2020 Category Captain for Alternative Snacks: Jack Link’s Protein Snacks


Jack Link's Protein Snacks dominates the meat snacks category, which falls under alternative snacks in the Nielsen/NACS product category classifications. With a history of success in meat snacks, Jack Link's continues to build strong strategic partnerships and expand outside the ambient meat-snack sets for category growth and captaincy.

To do this, the supplier has partnered with insight solution providers to develop strategies and solutions that win in the world of "protein snacking." Jack Link's continues to invest in category and consumer segmentation, shopper and consumer insights, data resources and relevant insights in merchandising and shelving strategies. The company is a Category Captain for a vast number of national and regional retail accounts. 

While protein trends continue to evolve, consumers' focus is on "real" food claims, protein sources, convenience and flavors. The No. 1 protein meat snack brand decided to expand into other categories, carving out a footprint in the refrigerated protein meat snacks space, and the bars and nutrition category as well.

Using consumer insights, Jack Link's found that consumers purchase shelf-stable, ambient meat snacks on different occasions than fresh meat refrigerated snacks. This presented an opportunity to reach consumers during different dayparts, and increase the cross-shopping between ambient and refrigerated meat snacks. This research led to the launch of Jack Link's Cold Crafted, a fresh, refrigerated meat snack product. 

Today, the fresh/refrigerated snacking category is one of the biggest bright spots in c-stores, and Jack Link's is helping drive that growth with fast-turning items. Proof of its success at encouraging cross-shopping: more than one-third of shoppers bought a Jack Link's shelf-stable protein meat snack and a Jack Link's refrigerated protein meat snack in the same transaction, according to one major retailer's 2019 data.

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