Even simple snacks and bars can be the source of inspiration for new ingredients, manufacturing and packaging innovations. Snacks and bars also present an opportunity to create nutrient-boosted and functional foods that can help consumers meet their customized nutritional lifestyles.
As shown by the patent data, the most popular subject matter for patented innovations include cereal bars, modified nutritional foods and foods that provide a specific function. Other areas for patenting including the methods for making snacks and bars (molding, filling or coating), ingredients (fruits and vegetables, dough, chocolate, organic active ingredients and/or natural extracts), and preservation and packaging.
Snacks and bars have been a fixture in the modern diet for many years. This is also reflected in patent filings, which have stayed relatively constant over the past 20 years, averaging about 108 filings per year. The most recent decrease in 2015 may be indicative of the recent trend away from processed food products.
The most relevant trademark application international classes for snacks and bars include: class 005, which encompasses dietary supplement and meal replacement snacks and bars; class 029, which encompasses fruit, vegetable, nut and seed snacks and bars; and class 030, which encompasses grain, cereal, candy and ice cream snacks and bars.
Every year, the number of trademark filings for supplement and meal replacement snacks and bars is significantly less than the other two types of snacks and bars. This may indicate a smaller market for these types of products.
Consumer demand for snacks and bars is high, and intellectual property (IP) data show that it has been consistently high for years. As more patent and trademark applicants carve out space in the snacks and bars field, it may become more difficult to find possibilities for patents and trademarks that do not infringe on existing rights. Careful analysis of the IP risks in a crowded field may prevent significant problems in the future, such as having to cease production of an infringing product or rebranding goods that are already on the market. The right IP counsel can help mitigate these risks and ensure a smoother product lifecycle.
Learn more about patents, trademarks and intellectual property in the snacks and bars market in INSIDER's Snacks & Bars: Convenience Without Compromise Digital Magazine.
Attorney Andreas Baltatzis is a director at KramerAmado PC, a boutique law firm specializing in intellectual property (IP). He represents a number of innovative nutritional supplement and nutraceutical companies that improve people’s lives every day. Baltatzis also helps companies prepare and implement IP strategies by obtaining patents and trademarks that protect their innovations and cash flow, as well as advising clients on successfully launching new products and brands.
Gideon Eckhouse is a senior associate at KramerAmado, with more than 10 years of experience in patents and trademarks. He assists innovative nutritional supplement and nutraceutical companies in protecting their IP throughout the world. Eckhouse counsels and implements global trademark strategies for new brand launches. Additionally, he prepares and prosecutes patent portfolios protecting new products coming to market.