Caffeinated snacks join the growing list of "performance foods" 

The sports nutrition market is expected to grow to $52 billion by 2020, and like the burgeoning meal-replacement market, young consumers in search of performance-enhancing foods are helping fuel its growth. In response, companies are launching products infused with caffeine that promise a more productive snacking experience.


Instead of drinking a cup of coffee with breakfast, people can spread a spoonful of STEEM on their toast. A single two-tablespoon serving of the natural peanut butter contains as much caffeine as two cups of coffee and reportedly tastes the same as non-caffeinated varieties, making it suitable for sandwiches, with fruit and veggies, or eaten straight out of the jar. The creators of STEEM tout the product’s steady release of energy thanks to the body’s naturally slow digestion of peanut butter, which eliminates the jittery feeling or future crash that can come from other caffeine sources.


After four years producing caffeinated chocolate, Awake is now offering granola bars that pack a punch. Each bar contains the same amount of caffeine as half a cup of coffee, and despite the relatively low dosage, consumers are cautioned against eating more than four bars in a day. The company’s creators say its largest market is college students, selling in 5,000 campus stores across the U.S. Approximately half of Ys and three-quarters of Zs snack every day, and Awake lets them get their caffeine and snack fix in one.


Part of the company's “Fit” line, Big Slice’s Kettle Cooked Apples with Raspberries & Hibiscus offers consumers a boost in the form of green coffee extract, containing a third of the caffeine as a cup of coffee. All products are made with U.S. apples and contain no high fructose corn syrup (fruit is nature’s candy, after all). The portable pouch packaging also makes Big Slice Apples a convenient on-the-go snack; the “fit” line is specifically designed to take to the gym or other physical activities.