Snacks & Candy

Meat Snacks: Keeping Consumers Engaged

New flavors—from mango to ghost pepper—challenge palates
spicy jerky
Photograph: Shutterstock

CHICAGO — Familiar meat-snack flavors such as peppercorn, teriyaki and original are still relevant with consumers. But emerging are those formulated with more challenging flavors, such as ghost pepper, jalapeno, mango, habanero, fruit and more, said Sally Lyons Wyatt, executive vice president and practice leader, client insights, for Chicago-based IRI.

These new types are essential to pull in new meat-snack users seeking to satisfy changing palates.

“One nice aspect of meat snacks and jerky is the texture experience—so take that along with these flavor explosions and the result is a great combination,” Wyatt said.

Rusti Porter, chief marketing officer for Krave Pure Foods, said “when you look at jerky and meat-snack products today, you see that premium brands with out-of-the-box flavor profiles, cleaner ingredient panels and improved textures are more the norm.”

In 2021, Krave is focused on “foundational” strategies to underscore “the original quality and cooking method that consumers first knew and loved, better consistency, maximized marinating time, improved flavor quality and traditional cooking processes,” she said. “Then, we re-ignite the brand through a first-quarter ’21 relaunch including new packaging and enhanced attributes.”

Porter sees the plant-based industry as gaining significant footing across snacking occasions and consumers reaching for more sustainable products.

Krave Plant-Based Jerky is debuting along with “additional new forms within the year. We’re also seeing a resurgence of more low-carb and zero-sugar consumption trends for meat snacks to offer these consumers a full lineup with the zero-sugar formulation,” said Porter.

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