Sales in ‘healthy’ cereal and muesli bars have continued to grow during the past year in 11 out of 16 countries included in the latest study by ACNielsen.

While the size of the category varies across national boarders, the majority of established and new markets showed positive performances. During 2005, the sector grew by 95% in Norway, 31% in Spain, 21% in Denmark, 16% in Greece, 11% in Belgium and 10% in Italy.

However, the study found, central and western European countries where sales in healthy bars grew rapidly in 2004 failed to perform as well in 2005. Sales were either stable or the category declined in value. This, ACNielsen researchers said, suggests the necessity of innovation and product development to drive continued growth in established markets.