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Jack Link’s brings breakfast offerings, Extra Tender and new bacon variety to shelves

BY David Salazar

INONG, Wis. — Jack Link’s is expanding two of its lines and bringing a morning snack to consumers. The company on Thursday announced the extension of its Extra tender and Hickory Smoked Bacon lines, as well as the retail availability of its new Jack Link’s AM.

The Jack Link’s AM products are designed as a morning snack for shoppers looking for more protein in their breakfasts. The line includes four varieties — original breakfast sausage and hot and spicy breakfast sausage, as well as applewood breakfast bacon and maple-flavored breakfast bacon.

“As the global category leader, we are always looking for ways to expand our protein snack offerings and seek to launch first-to-category innovations like AM,” Jack Link’s chief marketing officer Tom Dixon said. “We know our consumers are interested in meat snacks with a more tender bite and bacon continues to be a trend. Now was the right time to launch these new line extensions, along with our new AM line.”

The Jack Link’s Extra Tender line includes original beef steak strips, teriyaki beef steak strips, peppered beef steak strips and sweet and spicy beef steak strips. The company also has added hickory-smoked bacon jerky to its offerings.

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Bellisio Foods adds 6 new flavors to EatingWell line

BY David Salazar

MINNEAPOLIS — Bellisio Foods on Monday announced the expansion of its EatingWell line of frozen meals. The line, developed in partnership with EatingWell magazine publisher Meredith, has added six new frozen meals to its offerings.

The new varieties are butter chicken masala, Thai style peanut chicken, French-inspired chicken, steak carne asada, gnocchi with garden vegetables and chicken and fingerling potatoes. All of new meals except the Thai style peanut chicken are gluten-free.

“We’re excited about these additions because they bring new and interesting flavors to our already successful EatingWell product line,” says Ken Stickevers, president, Bellisio Foods. “Plus, our consumers asked for more gluten-free options, and we’re happy to deliver that, along with an amazing vegetarian gnocchi dish that serves up 14 g of protein.”

The additions join the existing EatingWell meals lineup of creamy pesto chicken, spicy Asian-inspired chicken, Korean-inspired beef, cherry port pork, chicken and wild rice stroganoff and Vermont cheddar mac and cheese. Each of the entrees starts with one cup of vegetables, offers 13 g or more of protein and includes whole grains and meats raised without antibiotics.

“The consumer’s appetite for EatingWell’s food content across all media channels has never been stronger,” Meredith VP brand licensing Elise Contarsy said. “The positive response to last year’s frozen entrée launch demonstrates we’re also delivering what she wants and expects from the brand in the grocery store.”

The meals will be available beginning in June.

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Mars, Wrigley team with other candy makers on calorie reduction efforts

BY David Salazar

WASHINGTON — Mars Chocolate North America and Wrigley U.S. have announced a new commitment to creating health and well-being standards for consumers by working with the Partnership for a Healthier America and such other industry players as Nestle, Lindt, Ferrero to center the efforts on offering transparency and choice to consumers.

Among the efforts is a push to offer 100-calorie pack options for consumers, as well as the recent launch of M&M’s Caramel and Maltesers in packs with less than 200 calories. Additionally, Mars highlighted it and Wrigley’s efforts to eliminate marketing to children, eliminating “King Size” offerings and replacing them with portionable “sharing” options and delivering on making all of its single-serve products less than 250 calories per pack, among others.

“We began our relationship with Mars Food through Uncle Ben’s and Seeds of Change to increase healthier choices for families,” Partnership for a Healthier America president and CEO Larry Soler said. “Today’s announcement extends to Mars Chocolate and Wrigley to help reduce calories and increase transparency, which will help all Americans have more choices."

Mars and Wrigley have committed more than $200 million to ensuring its individually wrapped products are 200 calories or less by 2022 and work with industry partners to eliminate “king size” offerings and replace them with “sharing” options, as well as pushing for education on candy as a treat rather than an everyday snack or meal replacement.

“Over the past decade we have been laser-focused on continuously pushing ourselves and our peers to offer consumers more choice and transparency while keeping the same great tastes and experiences our fans love,” Mars Chocolate North America president Tracey Massey said. “By joining forces with PHA and other leading confectionery manufacturers to create even deeper commitments, we are taking an important step forward to transform the entire industry so we can evolve to meet and exceed the demands of today’s consumers.”

Besides the newly announced commitments, Mars Food, which makes Uncle Ben’s and Seeds of Change, said that its Health and Wellbeing Ambition effort — which is aimed at delivering one billion more healthy meals worldwide — is continuing through a six-year partnership with PHA, which will validate Mars Food’s progress toward its goal in the United States.

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