Set to launch at the Expo West show in California next week, the three new products comprise Bison Hemp, Free-range Chicken Pomegranate, and Grass-fed Beef Jerky that are mixed with fruits and nuts including blueberries, cherries, pecans, and almonds. They will retail for around $5.99 and are expected to be distributed exclusively through national specialty channels.
Jerky/trail mix blends is the biggest upcoming trend in the snack market, according to Dick Stevens CEO Jeff Eckert, adding his business was building on consumer interest in nuts and jerky.
“We are an entirely new snack category and combine trail mix and jerky,” Eckert said. “We’re a new product and a new brand, so awareness is crucial right now. We’re seeing a huge uptick in that department lately because we’re offering something different and healthy."
All the new mixes have a short list of all-natural and healthy ingredients, Eckert said, and all proteins in the mixes are hormone and antibiotic-free.
Eckert added that although Dick Steven is the first jerky the USDA has allowed to make a 'less sodium' claim, consumer concern remained that jerky can be high in saturated fat, sodium and nitrates.
“In addition to being low in saturated fat, we are a good source of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, the good fats,” he added.
The Dick Stevens business was launched two years ago and is now sold in around 2,000 stores, said Eckert, who is hoping the new products will help to build brand distribution.
“As we continue to find ourselves on more shelves, we expect to grow rapidly for the foreseeable future," he added.