PowerBar is giving itself a makeover after a bit of neglect, with updated products and marketing it hopes will remind sports enthusiasts about the brand as it turns 30.
"We're trying to change everything about PowerBar," said Lance Palumbo, PowerBar's director of sports marketing. "We've got things that are right for athletes of all sports, not just skinny marathoners trying to hang in there at mile 20."
When PowerBar energy bars were first introduced by athletes for athletes in 1986, competition was minimal. Today, a wide variety of sports nutrition products exist, with a number of companies selling bars, drinks, powders and gels to endurance athletes as well as casual exercisers. As a result, PowerBar sales have been falling. Sales were down in the latest quarter due mainly to continued weakness in North America.
Next week, PowerBar will update its web site and promote a nearly four-minute video done in partnership with ThePostGame. The video shows former Duke University basketball star Christian Laettner hitting the gym and the slopes with Andy Potts, a triathlete who endorses the brand. A friendly collegiate rivalry is shown between Mr. Laettner and Mr. Potts, who went to the University of Michigan.
Additional videos will follow, according to Mr. Palumbo and Eric Herd, chief operating officer, ThePostGame. The video series comes as cereal maker Post Holdings, which acquired PowerBar from Nestle in 2014, tries to reinvigorate the brand.
"We continue to believe that that's a brand with significant opportunity and the declines are not terribly unexpected given the duration of the time in which it had been neglected and the handoff from Nestle to Post," Post Holdings President-CEO Robert Vitale said during his company's Feb. 5 conference call. Mr. Vitale went on to add: "But that brand is a brand in turnaround as we would have expected and we're putting money behind it."
PowerBar's agency of record is IMRE, and it also does some work with Manifest, Post's agency of record. Mediavest handles media buying.