KANSAS CITY — Snack manufacturers are beefing up the meat snacks category with innovative new protein-packed products.

Jack Link’s Protein Snacks has taken bacon to the snack aisle with new Small Batch Maple Bacon Jerky No. 10 and Squatch Loaded Snack Sticks with bacon and cheddar.

“When a hungry moment hits, your best defense is having the bold flavor of smoky bacon with you at all times — whether you’re out in the wild or just have a hankering to feed your wild side,” said Mike Seepersaud, director of product marketing for Jack Link's. “Our new bacon varieties add to the Link family’s long history of leadership in the meat snack category with a popular flavor people just can’t get enough of.”

For on-the-go protein seekers, The Kraft Heinz Co.’s Oscar Mayer brands is offering two new Deli Snackers varieties of its P3 Portable Protein Packs: Turkey and Bacon with Colby Jack Cheese, and Applewood Smoked Ham with Turkey and Mild Cheddar Cheese. Both varieties boast at least 13 grams of protein and contain Oscar Mayer Selects meats and Kraft cheeses.

Also catering to carnivores on the move, Vermont Smoke & Cure is launching On the Go Packs, featuring individually wrapped meat stick minis in Cracker Pepper Beef and Pork and Uncured Pepperoni Turkey flavors. The company also is introducing new Spicy Italian Pork Sticks, crafted with lean pork, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes and garlic.

Click for a slideshow of new products