Premium meat snacks may have started out as a niche market riding the coattails of the low-carb trend, but today it’s a multi-billion-dollar industry that shows no signs of slowing down in terms of sales and innovations. This should be no surprise, as today’s consumers are opting for more protein-based snacks rather than sugary, high-carbs ones.
Lynn Dornblaser, director of innovation and insight at Chicago-based Mintel, told the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association, Madison, Wisconsin, that increased interest in protein snacks is good news for meat companies, which are connecting with protein-seeking consumers with products like meat-and-cheese combos and upscale jerky. “It’s a logical extension for consumers to shift from protein powders and shakes, to cheese and yogurt, and to meat products designed as a protein boost,” she said.
With the average American currently eating more than 4 lbs. of meat per week, it’s a good bet that some of that volume is coming from charcuterie, jerky and refrigerated meat medleys. Upscale snacks invite the consumer to go on a quick culinary adventure and they are enjoying the ride. Marketers recognize this opportunity and continue to innovate to keep meat on the snacking menu.