The energy bar tells the story of a nation obsessed with food.


The energy bar tells the story of a nation obsessed with food.

Homer Simpson wanted to take shape. His son was ashamed of his performance in the church’s flag game, so he started an exercise program in the hope of regaining his pride. One night at kwik-e-mart, he discovered that he thought it was his secret weapon: the Powersauce bar. It is widely touted as the ultimate in sports fuel for consumers to “exert the power of apple”. Soon, they were the only thing Homer would eat, and they would lose their power without them. Finally, as he tried to climb the highest mountain in town, Homer was told that they were nothing more than “apple core and old Chinese newspapers.”

This is not to say that all the energy, protein and meal replacement bars are all the fictional marketing trivia of the simpsons, but they are all subject to change. Whatever you want, they not only provide, they provide the whole. Want a lot? They have all the proteins you need. Want to lose weight? Eat one, not a meal. Want to eat clean? They have no additives, basically just fruit. The bar is a mirror: they reflect all our cultural obsession and anxiety about food. They fuse all our nutritional hopes and fears.

Like memory foam and don, the first energy bar is an astronaut. Pillsbury created “space food sticks” in the 1960s to go into space and have a long shelf life without refrigeration. “American fitness culture,” said Natalia Petrzela, a postwar historian at the new college. In 1970, Pillsbury applied for a trademark for Space Food Sticks, then repackaged it and labeled it a “nutritionally balanced snack.”

“What I think is really interesting is that this is a moment in the history of American food, when there was an incredible fascination with space and laboratory food,” Petrzela said. Canned food is considered a clean and sterile alternative to fresh vegetables. The convenience of prepackaged food means that women are less dependent on the kitchen. “At that time, there was a big marketing plus saying, ‘this is what scientists do in the lab. This is considered the frontier of food culture. “

The space food bar has disappeared from the market because the space program has disappeared from the government’s attention. According to Petrzela, the energy bar we now know didn’t appear until 1986, when Canadian marathon runner Brian Maxwell founded PowerBar. “I’m creating a perfect energy bar to help athletes survive long distances without running out of glycogen,” said maxwell. Maxwell said he and his wife gave the marathon runners the product after the race to gain profits. He eventually sold it to nestle for $375 million in 2000.

When PowerBar emerged in the late 1980s, Petrzela said the bar was sold as an athlete’s fuel, but they quickly moved beyond mainstream food and fast food culture. You don’t have to be a marathon runner to eat PowerBar, but doing so allows you to follow suit in your daily life. Paddy Spence, President of Spence information services, told the New York times in 1997: “it’s like yogurt 30 years ago – only healthy nuts. It is now a staple diet. ”

Soon, like Cleveland bars, balance and muscle milk bar bar competitors to enter the space, and as a health and/or dynamic marketing their own people, don’t know what they are looking for in addition to “health” of the search of something. In an interview with the New York times in 1997, maxwell mocked that cliff was “basically the nutritional value of a graham cracker” (which in itself was the health food craze of the day). He also arrived at the Balance Bar, which he accused of “trying to fix quickly”.

By the late 1990s and early 2000s, the energy bars had penetrated into the mainstream diet and marked a shift toward more diversified sales and sales. Also, this situation is starting to happen on gender lines, like Clif Bar and Quest Nutrition Bar sales to men, fuel for exercise, like ThinkThin and those for female sales Weight Watchers and Zone diet bars, designed to reduce Weight. Petrzela lists some common marketing phrases such as “it will make you feel full” or “it is what you need the number of calories and fat” or “these sections is prefabricated, so there is no any speculation or temptation”. “This is the framework of dietary culture for women, and it is important [note] that this is not actually a male framework.

If energy bar reflects their food trend of The Times and anxiety, the “bar” of modern time will be used as a whole, there is no “real” food packaging to sell – it must be a toppled packaging, durable bar, at any time for you.

Petrzela mentioned currently popular RxBar, a “whole food proteins stick”, its content in the plastic packing positive marked with white bold font: “three whites, 6 almonds, four cashew, two date, NO BS. Rival laba also emphasizes its “trace, pure ingredient”, which is often just a mix of cinnamon or peanut butter dates and cashews. “Process as much as possible and get as close to the natural state as possible” Larabar assures customers on its website. Popular KIND bar mission statement said the people behind the brand of “to believe that if you can’t pronounce, it should not come into your body”, this words marked the “nature” of pure components, but also assume that the customer can’t more than four syllable pronunciation. The ingredients of all three brands are far from PowerBar’s maltodextrin and powdery protein.


“You can turn off all the American boxes,” Petrzela said of the modern spins. “but you can also quickly fix the demand for bars since the 1960s.”

Quick fix: now it’s all about energy. This is not an unreasonable solution to modern problems. Sometimes consumers do need a nutritious snack between meals. Sometimes buying a bar in a wine cellar can be a more pressing pursuit. For many people who don’t offer a real lunch, pre-packaged snacks can be the most economical option.


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