Packing a bigger punch: India’s energy and protein bar firm takes on US market with Amazon listing

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

Hyderabad-based Fitsport Nutrition Foods has developed a range of energy and protein bars under the brand Thop for the US market. ©Fitsport Nutrition Foods
Hyderabad-based Fitsport Nutrition Foods has developed a range of energy and protein bars under the brand Thop for the US market. ©Fitsport Nutrition Foods

Related tags: India, Amazon, energy bars

Fitsport Nutrition Foods, a Hyderabad-based company specialising in energy and protein bars, has ventured into the highly competitive US market with a bigger bar via a listing on Amazon US.

In its domestic market, the company is well-known for Happy Bar​ – an energy bar made from pieces of nuts and seeds. It hit its milestone of selling one million bars in February after being present in the market for nearly two years.

It went on to hit new sales record by selling another one million bars between February and June.

Aside from energy bars, it also sells protein and vegan bars known as Happy Bar Sport and Happy Bar Vegan in India.

For its US business, the company is launching under the brand Thop – which is Indian slang for something that is quirky and mind-boggling.  

The Thop energy bar is now sold in Amazon US at a discounted price of 12 packs for US$19.99 and is also available via its official website.

Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia, ​Kamini Jha, the head of alliances at Fitsport Nutrition Foods, said that the Thop energy bar was similar to Happy Bar in terms of ingredients and formulations, and differed only in the brand name, packaging, and serving size.

Each Thop energy bar is 50g and provides 8.06g of protein and 17g of dietary fibre, while each Happy Bar is 30g and thus has a lower composition of protein at 4.90g and dietary fibre at 10.20g.

The difference in serving size is to suit the consumption habits of the US consumers, according to Jha.

“Energy bar is seen as a meal replacement in the US and consumers expect an energy bar to suffice a meal and last them for a few hours. A 30g bar will not be sufficient,”​ she said.

Prior to the launch, the company has already been receiving orders for Happy Bar from the US – mainly from the Indian diaspora community.

Overall, the target consumers in the US would be active individuals, those who are frequently on-the-go, as well as parents who wanted healthy snacks for their children.

“The US market is very knowledgeable on packaged foods and they need no further introduction to energy bars.

“We will stick to our goal of providing products with good taste, are natural, and allow consumers to feel the ingredients and the texture of the ingredients, instead of a bar made from powder,”​ she said, when asked the strategies in competing in the US market.

Depending on the market reception and insights, the company may be launching its protein and vegan bars in the US next.

Domestic market plans

Back home, the company has been on an aggressive distribution plan, where it is expanding from South to North, West and East India, which is also a key reason why sales have accelerated in the last few months.

Across India, the products are sold in supermarkets, wellness stores, online, hospitals, and in a number of railway stations.

The company is eyeing for greater presence in the travel and food services, including the airports and railway stations.

“There are flights operating across India now but it is not operating at the capacity that it used to be and we plan to go for full-fledged expansion when the COVID-19 pandemic has stabilised,” ​Jha said, adding that there were fears of a third wave of infections in end-August.

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