NORTHFIELD, Ill. — What Kraft Foods considers one of its most groundbreaking launches this year also may be its simplest — at least in theory.

Introduced in February, Oscar Mayer P3 Portable Protein Pack was born from a “keep it simple” approach to innovation. The products contain a combination of Oscar Mayer Selects meat, Kraft Natural cheese and Planters nuts in four varieties and are positioned as a high-protein snack for active, on-the-go consumers.
In an interview, Thomas Bick, senior director of integrated marketing communications and advertising for Oscar Mayer, detailed the development process for P3.

“It struck us that, while protein snacking is a $19 billion category, meat — which for most people is synonymous with protein — has been largely absent from the conversation, and completely absent from the protein snacking space, which is where the growth is in the category,” Bick said. “That’s a massive opportunity, and the credibility of Oscar Mayer Selects Meats, Kraft Natural Cheeses and Planters Nuts gives us a great chance to take advantage of it.”

 P3 Portable Protein Pack

How was P3 developed?

Bick:Two years ago Kraft began its more rigorous and methodical approach to product innovation, which ultimately led to the development of P3 Portable Protein Packs.

A small team of researchers, developers and marketers got in a room to analyze the growing consumer trends. Several ideas came out of those meetings such as savory meat pies, empanadas and protein salad snack toppers.

Ultimately the team decided to “keep it simple” and unearthed the concept for P3 Portable Protein Packs — just meat, cheese and nuts. Something so simple, but something that only Kraft with its wide breadth of portfolio could provide.

What specific challenges did Kraft overcome to develop and launch this product?

Bick:Perhaps the largest hurdle we faced during this time was the creation of a manufacturing facility that could produce and package all three sources of protein under one roof. The team at Kraft worked together to develop the first USDA facility to incorporate meat, cheese and nuts all under one roof, which essentially required the need for a plant inside a plant.

Which consumer trends did Kraft leverage to develop this product?

Bick:P3 Portable Protein Packs are designed for the active person looking for a protein-packed snack to help keep them going strong. We believe these products have truly broad appeal, but we do anticipate a high interest from men.

How was the product tested before it launched?

Bick:We employed in-home consumer tests, focus groups and graphics testing to deliver the best product possible. Our early testing results have shown 84 percent of consumers think it is a great on-the-go snack; 81 percent say it’s a wholesome snack with the desired protein benefits; and 93 percent thought the product was good or better than expected.

Is Kraft considering other possibilities or combinations for this product line?

Bick:With four different varieties of P3 Portable Protein Pack available, snackers are certain to find a variety they enjoy. The Oscar Mayer brand is always looking to improve their products, so the brand would be open to doing so.