There’s one absolute certainty in life (other than death, taxes and an overload of social media content) that we can all count on: Women have way more affinity for researching and purchasing “special” products marketed “just for them” than men EVER will.
No matter the category – clothing, shoes, furniture, food, beverages, kitchen appliances – women develop preferences, create wish lists and accumulate multiple catalogs. It’s all to help them refine and target the many “special” purchases they regularly and religiously make.
And don’t get me started on window treatments, throw pillows, duvets, coverlets, shams and bed skirts — stuff that most guys couldn’t describe or define even if there was a cash reward for the right answer.
That’s why it’s surprising that someone hasn’t already come up with a new twist on marketing meat products: Target a special line “for women-only.”
Now, that’s apparently underway.
As reported in Global Meat News, a Polish meat company, ZM Henryk Kania, is launching two low-calorie meat-based snack items: a protein bar and what is described as a “chicken kabanos,” which is a Polish specialty, a thin-diameter, smoked dry sausage — essentially a meat snack stick, but typically packaged in two-foot lengths.
The products are being marketed in the convenience/snack food category, but with positioning designed to appeal to women, thanks to their high-protein, low-salt, low-carb formulations. And of course, there’s the absence of additives, such as monosodium glutamate.
That last feature might seem obvious, but whether in Poland or the United States, only women care about what’s on the ingredient statement of a meat snack stick.
We’ve all seen various ads for beef jerky or meat snacks. Do they ever mention the ingredients, other than there’s lots of meat? It’s all about flavor, taste and convenience. You’d have to search the streets for weeks to find a guy who would stroll into a c-store, grab a handful of meat sticks, then ask the clerk, “Say, do you have a nutritional profile for this item posted somewhere in the store?”
Not gonna happen.
Snacking’s Here to Stay
Of course, most women don’t even think about eating meat snack sticks, much less actually purchasing them or inquiring about what’s included (or not included) on the product’s ingredient panel.
But the VP in charge of marketing Henryk Kania’s “Maestro” brand product line told Global Meat News that she believes the women-only products will be “well-received by the target demographic.”
“The snack trend is very clear, and in our opinion, it is a promising market segment,” Dominika Rąba told the magazine.
Like all marketing people (who are in charge of a new launch, that is), Ms. Rąba is confident that there is nutritional value with the new line’s low-fat/low-salt profile, and the packaging will no doubt offer smaller portions that are appealing to women who adjust their diets according to the all-important total calorie count.
Which most men couldn’t calculate if there were keys to a new car waiting for anyone who could.
One opportunity beyond the low-fat/high-protein positioning and the convenience of handheld, get-and-go items that meat snacks can easily accommodate is the potential of developing and marketing functional foods, that is, snacks with nutraceuticals, healthy additives (like pomegranates or blueberries) or refined plant proteins that reduce a product’s calories-from-fat percentage on its nutritional panel.
Snacking’s not going away, and there is reliable market research to indicate that women are drawn to the convenience of individually packaged, ready-to-eat foods for the same reasons as men: Who wants to spend time preparing meals — especially for breakfast or lunch — when there are hundreds of (relatively) nutritious options available in every supermarket on Earth?
Nobody has to convince most men to grab something that can be peeled and eaten.
We’ll soon see if women are as easily persuaded.
Editor’s Note: The opinions in this commentary are those of Dan Murphy, a veteran journalist and commentator.