Why Are Protein Bars So Expensive And Other Alternatives

Protein bars are a great way to help you hit your daily protein intake goals. They’re easy to carry with you and fast to consume. But sometimes it’s not so budget-friendly.

Protein bars are expensive because of multiple reasons. The cost of ingredients used, branding of the protein bar, the manufacturing process, advertising cost, and competition from other companies are why protein bars costs are so expensive.

Those are just the main reasons that drive up the cost of protein bars. Below, I’ll talk about each point in more detail. How to save on the cost of protein bars, and what are some other alternatives to protein bars?

Man Shocked With Money Bag

Most Protein Bars Are Expensive Because

Below are all the reasons why protein bars tend to be expensive. And keep in mind. Not all high-quality protein bars have to be expensive.

There are some protein bars that are very affordable. Especially if you follow the tips, I reveal later on in this article.

But first, let’s talk about the dreaded question. Why are protein bars so expensive?


Ingredients play a big role in why the cost of protein bars can get so expensive. This is especially true if the brand of protein bar you decide to purchase uses high-quality ingredients.

The most expensive protein bars are usually made with real ingredients. They tend to command more money since they are using high-quality protein sources in their bars.

And protein bars with lower-quality ingredients can get away with charging less since it costs them less to make the protein bars.

Bowl Of Different Nuts


If your protein bars have real nuts in them, they can drive the cost of protein bars up. Nuts are not a cheap ingredient, and the more companies have to pay for quality ingredients, the more that cost will be passed down to you, the consumers.

Dried Fruits

Dried fruits are another ingredient commonly found in quality protein bars. Like nuts, dried fruits are a costly ingredient when it comes to making protein bars.

Protein Tub With Scoop

Protein Powder

If you’ve ever gone into a supplement store and tried to buy a tub of protein powder, you’ll already know how expensive this one ingredient can be. (Especially whey protein isolate)

Depending on the type of protein that is being used in the protein bar can drive the price up even further.

Those are just a few of the expensive ingredients some protein bars use in their products.

But you might be asking yourself. Not all protein bars have nuts or dried fruit. So what about those protein bars?

Well, that brings me to the next point.


Branding can impact the cost of a protein bar. Some brands price their products at a higher price just because.

They also need to pay for packaging the protein bars and distributing them to shops and stores around the world for you to purchase. Pay to get research and feedback on flavors and what the consumers think of their product.

Also, the cost of employees and the rent of the building they’re using to run their business out of. The cost of utilities all gets factored into how they plan on pricing their product.

2 People In Manufacture Building

Manufacturing Process

To produce protein bars. They will need to go through the production process. And will have production costs related to their protein bars.

After a brand purchases all the expensive ingredients listed above.

They still need to go and pay a third party to manufacture their product or have their own in-house process to prepare protein bars.

In either case. There is still a cost and expense when it comes to making the protein bars. And this is yet another cost that will get passed down to the consumer.


Now that the ingredients are bought, the bars are made, and the protein bar company needs to pay for advertising to get their protein bars known. They may make deals with your local grocery stores to stock the shelves with their product.

They might sponsor a few fitness enthusiasts, influencers, or athletes to get their product out into the fitness world.

Or the company may run ads on social media, websites, TV, etc., so people can hear about them so they can buy the bars.

All these advertising costs need to be able to make them a profit at the end of the day. So they’ll also factor advertising cost into their product’s price.

2 People In Suits Running Track


Selling protein bars is a booming business. And competition can drive the cost of goods up! The more competition there is for ads, the more expensive that placement will be.

If there is a shortage of protein powder. The price will go up because all the competition is fighting for the supply of that product.

So competition can cause prices to go up as well.


Where you are buying protein bars can affect their cost greatly. If you are purchasing your protein bars individually from a place like a gas station, you are going to end up paying more.

But if you purchase protein bars in a box from Walmart. You’ll save money on the purchase of your protein bars.

Those were just some of the reasons why protein bars cost so much. Below are a few ways to save on the cost of protein bars.

