Snaxpo 2017

Evans Food aims to expand footprint in convenience channel with pork cracklings

By Douglas Yu

- Last updated on GMT

VP of sales at Evans Food, Hector Guerra, with the company's latest pork rind offering at Snaxpo.
VP of sales at Evans Food, Hector Guerra, with the company's latest pork rind offering at Snaxpo.

Related tags Snack foods

Evans Food Group unveiled its latest chorizo-flavored pork cracklings under its Mac’s brand at Snaxpo, held in Savannah, Georgia, in April. 

The Chicago-based company, which commands about 23% of the US pork rinds market, said the product will be available across the US in September. The company will also be adding a party-size, barbecue-flavored snack to its Mac’s pork skin portfolio, targeting Hispanic and African American consumers.

According to Hector Guerra, Evans Food's VP of sales, all Mac’s products do not contain carbs or trans fats, and are gluten-free.

The company also produces the La Tonita, Porkies and Bills brands.

Pork rinds

Convenience channel

Guerra told BakeryandSnacks that Evans Food holds a 33% share of the salty snacks market share in the multi-outlets channel. However, he said the convenience channel is growing at a faster pace.

“C-stores are different from other channels in that the majority of the consumers are male and are looking to buy protein-added snacks for on the go,”​ Guerra explained. “Pork rinds [are also] impulse [buys] in c-stores.”

Evans Food also manufactures private label products for many US snack companies, like Snyder’s-Lance’, but this does not create a competition between the company and its customers.

“Each brand has their own equity, flavor profile and distribution system,”​ said Guerra. “Our company focuses on multi-outlets and we are looking to increase our share in convenience stores. Our customers serve other channels.”

Company outlook

Guerra said the health and wellness trend has the taken the snack foods industry by storm.

As such, Evans Food has reduced the sodium content in some of the products its make for its customers, but it is still working on its own ingredient reformulation.

“We will definitely focus on reducing salt in the future, and make sure the taste is decent so our consumers will still be able to indulge themselves,”​ he said. “But it has to be a transition instead of an abrupt change.”

According to IRI data that only includes multi-outlets, for the last 52 weeks ending January 2017, the US pork rinds industry posted sales of $421m, growing by 3% over the previous period. The pork crackling category has grown 18% year-over-year, far exceeding the growth of pork rinds.

Guerra said Evans Food is expected to continue being a key driver of the US pork rinds industry in 2017.

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