Hormel offers its rationale for REV

by Keith Nunes
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AUSTIN, MINN. — The Hormel Foods Corp. has high hopes its new REV snack wraps will achieve broad market acceptance and join the company’s roster of profitable retail brands. Hormel REV features meat and cheese wrapped in a flatbread and has 15 grams or more of protein per serving.

Steve Venenga, vice-president of meat products marketing for Hormel, said the new product line is designed for be a whenever, wherever product. Mr. Venenga spoke June 26 during Hormel’s 2013 investor day.

“Thirty-seven per cent of all food consumed has no prep, no mess and takes no time,” Mr. Venenga said. “That is a really big number, 37%”

Noting that yogurt and snack bars are foods “of the decade,” Mr. Venenga added that “8 of the 10 fastest growing foods are eaten cold, (and) 90% of all snacks are eaten while doing another activity. So, this is clearly on trend with consumers.”

Much like Greek yogurt, Hormel Foods is attempting to leverage consumer interest in products featuring protein with REV.

“Consumers tell us that they understand that protein has these benefits: Protein is clean and simple, protein is affordable health, it is functional nutrition,” Mr. Venenga said. “These are the kinds of things we hear back when consumers think of the benefits of protein.”

For retailers, Hormel Foods believes REV will help their lunchmeat sections reach a new demographic — teenagers.

“So if you look at the lunchmeat case right now what you find is a lot of products that are on trend, which is fantastic; it’s a very highly penetrated category of the store,” Mr. Venenga said. “But right now what it is lacking is teen snacks; there is no really teen targeted snack in the category right now.

“… We think we can fill this gap, help grow the category with this product line by offering this relevant solution that has this proprietary science that allows us to offer a complete solution in the wrap. So the wrap itself, once you open it up it is fully done, it is complete. And this complete solution then offers real ingredients, real protein for the sustaining energy that those teenagers are looking for.”

REV was launched 10 weeks ago and Mr. Venenga said its consumer appeal is broader than Hormel anticipated.

It appeals to “guys, gals, kids, teens (and) adults,” he said. “I know we sell them in our corporate office and there are plenty of non-teenagers eating these items as well. It is just a quick, protein-based snack for lots of consumers.”

While educators who frown on eating during class may not be happy, Mr. Venenga said Hormel has found the product has an additional attribute — “It is quiet food,” he said. “You can eat it in class and it doesn't wrinkle. You can open it up and no one notices that you are eating it.”

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