The US meat snacks market was valued at $1bn in 2013, set to surge by 18.86% to $1.2bn by 2018, according to Datamonitor Consumer data.
However, the face of meat snacking may soon change, according to the research firm's latest Innovation Tracking report. Two new meat bar products were launched in March, 2014 in the US – a lamb bar from Epic and beef bar from Omnibar. Epic’s lamb bar was made with lamb, currents and seasoning and Omnibar’s beef bar blended with beef, nuts, sweet potato, oats and flax seed.
Ghina Romani, food and drink researcher at Datamonitor Consumer, said these bar-formed meat snacks were a concept fairly new to a meat snacking segment that had long been dominated by jerky.
“These meat bars take beef jerky to a new level, presenting a meat-based product in a cereal bar form,” she told BakeryandSnacks.com.
“The US is ready for such a product because they’re already familiar with beef jerky – a popular product. They’re used to having cold meat-based snacks,” she said.
High-protein, on-the-go snacking
The two bars sat perfectly into US snacking trends, Romani said. “The main trend for these bars is health and wellness because it’s a high-protein, healthy snack. Consumers are now seeking these products that are high in protein that will give them energy for the rest of the day,” she said.
Particularly at a time when health was a focus for many, she said the bars offered a welcome alternative for consumers looking to snack better.
The meat bars would compete not only with beef jerky, but also cereal bars and regular savory snacks like chips and popcorn, she said.
Meat bars: Watch this space!
Romani said the two products were indicative of an early trend in meat-based, savory snacking but added that “more companies will follow this trend”.
“The US launches target the right consumer. US consumers are used to eating beef jerky and they’re looking for high-protein products. As well as this, the packaging and the way you consume the product goes well with the American lifestyle, which is busy.”
Kraft Foods recently told this site that meat had been “largely absent” from high-protein, healthy snacking as it launched its P3 Portable Protein line – a mixed pack of meat, cheese and nuts.