The snack food market continues to grow, with Nielsen reporting sales of nearly $33 billion in 2017 in the U.S. alone. With their increasingly busy lifestyles, consumers appreciate convenient, portable, single-serve snacking options, especially those that offer health benefits, pack a punch of protein, eliminate preservatives, and provide variety. With this in mind, Expresco Foods of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, has introduced a mini-size portion of the hand-grilled chicken skewers it sells as a meal solution in retail and club stores.
Called ProSticks, the fully-cooked, snackable skewers come two per pack, contain 21 g of protein, are preservative-free, and offer three flavor options: Mediterranean with Sweet Teriyaki sauce, Sweet Sriracha with Sriracha-style sauce, and Chipotle with Chipotle BBQ sauce. Says Michael Delli Colli, Marketing Manager for Expresco Foods, the “satisfying and savory hand-held ProSticks are the optimal snack for today’s consumers on the go.”
ProSticks are packaged in a 4-oz thermoform designed with a pocket for the two skewers and a separate cavity above the skewers that holds the dipping sauce. A peelable, printed film lidding covers the portable pack. Expresco uses a 16-mil PET bottom forming film and a 12-mil non-forming PET film for the lidding. The packs are gas-flushed to provide a 38-day refrigerated shelf life.
“We selected this format for both speed and practicality,” Delli Colli explains. “It is most efficient for our plant production, and we also know that these material lead times are generally quicker than trays or other types of packaging.”
In addition to meeting consumers’ cravings for small portions, the convenient pack also addresses their growing desire for transparency. While half the lidding film is printed with product information, the other side is clear, offering a view of one of the two seasoned skewers. The printed side uses color coding for the three flavors, along with an up-close image of a grill grid with flames licking below. A violator calls out the product’s 21-g-per-serving benefit.
ProSticks are available for an average SRP of $2.99 per pack at retail and c-stores in the U.S. and Canada. Says Delli Colli, “Consumers and retailers alike are seeking out ProSticks. Retailers are thrilled with the overall quality of the products and the packaging itself. The product is extremely unique and a healthy snack that continues to capture the attention of today’s consumers.”