Progressive Grocer

DEC 2016

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INCREASE VOLUME! There are plenty of opportunities to create a destination category in order to drive volume and profits in the meat snacks category. Shoppers are seeking higher-protein snacks and are very open to making a meat snacks purchase, but they need cues and reminders to get in the consideration set. Converting impulse shoppers to planned ones requires a strategy focused on making meat snacks stand out among snacking options and ensuring meat snacks are available in relevant areas of the store. Steve Althaus, Vice President of Sales at Jack Link's, shares some insight into how to expand the meat snacks category's presence, making it top of mind and a destination for a growing population interested in protein-based snacks. Q: What are the key attributes necessary to make meat snacks a destination category at retail? There are three attributes that retailers need to focus on to make meat snacks a destination category at retail. First, meat snack sets must expand their holding power to drive more shopper awareness of the category. The category still trails all other salty snack categories in penetration, yet is growing much faster than other salty categories. Secondly, as a high-impulse category, retailers should create a permanent secondary location for meat snacks. Jack Link's has partnered with many retailers to install state-of-the-art merchandising racks that optimize sales and that simplify the shopping experience. Retailers that are getting more than their fair share of this growth category have meat snacks and Jack Link's beef jerky placed on the front-end check lanes. Finally, it is critical for retailers to promote the category and communicate its better-for-you benefits. Protein is the hottest trend right now, and as we say at Jack Link's, you can't out-protein meat. Q: How big is the potential opportunity for retailers committed to building a presence and using innova- tion to make meat snacks a destination? As the category leader, it is our obligation to invest in innovation to keep the category healthy and growing. Going back to the protein trend, when we compare meat snacks to other protein snacking categories, the opportunity to grow share of stomach with consumers is incredible. Innovation will also help us grow the category, and we have an exciting pipeline for 2017. The category, in many channels, continues to be under-spaced based on sales. Expanding sets will drive awareness, and it will allow for the innovation to truly deliver incremental growth for the category. Q: How can retailers best partner with Jack Link's to drive these efforts? Jack Link's has many resources to provide our retail partners with deep consumer and shopper insights, and recommendations to accelerate growth in the meat snack category. We're a relationship-based company and believe the best way to do business is to create meaning- ful partnerships. This means we work hand-in-hand with our retail partners, via frequent growth summits, to share our category and consumer insights and turn those into customized solutions. This includes making schematic and assortment recommendations, as well as a preview to our innovation plans. Q. What is YOUR favorite variety and occasion for eating meat snacks and why? As an avid golfer, I never hit the first tee without a couple of bags of jerky in my golf bag. My golfing buddies refer to it as our "birdie bag." Once someone in our group makes a birdie, the jerky comes out to fuel the round. Spending four to five hours on the course requires a snack, and there is no better way to keep our energy up than with a bag of Jack Link's Sweet and Hot Beef Jerky! STE VE ALTHAUS VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES, JACK LINK'S PROTEIN SNACKS "Meat snack sets must expand their holding power to drive more shopper awareness of the category." "When we compare meat snacks to other protein snacking categories, the opportunity to grow share of stomach with consumers is incredible." Q&A

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