own particular requirements from a packaging standpoint. Multifilm offers a variety of packaging solutions to address the needs of sensitive ingredients, such as nuts and oils, with our high-barrier laminates like Hi-Z.