Western's has both a 4-in. meat stick and an 11-in. product, which can be challenging when it comes to packaging.

New product and packaging

Mitch Berliner, one of the principals of MeatCrafters in Landover, Maryland, near Washington, D.C., and a 40-year veteran of the food business, recently rolled out a new line of meat snacks he calls “Skinny Salamis” under his MeatCrafters brand. There are six varieties of the salamis. And while pork is the normal ingredient in salamis, Skinny Salamis make use not only of pork, but beef and lamb as well. “Salami is made in a two-step process,” Berliner explains. “First, we do a cold fermentation. And then, the curing and aging. In fact, the culture is a lot like what’s used in beer.

“Three years ago, the meat snack category exploded,” Berliner says. “You had jerky and cooked products before this, but our product is different. We decided to make a meat snack from salami, a great specialty meat that people really love. And we wanted to make our product exciting to both retailers and consumers. So, we thought we should put them in ‘grown-up’ packages, in line with this growing consumer love affair with meat snacks,” he says. Berliner and the other owners of MeatCrafters started a brand-new USDA plant to make the salamis.

And to create this new packaging, MeatCrafters hired a team of designers, including artists, branders and graphic designers to come up with the attractive and appealing packaging for the Skinny Salami products – to match the unique nature of the salamis. The packaging for these salami products is unique in the meat snack category; but is functional as well.

For the packaging, Berliner and his partners (wife Debra Moser and Stanley Feder) decided not to put the Skinny Salamis in film as is typically done with meat sticks, but in foil instead. “Foil is a better barrier and it provides a longer shelf life,” Berliner says. The packaging works. In fact, in 2017, the Skinny Salamis packaging won the USA Graphic Design Association award for new packaging. These newly developed salamis, as well as the innovative packaging, have made Skinny Salamis a widely successful brand.