LIMA, Ohio – In the realm of better-for-you snacks, protein is the hottest thing going. And amidst the buzz of all the latest protein snacks, pork rinds remain one of the originals. In an effort to take a classic to a new generation, Southern Recipe, a brand from Rudolph Foods, launched Small Batch, a line of artisan pork rinds.
|Mark Singleton, vice-president of marketing for Rudolph Foods|
“We started watching this whole craft food, craft beer, adventure in eating movement, and we started to think about things that are really attracting millennial consumers,” said Mark Singleton, Rudolph Foods’ vice-president of marketing. “What we came up with is — believe it or not — a better-for-you pork rind.”
Made with 40 percent less salt than Rudolph’s traditional offerings, Small Batch rinds also have no artificial colors and no MSG and are fried in sunflower oil, giving the product its signature texture and nutritional aspects.
“This new Small Batch lineup is not your daddy’s pork rind,” Singleton said. “It’s a different kind of rind.”
The new line comes in Korean Kimchee Barbecue, Pineapple Ancho, Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper, and Spicy Dill Pickle flavors. These pork rinds are made, literally, in a small batch, giving them their artisan appeal. The company plans to reach consumers in new ways by sampling in bars and brew pubs.
“We have a lot of pork rind lovers out there, but we really want to talk to a new consumer,” Singleton said.
Today’s food-educated consumers are raising the bar on their demands for new, innovative and healthier snacks. While those demands might bring challenges for snack manufacturers in developing new products, it also provides opportunity for growth.
“When I was growing up, people didn’t have hundreds of television channels or dozens of food shows,” Singleton said. “Today, people have access to those things; they have knowledge. And we want to challenge people to dig the pig.”
On this mission, Singleton wants Small Batch to bring awareness not only to the product but also to pork rinds as a whole.
“We want people to get out there to not just taste ours but taste them all,” he said.
While meat snacks such as jerky have historically dominated in the high-protein arena, Singleton said he feels Small Batch rinds bring worthy competition.
“Those snacks aren’t crunchy; they’re not salty,” he said. “This is a different snack, and we’ve got a good story to tell. People just need to reimagine pork rinds.”