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The market for meat snacks has been characterized for a long time by saturation, minimal innovation, and a mass market approach based around heavily processed, cheap and unhealthy products. However, the rising interest in protein-driven and ancient ("paleo") diets has created a new lease of life in the category as a premium market for more artisanal, creative, and healthy meat snacks has emerged.
- EPIC Provisions was established in 2013 by Taylor Collins and Katie Forrest. As competitive athletes and former vegans, they were seeking to develop products that offered a convenient way of adding nutritious animal protein to their diets. They sought to market a natural, authentic, premium meat snack that would be original in the marketplace.
- EPIC demonstrated that it was possible to leverage the tired meat snack category and, within it, develop an entirely new "natural" sub-category. This underlines the possibility of breaking with clichés and low expectations associated with jerky and generating premiumization opportunities.
- EPIC has also demonstrated that such products can be leveraged to become part of, and exemplify, a lifestyle (i.e. the paleo diet approach) that is not only seen as healthy but is also contemporary and aspirational (having educated middle-class appeal). The lesson for others is that protein-strong meat snacks can transcend their "low-rent" past and be revitalized in the present market.
"Success Case Study: EPIC Bars" is part of Canadean's Successes and Failures research. It examines the details of and reasons behind the success of EPIC Bars, a range of premium dried meat snack bars from EPIC Provisions, a start-up recently acquired by General Mills. It delivers the critical "what?", "why?", and "so what?" analysis to teach you crucial lessons that increase your chances of launching successful products.
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