Summertime and warm weather beckons those who enjoy spending time outdoors. When our frantic schedules ease up a bit and offer the chance for some recreation, the last thing we want to do is spend a lot of time with food preparation. And to fuel summer activities, the perfect grab-and-go snack pack or mini meal will include a protein component like hard-boiled eggs.
The advantages and benefits of hard-boiled eggs are many and varied. For one thing, they can be marketed alongside other refrigerated single-serve protein snacks across all channels. Secondly, for a consumer population grown mostly weary of bars and shakes, hard-boiled eggs hold appeal due to their fresh taste, trusted nutritional credentials and portable format.
We recently completed a marketing study about hard-boiled eggs that focused on their nutritional and snacking benefits, while focusing also on their affordability when compared to other protein-rich foodstuffs. Eggs enjoy the halo effect of being seen as a “real food,” and as not being processed or high in fat, like many other protein-based snacks now in the market. Hard-boiled eggs are naturally portable, allowing for consumption throughout the day and on the run.
For the benefit of the product developer, we created a set of “Hard-Boiled Egg Fresh Protein Snacking Concepts,” essentially a newly imagined line of products inspired by the survey and rigorous research of the study’s respondents. In addition to our own concepts we invited respondents to create their own ultimate and appealing “Protein Snack Box” for three different occasions (snack, meal replacement and breakfast—the hottest meal segment in the marketplace at the moment).
For pre-designed concepts, the two-egg protein snack pack with seasoning and a three compartment “protein power snack box” (containing hard-boiled egg, cheese portion and roasted edamame) were by far the favorites of participants in the concept test portion of the study.
Communicating the protein benefits of eggs and adding flavor made the snack pack and three-compartment power snack box winners in terms of the biggest earnings potential. They demonstrated high purchase intent, uniqueness, frequency and draw—with draw meaning a person would go to an outlet just for this item. The increase in both purchase intent and uniqueness was significant because these two measures usually are in inverse relationship to each other. High uniqueness and high purchase intent designates a “sweet spot” for new product concept development.
When we allowed consumers to design their own optimal protein pack, we found that the eating occasion, breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack, drove selection of the contents—the number and types of items paired with a hard-boiled egg. For snacking, consumers preferred three overall components and for other occasions, three to four.
This means manufacturers can look to expand the varieties of fresh protein snack kits in the marketplace, optimize the number and type of components and offer consumers an innovative entry into the fresh protein snacking arena. For more detailed study results, please feel free to contact me at (847) 296-7043.