National Granola Bar Day
Observed annually on January 21st, National Granola Bar Day is a holiday that celebrates and honors the humble granola bar. Granola bars are made out of rolled oats, dry fruits, and honey, which makes them a good breakfast food or snack. They are popular among hikers and anyone else who needs food that delivers a quick energy hit. And since granola is a good source of micronutrients including calcium, iron, and magnesium, they’re also a healthy option as well. So grab your favorite granola bar and celebrate this holiday on the 21st of January.
The History Of Granola Bars
The first granola-type food that was created was Granula. This food was invented by Dr. James Caleb Jackson at the Jackson Sanitarium in 1863. Granula was made out of Graham flour and was manufactured in a way that made it look like oversized Grape-Nuts. John Harvey Kellogg would also create a version of food that he too called Granula, but he ended up changing the name to Granola to avoid any legal problems that may arise with using the name Granula.
During the 1960s, nuts and fruit were added to granola formulation to appeal to the nature-movement of the time. During Woodstock, Wavy Gravy used granola to feed large numbers of people during the festival. The promoter Layton Gentry also distributed granola at the time and even had his own granola recipe. He would end up selling this granola recipe to Sovex Natural Foods in 1964 for the tidy sum of $3,000.
The first commercial granola available was introduced at Pet Milk in St. Louis, Missouri in 1972. That same year, Quaker Oats also introduced their own granola. They initially named it 100% Natural Granola but were threatened with legal action by Layton Gentry. They then changed the name to Harvest Crunch. The following year, Kellogg introduced their own Country Morning cereal and General Mills would follow with Nature Valley cereal.
During the 1980s, granola bars began making their return, and by 1985 granola bar sales peaked at $377.3 million. The popularity of granola bars began to fall as manufacturers covered them with chocolate and filled them up with added sugar and fats. Consumers began to switch to dried-fruit snacks. The decline of granola bar sales continued to decline all through the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s but made a sharp comeback in 2020 during the COVID-19 quarantine, but experts believe that growth is temporary and that granola bars will once again start to lose popularity with consumers.
Observing National Granola Bar Day
Nowadays, it’s quite easy to celebrate National Granola Bar Day. There are dozens of different granola bars on the market and it seems like new ones come out every year. Some of the more popular granola bars sold include Kind Breakfast Probiotics, Nature Valley Sustained Energy Bars, Core Foods Organic Overnight Oat Bars, Kashi Peanut Butter Granola Bars, Ancient Grain Granola Bars by Purely Elizabeth, and Krusteaz Energizing Oat Bites Mix. And that’s only a small cross-sample of what’s available. So if you want to observe this holiday, grab some granola bars while you’re learning more about the history of the granola bar. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #NationalGranolaBarDay on your social media accounts.