CHICAGO — Conagra Brands in recent years has transformed its portfolio with an eye toward snacking. Within the past six months, the company has acquired several premium snack brands, including Angie’s Boomchickapop popcorn, Duke’s meat snacks and BIGS Seeds. The company also is updating some of its iconic snack brands with on-trend flavors and premium ingredients.
|Adam Beane, senior brand manager of protein snacking at Conagra Brands|
“Our research shows the typical consumer is eating anywhere from 7 to 12 times a day,” said Adam Beane, senior brand manager of protein snacking at Conagra Brands. “That 7-to-12 number is really amazing, that you have that many opportunities to win an occasion with a consumer … and we want to make sure that we’re offering those opportunities, offering something that’s going to win the occasion no matter what the day part is or what they’re looking to satisfy.”
At the 2017 NACS Show, hosted by the National Association of Convenience Stores, held Oct. 17-20 in Chicago, Conagra Brands is showcasing the latest innovation across its expanding portfolio of snack brands.
New from Slim Jim is a range of premium smoked sticks, made with high quality cuts of grass-fed beef or pork. Featuring sophisticated flavor profiles and “a less greasy experience,” the products were developed for a more mature consumer, Mr. Beane said.
“Slim Jim is already the No. 1 brand in meat sticks, but it is a brand that has an association with a bit of a younger consumer,” Mr. Beane told Food Business News. “So what happens is when consumers age out of their teens and early 20s and get more into that late 20s, early 30s age, their Slim Jim consumption declines because the product no longer fits their lifestyle.”
Slim Jim Premium Smoked Sticks varieties include Smokehouse Original, with brown sugar and soy sauce; Thai Style Chili, featuring sweet chili and garlic with spicy red peppers; and Memphis Style BBQ, featuring a dry rub seasoning blend.
The latest addition to the David sunflower seeds lineup is the product of a partnership with the Chicago Cubs. The brand is introducing a special-edition Spicy Queso variety inspired by shortstop Javier Baez. The ballplayer’s image will be featured on the packaging, and he will serve as brand ambassador for David Seeds.
“Spicy flavor is on-trend, and the idea of bringing a spicy queso flavor developed with a World Series champion is something we’re really excited about,” Mr. Beane said. “David is the No. 1 sunflower seed brand, but the category itself has been a little stagnant. We believe as the category leader it’s our responsibility to invest not only in our brand but in the category.”