The New Primal forging new ground in 'noisy' meat snack market

by Monica Watrous
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The New Primal Date & Rosemary free-range chicken jerky
The New Primal's new Date & Rosemary Free-Range Chicken Jerky was created for the Autoimmune Protocol diet.

CHARLESTON, S.C. — In today’s “noisy” meat snack category, The New Primal stands out with innovative offerings that draw new consumers to the segment, said founder Jason Burke. Recent launches on display at the Winter Fancy Food Show were developed with two specific groups in mind: people with autoimmune conditions, and children.

The brand’s new Date & Rosemary Free-Range Chicken Jerky was created for the Autoimmune Protocol diet, which eliminates foods that may trigger inflammation in people with autoimmune disease, such as dairy, eggs, nightshades, nuts and seeds.

Melissa Boyd Webb, The New Primal
Melissa Boyd Webb, brand strategist for The New Primal

“This is something that affects close to an estimated 50 million Americans,” said Melissa Boyd Webb, brand strategist for The New Primal. “We’ve eliminated all the peppers and added in macerated dates for a date syrup versus a traditional honey that we’ve been using in our products. So, we really tried to dive in and see what we could do to help this community find products they feel safe eating. That was a big learning experience for our team.”

The new flavor joins such jerky varieties as Classic Free-Range Turkey, Classic Beef and Spicy Beef. The company also offers meat sticks in such varieties as classic beef and turkey, spicy beef, barbecue pork, uncured bacon, cilantro lime turkey and habanero pineapple beef.

The New Primal meat sticks
The New Primal offers a range of meat sticks.

At the Winter Fancy Food Show, held Jan. 22-24 in San Francisco, The New Primal also highlighted Snack Mates, the first-of-its-kind meat snacks made for children, in classic beef and turkey varieties.

To develop the products, the company dialed back the peppery heat of its classic meat sticks and packaged the sticks in a child-friendly portion. Like the brand’s other products, Snack Mates are made with pasture raised grass-fed/grass-finished beef and free-range turkey.

“We really saw that as a blue ocean in the kids’ space that nobody is really doing,” Ms. Boyd Webb told Food Business News. “For me, as a mom, it’s always, ‘how do I get more protein into my child’s diet, and how do I make it convenient?’ This is something they can throw in a lunchbox or backpack.”

The New Primal turkey Snack Mates for kids
The New Primal's Snack Mates are the first-of-its-kind meat snacks made for children.

Later this year, The New Primal will launch a line of marinades and cooking sauces that are free of soy, added sugar, dairy and gluten. Originally formulated for the brand’s classic and spicy beef jerky recipes, the products are made with coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, pineapple juice, lemon juice and garlic powder.

“We want to intentionally innovate,” Ms. Boyd Webb said. “We don’t want to do a bunch of ‘me, too’ products. How do we take these normal everyday foods we have loved for years and make them in a healthy and nutritious way that tastes really great?

“We will continue to make foods better and solve needs for people as well as continuing this focus on animal welfare, staying true to our environmental practices. As long as we’re helping reimagine or recreate or change the food landscape, that’s where it starts, and then we can say, ‘What aisle is not being creative, innovative?’ That’s how we jumped into marinades. We’ll continue to innovate from that space.”

The New Primal spicy and classic meat marinades
Later this year, The New Primal plans to launch a line of marinades and cooking sauces.

The New Primal products are sold in Whole Foods Market, Target, Sprouts, Safeway, Publix and other retailers nationwide.

“The space is competitive, but there’s no one doing it like we do,” she said. “We have the crossover appeal… We’ve doubled our sales in 2014, and then we doubled in 2015 and 2016. That’s attributed to a couple of different things.

“People want to support companies they can trust and know where their food comes from. As people are learning about our brand, that’s something they know they can trust about us. That we use free-range chicken and source our pork from American farms across the country. We use beef from New Zealand because they only have non-G.M.O. practices in place. I think more and more people are starting to care about that, and that is ultimately what helps our brand grow year over year.” 
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