CAUGHT ON CAMERA AT THE 2017 WINTER FANCY FOOD SHOW

KRAVE Jerky general manager: It’s our flavors that differentiate us

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When KRAVE burst onto the scene in 2010, its all-natural credentials, premium packaging and gourmet flavors gave it a unique point of difference in the sluggish meat snacks market. Since then, however, scores of new entrants have started muscling in on its territory. So how can it stay ahead of the curve?

Clearly, having the might of Hershey (which acquired KRAVE in 2015) behind it has certainly helped the brand significantly boost its distribution, especially in the convenience store channel, general manager Shane Chambers told FoodNavigator-USA at the Winter Fancy Food Show.

But KRAVE is not simply relying on Hershey’s deep pockets and market clout to carry it through, said Chambers, who claimed KRAVE still stood out in the jerky market for its culinary-inspired flavors, and was also bringing similar innovations to the meat bars and sticks category

We think it’s our chef-inspired culinary flavors that differentiate us… The meat stick market is quite a good size, and there’s been some growth there that’s attractive to us… the KRAVE stick offers a different twist on the tradition meat stick; we consulted with the Culinary Institute of America on flavor development, and it’s also quite low in sodium, which makes it different from the mainstream players, plus we have real veg inclusions and interesting flavor combinations.”

For the meat bars, which feature fruit inclusions, he added, “We’re using a distinct using proprietary manufacturing process that does not use fermentation.”

ON the marketing front, he said, “We’ll continue to leverage ambassador relationships such as [swimmer] Michael Phelps [winner of 28 Olympic medals] and [soccer World Cup champion and 2x Olympic gold medalist.] Carli Lloyd, and may potentially play a role in the Winter Olympics coming up.”

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