PowerBar Introduces New Line of Runner Feed

 IMAGE COURTESY POWERBAR

IMAGE COURTESY POWERBAR

In what it's touting as "a sports nutrition breakthrough," PowerBar has unveiled a line of bulk food pellets for runners and other endurance athletes. Sold in 30- and 50-pound bags, PowerBar Runner Chow is aimed, the company says, at time-crunched athletes who "don't have time to prepare healthy meals but crave complete nutrition."

Each scoop of PowerBar Runner Chow delivers about 700 calories in a 60/20/20 ratio of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Flavors include Roasted Chicken, Rice & Vegetable; Spaghetti 'n' Meatballs; and Soy Nut Crunch.

The package suggests giving yourself one scoop in the morning and one in the evening, along with a fresh bowl of water, though that can vary depending on individual caloric needs.

PowerBar, which launched in 1986 as maker of the first "energy bar" for athletes, today has a product line including Performance Energy Bars, Clean Whey Protein bars, ProteinPlus™ bars, ProteinPlus™ Reduced Sugar bars, Protein snack bars, Protein Shakes, PowerGel® Performance Energy gels, Performance Energy Blasts™ gel-filled chews, Simple Fruit Energy Food fruit gels, Harvest Energy™ Bars, High Intensity Sustained Release Beta Alanine tablets, PERFORM™ Sports Drink Mix, and RECOVERY™ Sports Drink Mix.

Today’s runner is on the go. He or she just doesn’t have time to prepare actual food or worry about things like serving sizes.

"For us, Runner Chow was the next logical step," said Martin Riggs, PowerBar's chief innovation officer. "Today's runner is on the go. He or she just doesn't have time to prepare actual food or worry about things like serving sizes."

"We heard over and over again that our Performance Energy Bars, Clean Whey Protein bars, ProteinPlus™ bars, ProteinPlus™ Reduced Sugar bars, Protein snack bars, Protein Shakes, PowerGel® Performance Energy gels, Performance Energy Blasts™ gel-filled chews, Simple Fruit Energy Food fruit gels, Harvest Energy™ Bars, High Intensity Sustained Release Beta Alanine tablets, PERFORM™ Sports Drink Mix, and RECOVERY™ Sports Drink Mix just weren't enough," he added.

"Our customers demanded more."

Early feedback suggests the company is on to something. 

Trish Murtaugh, 34, a runner and blogger in Muncie, Indiana, raved about Runner Chow after trying it recently.

"It really takes the guesswork out of meal planning," she said in a Facebook post. "No more dithering over menus or recipes, no time wasted shopping for a bunch of ingredients or slaving away in the kitchen. One or two scoops of this stuff and you're good to go. It's yummy too! #ChowDown #PowerBar #brandambassador"

Riggs, PowerBar's innovation chief, said runners can expect more flavors in the coming months, and perhaps some extensions of the Runner Chow line.

"We're playing around with a canned wet food," he said. "It smells awful, but the runners we've offered it to really seem to love it. They hear the can opening and just go crazy."