Jack Links Jerky

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Jack Links Jerky New Products

Jack Link's expanded it's A.M. and Extra Tender jerky lines in the last 12 months.

Below you will find a deep dive of my findings.

NEW PRODUCT LINES 2017

As early as February 2017, Jack Link's announced that it has started expanding its product lines to attract new consumers. Around this time, the company made 3 new introductions: Jack Link’s A.M. and Extra Tender Beef Jerky (both originally set to launch in March 2017), and Lorissa’s Kitchen, a sister brand which focuses on softer jerky.

Along with the announcement, Jack Link's opened a new showroom and office in Minneapolis in line with its campaign to reach a broader audience. JL also worked with celebrity athletes to market its products.

By May 2017, Jack Link's rolled out the promised new products.

■ Jack Link's A.M. label launched 4 new bacon and sausage items:
• Original breakfast sausage
• Hot and Spicy breakfast sausage
Applewood breakfast bacon
• Maple-flavored breakfast bacon

■ Jack Link's Extra Tender line are:
• Original Beef Steak Tips
• Teriyaki Beef Steak Strips
• Sweet & Spicy Beef Steak Strips
• Peppered Beef Steak Strips

These products are still featured in the "New Products" section at the bottom of Jack Link's homepage.

Sister brand Lorissa's Kitchen launched a brand campaign on national TV across the US in March 2017.

2018 NEW PRODUCTS

This 2018, Jack Link's said it will launch the following new products:
Lorissa's Kitchen Beef Sticks
• Jack Link's Cold Crafted
• Jack Link's Pork Rinds
• Jack Link's Multi-Packs
• Jack Link's Steak Strips

These new product categories were mentioned by Jack Link's as early as October 2017. JL President Troy Link said that the new products will be rolled out in convenience stores first, and then in other channels.

COMPETITORS

To keep the request within scope, I have focused on searching for new Jack Link's products using a press search within 2017. I suggest a follow-up Competitive Landscape request for an in-depth comparison of Jack Link's with 3-4 major competitors which covers products, pricing, target market and competitive advantage.

However, I found that competitor Slim Jim has also made a move to reach out to consumers with premium tastes. In October 2017, Meat+Poultry reported that Slim Jim launched 3 new flavors for its Slim Jim Premium Smoked Sticks under Conagra Brands Inc.:

• Smokehouse Original
• Thai Style Chili
• Memphis Style BBQ

MARKET SIZE AND GROWTH

I also found helpful information regarding market size and growth for the beef jerky category.

Meat Poultry.com reported that the beef jerky snack category realized over $870 million in sales in 12 months ending in February 2017. This reflects a 9.4% growth compared to last year's performance. In comparison, all other dried meat snacks had over $510 million sales in the same period ending February 2017, registering 1.4% growth.

CONCLUSION

To wrap it up, Jack Link's launched new products under it's A.M. and Extra Tender lines in the last 12 months. The company also promised more new product launches this 2018 in new categories such as cold meat snacks and pork skin items.
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How is Jack Links Jerky adjusting to Millenials? Sponsorships, Social Media, Digital ads, Mobile ads, and apps

Jack Link's Jerky is using various platforms and partnerships to reach out to millenials and market their products. These methods include the long-standing Sasquatch campaign, as well as sponsorships from athletes, a brick and mortar store, mobile app partnerships, video ads and TV commercials, and heavy use of social media. Below you will find a breakdown of the practices that Jack Link's Jerky uses to market their products to younger crowds, and the thought-process behind them.

Social Media

Jack Link's Jerky regularly uses social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to post photos and videos to their followers. The content on each platform is very similar to the others — Sasquatch and #TheEdge campaigns are heavily run through the sites. On Facebook, Jack Link's posts the "Workin' Out with Sasquatch" videos, among other Sasquatch-related posts. They also use Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to market their connection with natural disaster cleanups across the country. On Twitter, the posts are just about the same as those on Facebook, just to a different audience. Jack Link's posts a "Fan of the Week" that highlights an individual and their enjoyment of the jerky brand on both Facebook and Twitter. The brand's use of Instagram more heavily highlights individual follower's excitement about the protein snack.

Mobile App Partnership

Jack Link's Jerky has partnered with the mobile sports app, "theScore," to deliver facts about the brand to users. Within the app, there is a "Snackable Facts" section that allows users to learn about the brand, as well as watch related videos, and even visit the company website. This partnership specifically targets baseball fans, by giving them information while checking scores in the app.

Wild Side — Brick & Mortar Store

On November 15, 2017, Jack Link's Jerky opened their first physical store to the public, called "Wild Side". The store is located on the skyway level of the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The store allows customers to buy and test new products that are not available at any other retail store, or even online.

Campaigns and Sponsorships

Jack Link's Jerky has been using the Sasquatch campaign since 2006, adding to it sponsorships with major league athletes over the years. As of right now, in hopes of gaining younger athlete consumers, the brand has partnered with Clay Matthews III and Odell Beckham Jr. These men are often featured in videos such as, "Workin' Out with Sasquatch," "The Edge," and "Muscles" to show how the protein-snack is great for workouts and rebuilding torn muscles. Specifics about this will be detailed in the next section. Jack Link's is also beginning a sponsorship with NBA player Karl-Anthony Towns from the Minnesota Timberwolves. Currently, the use of the hashtag #SlamDunkProtein is in play as a mobile contest through online video entries. The company states that they are, "Hoping that this campaign will help to snatch up valuable younger mobile consumers who are more likely to see social media ads than television ads." There will soon be a workout video with Sasquatch and Karl-Anthony Towns launched online and on the following stations: TNT, Adult Swim, FX, YouTube, Hulu, Funny or Die.

In addition, Jack Link's will soon begin a new, national advertising campaign with Lorissa's Kitchen, a protein-snack kitchen. The goal with this partnership will be to revamp the jerky product and show that it is healthier than most people assume it to be.

Video Ads and TV Commercials

Perhaps the most widely used method to reach younger consumers, Jack Link's heavily uses ads in places like YouTube and on television to market their Sasquatch campaign and sponsorships.

On YouTube, the brand has launched their #The Edge campaign that features their partnership with Odell Beckham Jr. This is a simple yet comedic video that grabs the viewer's attention and shows them "the edge" that they can have during workouts by consuming the protein snack. Also a part of #TheEdge campaign is another video called "Muscles" that markets how the protein in the jerky snack is great at helping to repair torn muscles from workouts, and of course, the video includes Sasquatch. A fake news broadcast video is also on YouTube and features Clay Matthews at a practice football session with Sasquatch. Although just a video for entertainment, it continues to support the Sasquatch campaign that has caught on with so many viewers over the years.

Jack Link's is also beginning to build a new "Versus" campaign that will air on Discovery, Adult Swim, TruTV, and TBS television stations. These ads keep things light by demonstrating a set up of a polygraph between Jack Link's Jerky and a protein bar to show which has more protein for fewer calories. Similar concepts are in other videos through the use of a speed gun, microscope, protein detector, and laser light show. These ads all focus on the high-protein content of the meat-snack in comparison to other competitor snacks, such as Greek yogurt and nuts.

Conclusion

Through the use of the above platforms, Jack Link's Jerky is greatly broadening their consumer audience. With such a large scale of platforms to use — social media to major league athletes and more — the brand is likely to influence the younger audience that they are aiming to reach. Although they continue to start new campaigns with other brands and athletes, the company still holds true to their values of producing an honest snack and comedic Sasquatch ads.
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