Sweets & Snacks Expo 2017

Thanasi Foods launches new jerky and seeds snacks after ConAgra acquisition

By Douglas Yu contact

- Last updated on GMT

Thanasi Foods, acquired by ConAgra in March, is launching two products at Sweets & Snacks Expo this year. Pic: Thanasi Foods
Thanasi Foods, acquired by ConAgra in March, is launching two products at Sweets & Snacks Expo this year. Pic: Thanasi Foods

Related tags: Sausage, Flavor, New product development

Thanasi Foods will unveil Duke's Cajun-style andouille smoked shorty sausages and Bigs king-size seeds at the Sweets & Snacks Expo this week in Chicago.

This is the company’s first new product announcement after it was recently acquired by ConAgra Brands​ for an undisclosed amount. The transaction is expected to be finalized by the summer of 2017.

Duke’s new sausages is an extension of its popular shorty line, which contains 7 g of protein and 1 g of sugar per serving. It also has no added hormones, nitrates or liquid smoke, according to the company.

“Our Smoked Shorty Sausages deliver on the growing consumer demand for high-protein, low-sugar, premium snacks,”​ Thanasi Foods’ CEO and founder, Justin Havlick, said. “In addition to high-quality ingredients, we’re delivering on taste, flavor and convenience.”

IRI data that includes US multi-outlets with convenience stores for the past 52 weeks ending April 16, 2017, showed that Duke’s is the top-selling smoked sausage brand in the US with grocery sales up over 170% compared to last year.

12% more seeds

In another news, Thanasi Foods’ Bigs brand announced the introduction of its original in-shell sunflower seeds in a king-size version.

The product will be packaged in six-ounce gusseted bags and contains 12% more seeds than the brand’s 5.35-ounce bags. It is also made without artificial flavors or preservatives and delivers 6 g of protein and 3 g of fiber per serving.

“The timing for the launch of our new all-American king-size product coincides perfectly with the summer selling season,"​ Havlick commented. “As consumers look for more convenient, high-protein snacks, we will continue bringing new product offerings to the marketplace.”

The Bigs brand has over 100,000 points of distribution across all channels, with plans for continued expansion throughout 2017, said the company.

Thanasi Foods, which is currently operated as a subsidiary of ConAgra Brands out of Boulder, Colorado, told BakeryandSnacks that ConAgra has not been involved in new product development so far, but “there will be significant opportunity for collaboration”​ in the future. 

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