that are frequently found in jerky are giving way to ingre-
dients that make it tasty and clean.”
“Meat snacks continue to trend upward in protein snack-
ing,” says Ellie France, brand manager for Mighty Organic
in La Farge, Wis. “There are approximately ;;; meat
snack brands in this hypercompetitive category. Beef still
dominates, but as consumers want leaner protein, we
expect more of them to gravitate toward leaner protein
options like chicken.”
Mighty Organic recently introduced the ;rst organic
chicken bar to the market. Citing SPINSscan/Nielsen data
for the ;; weeks ending May ;;, ;;;;, France says annual
sales of chicken bars have reached ;;.; million, growing
;;; in sales dollars over the past year.
The company produces a range of organic beef and
chicken meat snacks from the same cooperative of farm-er-owners who produce for Organic Valley. Its jerky, bars
and sticks are made with certi;ied organic, humanely
raised, ;;;; grass-fed beef and free-range chickens, and
no antibiotics, arti;cial hormones, GMOs or nitrates.
“We knew there were many consumers out there who
don’t eat red meat but still look for high-quality protein
snacks. We wanted to expand our presence on-shelf, give
the consumers what they were looking for and be the only
ones doing it organically,” France says of the chicken bars.
Lowering the Sugar Bar
After steady growth of ;;; from ;;;; to ;;;;, growth of
snack, nutrition and performance bars slowed slightly in
;;;;, reports Mintel. “While consumer interest in snack-
ing, protein and functional foods positively impacts the
category,” writes Beth Bloom, associate director for Mint-
el’s food and drink sector, “category players will need to
emphasize bar strengths ;e.g., convenience, indulgence;
and address challenges ;e.g., high sugar content;.”
Country Archer of San Bernardino, Calif., is ahead of
the curve with its turkey, beef and pork bars that have ;;
grams of protein and just ; to ; grams of sugar. The bars
were recently reformulated with added collagen.
A top trend at the Natural Products Expo West in
March, collagen is a sought-after ingredient in everything
from bone broth to bars. “Collagen is big right now,” says
Tim Bateman, VP of sales for Country Archer.
Sweetened with dates rather than a conventional sugar,
the company’s bars also feature new packaging that
emphasizes the protein and collagen content. Country
Archer makes all of its own jerky from ethically sourced
;;;; grass-fed beef from New Zealand.
Tricked-Out Trail Mix
Dick Stevens Snacks in Charlotte, N.C., has announced
a relaunch/refresh of seven new SKUs this fall, including
three Jerky Trail Mixes and four Jerky Bites, all created
with the on-the-go consumer in mind.
“The idea behind the Jerky Trail Mix has always been a
better-for-you snack that is not just another ;avored jerky
in a pretty bag,” says Je; Eckert of Dick Stevens Snacks.
“What makes our Jerky Trail Mix unique is that it is all
mixed in the same bag.” The result, says Eckert, is an easy-
to-eat, deliciously satisfying smoky, sweet and nutty snack.
Dick Stevens’ new Jerky Bites o;er bite-size pieces of ten-
der and thick jerky in three new ;avors, including Smoke-
house Chipotle, Sweet and Hot and Chicken Teriyaki.
With sales of meat snacks leveling o;, Eckert sees “a
new resurgence in more back-to-basics products.” Dick
Stevens trail mix is made with jerky that is low in sodium
and sugar, and nuts with heart-healthy fats.
Protein;o in Elk Grove Village, Ill., is on point with its
low-calorie, protein-infused water that o;ers shelf-stable
“According to Nielsen ;;;;; data;, ;;; of adults are trying to get more protein in their diet,” says Andy Horrow,
president of Protein;o. “It ranks ;rst among any functional
ingredient, with ;ber and whole grains following.
“That statistic underscores that consumers know the
bene;its of protein, which include muscle growth and
Breakfast With a Boost
Lawless Jerky is breaking into the breakfast category with
Scramblers, a shelf-stable, high-protein breakfast option that is
slated for introduction in early 2019.
“Jerky serves a need at lunch or as a bridge bet ween lunch
and dinner, but we saw a lack of low-sugar, low-carb breakfasts
in the market,” says founder and CEO Matt Tolnick.
Essentially a portable shelf-stable omelet, Scramblers can be
eaten as is or heated in the microwave. And with just 1 to 3 grams
of carbs per serving, Scramblers are also ketogenic diet-friendly.
“People are embracing the yolk again,” Tolnick says. “We
wanted to create a clean, natural product that would play o; that
at breakfast time.”
omelet in 2019.
have more than 3
grams of protein