Leftovers: Which came first? Chicken snacks or shelf-stable egg bars?
One company drums up new uses for poultry in the snack category, and this winter brings another use for Keurig single-serve coffee makers.
Leftovers is our look at a few of the product ideas popping up everywhere — some are intriguing, some sound amazing and some are the kinds of ideas we would never dream of. We can't write about everything that we get pitched, so here are the leftovers pulled from our inboxes
Boldly going where many snacks haven't before
People have been reaching for meat and plant-based jerky as a snack for generations. But now chicken breast is getting in on the meat snacks craze. Foster Farms has introduced Bold Bites, snackable chicken breast chunks that are fully cooked and preseasoned. The chicken snacks, which come in Cajun, Chile Verde, Korean BBQ, Caribbean Jerk and Parmesan Garlic varieties, come in refrigerated, single-serving bags and are being sold in California, Washington and Oregon.
As a category, meat snacks have been taking off. According to Nielsen data in 2017, meat snack sales had gone up more than 7% each year for the previous four years. Sales of jerky topped $1 billion in 2017, and the market is expected to grow 4.2% on an annualized basis through 2022, according to NOSH.
But Bold Bites are nothing like jerky. They’re the type of chewy meat pieces that could also become the filler of a sandwich, a component of a salad or added protein to soup.
While this is a product that surely tastes good, is it going to become a snacking classic? Or is it more likely going to be a way to add meat to a variety of other foods? It ultimately comes down to marketing — as well as consumer desire.
Got a cold or flu? There's a K-cup for that
K-cups have become synonymous with a hot cup of coffee or tea in the morning, but with flu and cold season already underway across much of the U.S., consumers might soon have another — albeit less enjoyable — type of pod to buy.
British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline has introduced the K-cup packed with medicine to help people battling these illnesses. Latisha Tillie, the company's senior brand manager for its Theraflu product, told FiercePharma that her team was thinking of ways to improve what is an otherwise miserable time for people suffering with a cold or flu. With an estimated 40% of households having the convenient single-serve Keurig coffee machines at home, the K-cup was a logical way to reach many consumers, she said.
"In this category, there hasn't been any big branded innovation in a while, and as we were talking to retailers and trying to sell the product in, they were getting really excited. Which is hard to do in the cold-and-flu space,” Tillie told the publication.
GlaxoSmithKline is embracing digital to promote the brand, targeting millennials, parents of young children and others in the 25 to 50 age group in hopes of getting them to use the product. It remains to be seen whether the home brewer-turned-illness-fighter will catch on with consumers or go the way of another cold remedy, chicken noodle soup in a K-cup. Campbell Soup discontinued its K-Cup single-serve soups in 2016 amid sluggish sales.
An egg-cellent take on the protein bar
While much of the world treats raw eggs as a shelf-stable ingredient, this twist on a protein bar takes it one step further. Scramblers' original omelet bar is a shelf-stable egg bar inspired by the breakfast staple.
The bars, which are now on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter with a planned launch in January, come in three flavors: Bacon, Egg & Cheese; Greek Spinach & Feta; and Spicy Chicken Sausage. They are high protein, low carb and keto-friendly. The Kickstarter page says the manufacturer is in late-stage talks to partner with a top producer of pasture raised U.S. Department of Agriculture Organic eggs.
The USDA, FDA and the company's co-packer still need to sign off on the product before bars can be released — though according to the Kickstarter page, the company doesn't see any problems with that approval.
The bars are intended to be eaten at room temperature or microwaved. Unlike the way most Americans treat eggs, they do not need to be refrigerated. "Almost as if by magic, Scramblers bars keep for up to 12 months without refrigeration or chemical preservatives," the site says.