Sticking to it

Balancing technology with the company’s tradition is top of mind at Country Archer and Kang says, “we look at the finished product and the integrity of the product and as long as that integrity is intact, that is what’s most important to us.”

Country Archer recently launched a line of Paleo-certified, zero sugar meat sticks, and when the company went to incubate the product, R&D professionals at the company didn’t look to Europe or other markets for influence, but instead looked at what was available in the markets Country Archer was in already. During the innovation process it was clear the industry standard for the most prominent brands of meat sticks listed mechanically separated chicken as the first ingredient on the label.

“I thought that was not where the consumer was heading,” which led Kang’s team to look at sourcing grass-fed beef as the main ingredient in their new product, which also was formulated without sugar, which is not the standard in the meat stick market today.

As product innovation continues at the company, Kang has high hopes for the just-launched meat sticks. The products are currently available at mainstream retailers that include Sprouts, Whole Foods, Starbucks, Kroger, and many West Coast Costco stores. Looking ahead, Kang plans to focus on convenience-based retailers as the future of meat snacking shows no signs of slowing.

In early March, Country Archer launched a new line of meat bars and honey chipotle turkey jerky. Crafted in small batches, the meat bars are a different take on the brand’s former Frontier Bars. The bars are made with antibiotic- and hormone-free beef, bacon or turkey

Available in cayenne beef, sweet BBQ bacon and herb citrus turkey, the protein bars are made from 100 percent grass-fed beef, uncured bacon and cage-free turkey, along with natural ingredients such as collagen, dates and spices. The company’s turkey jerky is made with organic honey and bold chipotle that are slowly marinated together.

 “Snacking is on the rise and not just snacking but snacking with a purpose,” Kang says.