How To Save Text

How to Save On the Cost Of Protein Bars

Suppose you determined to have protein bars as part of your diet. I don’t blame you because they are very convenient and have a long shelf life.

Here are a few tips you can use to save money when you go out and purchase protein bars.

Buying In Bulk

I’ve hinted at this earlier in my blog post. But instead of buying single protein bars whenever you walk down your store shelves or at your local gas station.

But them in bulk instead. Try to order them in bulk and directly from the company.

Yeah, it’ll be more expensive upfront. But in the long run. This will allow you to save money on how much each bar costs.

Ditch The Name Brands

Some big-name brands of protein bars are very expensive compared to generic brands of protein bars. And a part of that cost is because of the brand.

There are a bunch of reasons why this is the case. Maybe they can’t afford to buy ingredients in bulk and have to spend more. Perhaps their marketing costs are higher. Or maybe the CEO of the company wants a new Ferrari.

So pick and choose what company you are shopping with, especially if the ingredients are the same quality as another cheaper brand. This leads me to my next point…


Costco protein bars are probably one of the most affordable protein bars out there on the market. Honestly, so many people are sleeping on this protein bar.

They also have pretty good macros at around 21g per bar at 190 calories.

And when you buy in bulk. Each bar comes out to roughly $1 and some change.

That’s not bad at all, in my opinion, especially when protein bars cost upwards of $3-$5 a bar.

Bunch Of Different Coupons

Use Coupons And Deals

You might not be able to do this every time. But waiting for deals and coupons to use when you buy your protein bars is a good way to save money purchasing them.

If you shop at vitamin shoppe a lot, they usually have good deals every month on their products. Like, buy on, get on free (or half off). They also have a rewards program where you earn points to redeem cash-back rewards.

In general, using coupons and deals is a great way to save on your next purchase of protein bars.

Not All Protein Bars Are Created Equal

Yup, you’ve heard that right. Protein bars are not created equally. So make sure you read the nutrition facts label when buying a protein bar.

Some protein bars are just glorified candy bars with a little extra protein added so they can advertise their product as a protein bar.

I personally like to look for a protein bar that’s high in protein, usually around 20g. And something that’s around 200 calories. This gives me a well-balanced protein bar of fats and carbs and is loaded with a good amount of protein.

Alternatives To Protein Bars

With protein bars so expensive. I’ll give you a few alternatives to protein bars and how to get your protein in through other snacks.

Woman In Pink Enjoying Protein Bar

Make Your Own Protein Bar

Making your own protein bars at home is probably the cheapest way to enjoy protein bars. Just make sure you are using high-quality ingredients when you are making them.

And if you need a guide on how to make protein bars, you can read this one. (I’ll add the article here once it is finished.)

Use Protein Powder And Make Protein Shakes

The other alternative to protein bars is to use protein powder and make your own protein shakes. Protein powder tends to be a little more cost-effective compared to protein bars. (depending on which ones you buy)

So, this is a great way to get your protein intake in for the day without the use of protein bars.

Use Real Food Protein Sources

And the best alternative to protein bars is to use real food as your protein source.

Yeah, it removes the convenience of protein bars, but getting protein through real whole foods is way better than relying on supplements.

Real food is more satiating, gives you better nutrients, and you’ll get more bang for your buck regarding cost.

Conclusion To Why Are Protein Bars So Expensive

I hope I was able to answer your question about why protein bars are so expensive.

I’ve listed all the most common reasons why the cost of a protein bar can be so high. You should have also learned a few tips you can use to save some cash when shopping around for a protein bar.

And last but not least. You should have discovered alternatives to using protein bars.

I hope I was able to help you in your pursuit! And thank you again for being here.

if, you found value in this post. All I ask from you would be to share it somewhere. I would greatly appreciate it!

Jordan Arenas

My name is Jordan Arenas and I am the owner and author of RFKN Fit. I created RFKN Fit to help others achieve their fitness goals. My mission is to share helpful workouts, nutrition tips, delicious recipes, tips on mindset, some motivation, and some good ol' gym humor with this blog of mine. Hope you enjoy!

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