The Welsh company is introducing its new Wholebake 9 bar to market this month – supplying supermarkets and health food shops with the specialised product. Containing the fatty acids 0mega-3 and 6, the manufacturers say the handmade bar is free from trans-fats, artificial flavourings or colourings, wheat and gluten. Wholebake said: "As no hydrogenated fats are added in the 9 bar manufacturing process, the snack is a great source of the fats we need to lead a healthy lifestyle free from harmful trans-fatty acids." The company claims that the typical diet today contains only a sixth of the recommended amount of omega-3 fatty acids which have been used to treat arthritis, depression and lower 'bad' cholesterol. Omega-3 has been identified as one of the super-nutrients taking the food and supplements industry by storm. Much of its healthy reputation that is seeping into consumer consciousness is based largely on evidence that it can aid cognitive function and may help protect the heart against cardiovascular disease. The 9 bar is made with 52 per cent whole seeds, hemp – a source of protein – and nine amino acids. The bars are available in original, nutty, flaxseed and pumpkin varieties and will be retailed individually and in a multi-pack format. According to a report published at the end of last year by market analysts Leatherhead International, cereal bars in particular have been the driving force behind growing cereal snack sales which increased by 9.6 per cent in 2005. In 2005 cereal bars made up 70 per cent of total cereal snack sales in the US, Japan, Australia and Europe's five largest countries. Sales from these countries amounted to $3.37bn (€2.67bn), of which cereal bars took $2.37bn (€1.88bn). And growth seems set to continue with the researchers predicting a 2010 sales total of $3bn (€2.38bn).