Meat snacks with a fancy flair

by Keith Nunes
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SAN FRANCISCO — The confluence of the snack and protein trends has made meat snacks more popular and companies are emerging focused on broadening the category through the development of unique attributes and flavors. Several companies stood out in the category during the Winter Fancy Food Show, held earlier this week.

Most notable among the meat companies was Lone Mountain Wagyu, Los Angeles, which introduced a beef jerky and several sausage varieties sourced from 100% Wagyu beef. The raw material is sourced from cattle that are predisposed to intense marbling, and the beef is known for its rich flavor and texture.

Lone Mountain Wagyu beef jerky is seasoned with salt, garlic and pure maple syrup.


“The high level of marbling from the Wagyu creates a velvety mouthfeel not common with sausage or jerky,” said Nellie Abel, a marketing specialist with the company. “Full blood Wagyu is an emerging trend in the U.S. and we’re excited to launch these products into retail markets, bringing what has traditionally been a very limited product to food-savvy consumers across the country.”

The product has a premium positioning in the category, as a 3.5-oz package has a suggested retail price of $13.75.

While Lone Mountain uses its raw material as a point of differentiation, Uncle Andy’s Jerky, Fort Collins, Colo., relies on such creative flavors as spicy coffee and lemon mint.

“When I looked at the market I saw a lot of the same,” said Andrew Hanenberg, owner, during the Winter Fancy Food Show. “The flavors I’ve developed are flavors I know I would like.”

Uncle Andy’s Jerky’s spicy coffee beef jerky is flavored with coffee and a kick of chili pepper.

The company currently sells four varieties of beef jerky, including tangy barbecue and maple bourbon in addition to the coffee and lemon mint items. A 2-oz package has a suggested retail price of $6.99.

Meat snack maker Epic, Austin, Texas, also exhibited its lines of bars, bites and mixes during this year’s show. The bars come in a variety of flavors, including bison, bacon and cranberry; beef, habanero and cherry; and turkey, almond and cranberry just to name a few. The Epic Bites line comes in similar flavors while the mixes feature such combinations as beef, almonds, goji berries and cacao nibs; beef, almonds, pecans, Brazil nuts and pistachios; and beef and toasted coconut.

New this year was Epic’s organ meat bar made from beef liver and flavored with sea salt.

Epic’s Hunter & Gatherer line features beef jerky packaged with dried fruit or nuts.

Provisionaire & Co., Brooklyn, N.Y., makers of the Field Trip brand beef and turkey jerky, also stood out at the show for their innovative flavors, including honey spice and roasted sesame seed beef varieties, as well as cracked pepper and crushed chili turkey items. The company markets its products as a clean label choice in the competitive meat snack category.
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