Foods. For example, ConAgra donates Slim Jim
products to the country’s military troops, and uses in-store Slim Jim/USO-branded shippers to encourage
continued support of the nation’s military personnel.
Separately, in a partnership with AMC’s “The
Walking Dead” television show, the company
launched co-branded Slim Jim packaging and displays featuring a sweepstakes to win prizes.
While meat snacks are especially appealing to millennials, plenty of other demographic groups are shopping the subcategory as well. The female shopper, for
instance, continues to increase consumption of meat
snacks because of their portability and low/no fat
options. “It was not long ago when most consumers
thought of jerky as a sodium-filled, nitrate-laden meat
snack consumed predominantly by males,” said Rusti
Porter, Krave’s vice president of marketing.
That’s no longer the case thanks to product innovations, the protein craze, the surge of intense workout
and nutritional programs like CrossFit and Paleo, and
interest in gourmet and global flavors, Porter added.
Raising the Bar
While meat snacks remain the major driver of the
alternative snacks category, savory flavors and
cleaner ingredients have attracted new consumers
to the health/energy/protein bar subcategory. “They
are no longer just for the dieter or the workout guy
on his way home from the gym,” said Danna Huskey,
category manager at E-Z Mart, Texarkana, Texas.
There’s now a bar for nearly every kind of shopper,
as manufacturers roll out reduced-sugar, lower-calorie, gluten-free, high-protein and many other
types of better-for-you bars, Huskey said.
The subcategory represents 27.4% of alternative
snack purchases. Sales increased by 4.6% and units
increased by 2.8% from 2013 to 2014, according to the
NACS State of the Industry Report of 2014 Data. The
latest trend is the launch of bars with just a few whole
ingredients, like fruit, nuts and honey. Take Kellogg’s
Special K Chewy Nut Bars in chocolate almond
and cranberry almond. They are made with simple
ingredients like roasted whole almonds, oven-roasted
peanuts, chocolate chunks and cranberries.
Kellogg is also seeing interest with protein bars that
showcase a nut- or plant-based protein profile, said
Food bars with premium, natural ingredients, com-
plete with fiber and low net carbs, help consumers
PER STORE, PER MONTH SALES
JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUNE JULY AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
(Source: NACS CSX data; csxllc.com)
Female shoppers continue to
increase their consumption of meat
snacks because of their portability
and low/no fat options.