Pity the much-derided snack. It's a guilty pleasure. It's a caloric nightmare. It's definitely, positively not good for you.
Or is it? Even as greasy potato chips and yummy cookies continue to line supermarket shelves, there's a movement underway to sell consumers on the concept of healthy snacking--via energy bars. "Manufacturers are marketing to a broader range of consumers," says Laurie Isenberg of Spence Information Services, a San Francisco marketing information company that tracks the natural-foods industry. "These bars are no longer just for athletes."
Busy, health-conscious people treat energy bars as nutritious meal replacements. And for those hoping to pump up their gray matter, there are such alleged brain-boosting bars as Think! and Intellect.
Is it premature to herald the demise of the potato chip? Definitely. Healthy snacks may be in vogue--but we'll never lose our appetites for indulgence.