ANAHEIM, Calif. – The latest offering from Epic Provisions marks the brand's entry into a new segment of the snack market. At Natural Products Expo West, the Austin, Texas-based meat snack maker, which is owned by General Mills, debuted a line of protein bars made with dates, nuts and egg whites sourced from chickens raised in a cage-free environment. Epic Performance Bar varieties include peanut butter, lemon, almond butter chocolate and peanut butter chocolate.

Slated to hit shelves in June, the product line joins a portfolio of meat-based bars, strips and bites, pork rinds and bone broths.

"We know not everyone wants to have meat, but people are very focused on making sure they can believe in the ingredients in the product, so this is the only mass available fruit-based egg bar made with cage-free eggs," said Carla Vernon, who leads the natural and organic portfolio at General Mills, in an interview with sister publication Food Business News. "You’re seeing the cage-free segment of fresh eggs really growing, and we know people are starting to care about the welfare of the animals that go into their products, and so we’re very proud of that."

General Mills acquired Epic Provisions in early 2016 for an undisclosed sum. Co-founders Taylor Collins and Katie Forrest continue to lead the business in Austin.

"One of our core values at Epic is to honor animals," the company said in a social media post. "Though we have spent years working tirelessly to improve the poultry supply chain, we have had no way to impact the millions of chickens raised specifically for egg production. That changed today.

“We could not be more stoked to announce our latest product line – the Epic performance bar! Made with cage-free egg whites and non-GMO ingredients, this bar is epic in every sense of the word. Coming this June to a retailer near you – the next evolution of nourishment."