Protein has been a macrotrend across the food industry and the convenience channel is no exception. This year’s annual National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) trade show featured a variety of protein plays — from zero-sugar jerky to new bean and lentil snacks. In this gallery, we feature some of the newest protein plays spotted on the show floor.
Meat snack brand Country Archer debuted a three-pack of mini beef sticks and highlighted the newest flavors of its single-serve beef sticks: Chorizo Beef and Pork, Hatch Chile Turkey, Maple Pork and Pineapple Pork. The brand’s clean-label meat products use dates to keep sugar levels low.
Sprouted plant protein brand Crunchsters debuted new single-serve packs of its crunchy mung bean mixes with an MSRP of $2.29 per bag. The brand is emphasizing its unique, bold flavors, with options like vegan Beyond Bacon and Smokey Balsamic.
Family-run Werner Gourmet Meat Snacks debuted a zero-sugar all-natural beef jerky, which comes in two-ounce bags and has zero grams of sugar or carbs and 18 grams of protein per serving. Earlier this year, to celebrate their 25th anniversary, the company unveiled a rebrand across its entire portfolio.
Meat company Jack Link’s debuted new Strips in Blackberry BBQ and Sweet Habanero Beef and Spicy Chicken and Original Rotisserie Chicken. In an effort to cater to consumers seeking better-for-you options, the brand earlier this year also launched Zero Sugar jerky.
Natural meat snack brand Lorissa’s Kitchen (which is owned by Jack Link’s) debuted Whole-Made Medley Bars made with meat, egg whites, fruit and nuts in six flavors: Blueberry Fusion, Pineapple Teriyaki, Apple Cinnamon, Cranberry Orange, Chipotle Apricot and Sweet Barbecue. Individual and four-count packs will be available in December.
Nut mix brand Sahale Snacks sees beans as its next protein play, debuting bean and nut snack mixes in Sea Salt and Asian Sesame Edamame, with an MSRP of $4.99 for 4-oz bags and $1.79 for 1.25-oz bags. The products will launch in early 2020.
Charcuterie brand Volpi debuted a new Oaxaca cheese and uncured chorizo snack; each 1.5oz serving has 11 grams of protein and 150 calories and is free of nitrates and nitrites. The snack launched last month through a partnership with 7-Eleven.
Rib restaurant brand Tony Roma’s this summer launched a line of jerky inspired by the sauces used in its restaurant dishes. Flavors include Original Sauce Pork Bites, Carolina Honey’s BBQ Pork Jerky and Golden Serrano BBQ Seasoned Turkey Bites.
Owned by Century Snacks, meat snack brand Tillamook debuted zero sugar smoked sausages to round out the line of zero-sugar jerky it launched last year. Flavors include zero-sugar Teriyaki and Jalapeno in 4-oz smoked sausage packs and 1.25-oz individual sticks.
Canadian-based Three Farmers debuted their new lentil snack brand for a U.S. audience. Crunchy Little Lentils have seven grams of protein per serving and are available in Lightly Salted, Sea Salt and Vinegar, Barbecue and Garlic and Herb.