Grab-and-go profit potential

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).

Profit Potential

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.

2016-06-20 08:26:56

“They’re eggs Jim, but not as we know them!”—Or are they?

Anyone else a Star Trek fan? Another new film that will continue the franchise is being released this summer. I know I was first in line to see a new cast of young actors breathe fresh life into a classic TV series. And I’m happy yet another generation can relish the adventures of Spock, Jim, Uhura and the rest of the crew of the Starship Enterprise.

What does this have to do with eggs? Just like movie concepts and story lines, foods and ingredients can experience resurgence as they are discovered by an emerging generation. Such is the case with hard-boiled eggs.

However, just like movies require a good plot, food also has to fit certain requirements in order to retain or regain popularity.

We recently conducted a study about hard-boiled eggs to discover how they fit into the emerging protein snack pack market. We found they align with consumers’ search for appetizing, healthy and convenient snacks. One millennial respondent wrote specifically on their survey, “They’re fast, easy and good for me. What’s not to like?”

I heartily agree. Hard-boiled eggs are an affordable protein option and low in fat compared to other protein types commonly included in snack packs. One large egg contains about 70 calories, along with six grams of protein and a host of additional vitamins and minerals.

The time is ripe for a protein pack revamp that includes hard-boiled eggs, especially considering the fact that survey respondents indicate they are weary of shakes and bars and would welcome innovation in the protein snack pack segment.

Our research revealed marketing insights that might help provide some guidance for product development. Respondents said the following could help improve on-the-go consumption of hard-boiled eggs:

  • Portability-focused packaging
  • The addition of flavor
  • Overt nutritional benefit communication on labels and branding

We’ll leave packaging to the experts, however when it comes to flavor, we have a host of ideas for dips, sauces or spice mixtures that pair up perfectly with hard-boiled eggs. Custom spice mixtures or dips can offer a touch of exotic, ethnic flair or remain traditional. But the fact of the matter is, hard-boiled eggs provide the perfect canvas to introduce almost any flavor concept consumers might find appealing.

For a list of flavor ideas to help spark some creative juices, click this link for spice blends and dip ideas we created for school foodservice programs. The flavor ideas and spice combinations would work just as well within a protein snack pack or meal kit for the grocery or C-store. And tune in to the next blog post to find out which “Protein Snack Box” concept hit the sweet spot for product development. For more detailed results from the study and/or nutritional information concerning each individual egg size, contact me at (847) 296-7043.

2016-06-06 13:02:53