Pitch Brief: From Jack Links to ... Jill Links

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By Max

Jack Links is all about meaty goodness, supplying beef, pork, bacon, turkey and chicken snacks to grocery stores, convenience stores and gas stations across the U.S. Protein is their thing, and they’re getting ready for the next stage in their marketing evolution by launching a creative review.

As the name suggests, Jack Links has, traditionally, been marketed to men. It’s not “Lady Links,” after all. Their audience reflects that - it’s 78 percent male, between the ages of 18 to 24 years old, located mostly in the Midwest. Their ads have been very male-centric with “Feed Your Wild Side” and angry Sasquatches.

But trends are shifting from gratifying young men’s cravings for salty, meaty snacks. There’s a significant push towards health-conscious snacking, which protein fits. And much of that push is being spearheaded by women.

Between 2012 and 2015, meat snacks consumed by women grew from 35 percent to 45 percent, according to Hartman research.

“Currently, there is an appetite to market more to women and millennials as consumers have started to value a wider selection of flavors as well as grass-fed, hormone-and antibiotic-free meat,” said Robertson Allen, a consultant with the Hartman Group in a Star Tribune article last year.

Jack Links response was to create “Lorissa’s Kitchen” brand in 2016 to appeal to active, upscale women looking for healthy snacks, and they continue to expand their product lines.


meat snack industry

The brand’s goal now is to become “the dominant leader in protein snacking,” (not just Jerky) Tom Dixon, Jack Link’s CMO, said in an interview.

The timing couldn’t be better as protein-dependent low-carb, Paleo, and Keto diets are gaining ground - especially among women.




Meat the Healthy Snacking Women (pun intended)


We looked into women who follow healthy snack food brands on social media to really dig into this specific demographic. One thing immediately became clear: When these women snack, it’s not on a bag of Fritos.

Ranging in age from older Millennials straight through middle age and retirement years, age doesn’t seem to make much of a difference. It’s an issue of priorities, even values.

These are women who prefer alternative medicine to going to the hospital. They’re always looking for new ways to live healthier everyday lives. They take herbal and vitamin supplements and many are either gluten-free, or are interested in reducing the amount of gluten and processed foods they consume.

Unsurprisingly, they’re committed to staying active and getting fit - there are a lot of runners and yoga practitioners here.

They might indulge in soda now and then - but it’s a diet soda. And they’ll trade ice cream for frozen yogurt most of the time.

So how can a brand like Jack Links get in front of these women?

meat snack industry

Lorissa’s Kitchen is a strong start - the packaging looks artisanal and reflect what this core group of health-conscious ladies care about - gluten free, chicken raised without antibiotics or growth hormones, no preservatives, and lots of protein.

The product is there, and it’s right on target.

The key is going to be placement.

Women interested in healthy snacks are more likely to shop in places like Whole Foods, but that’s not the only place to grab their attention.

Find them where they are.

Gyms.

Yoga studios.

Barre studios.

Kickboxing studios.

Raise awareness there, and with influencers like Kathryn Budig, and place ads in the Home Decorating and DIY magazines they love - and they’ll come.

We see a great fit here between the product and consumer. The consumers just need to know it’s there.

For more information on Jack Links, their RFP, and the consumer group that’s ready and waiting for protein rich healthy snacks, check out our latest Pitch Brief.


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Topics: Knowledge; Infographic; New Business Pitch