Raising the Meat Bar

Move over, traditional jerky and sticks, and make room for new combinations and flavors
Epic Provisions meat bar

There are energy bars, fruit bars and granola bars, and nut bars, protein bars and candy bars. But a meat bar?

It exists.

While most meat bars are available now at retail locations such as Whole Foods, these bars, which tout natural ingredients and lots of protein, are poised to take the channel by storm.

Minneapolis-based General Mills’ recent acquisition of Epic Provisions, makers of “the original meat, fruit and nut bar,” could fuel growth in what Annie’s president John Foraker calls “an entirely new natural snacking category.” (­Epic will operate under General Mills’ Annie’s business.)

In addition to meat bars, Epic’s lineup includes jerky bites and trail mix. The Epic Bar is a 100% grass-fed, animal-based protein bar available in nine varieties, including Bison Bacon Cranberry, Beef Apple Bacon, Turkey Almond Cranberry and Pulled Pork Pineapple.

Innovation with fruits and nuts addresses consumers’ desire for variety as well as their interest in high-protein snacks, says Gary Karp, executive vice president of Chicago-based Technomic Inc.

And interest isn’t expected to wane. Analysts at Technavio, a London-based market research company, say the global meat-snack category will grow at a compound annual rate of 8.79% from 2016 through 2020.

$2.8 billion

How much Americans spent on dried meat snacks in ­2015

Source: IRI

The Meat Market

The Epic Bar isn’t the only meat snack bar on the market. Much like Epic, these bars are paleo-friendly, gluten-free and low in sugar:

Bricks Bars: Soy-free, milk-free and grain-free, these bars are baked with grass-fed, grass-finished lean meats, organic veggies, fruit, seeds and organic coconut oil. Flavors include Turkey Sweet Potato Cranberry and Pumpkin Seed, and Grass Fed Beef Uncured Bacon Cranberry and Sunflower Seed.

Kratos High Protein Beef Bars: This 100% lean-beef bar is low in sodium and free of trans fat. Flavors include Acai Berry, Zesty Pepper and Ginger & Wasabi.

Tanka Bars: A mix of American buffalo meat and tasty cranberries, Tanka Bars are 100% natural, low-fat and hormone-free. Bars come in Apple Orange Peel, Slow Smoked Original and Spicy Pepper varieties, with two additional flavors—Jalapeño and Teriyaki—to be available in April.