Man Cave Foods and the "craft meat" niche
Given the growth in popularity for craft beer, is it any surprise that “craft burgers” would be next? That’s the goal of Man Cave Foods, which has grown from selling its products at a farmers’ market to become one of the fastest-growing retail brands around. The company’s line of gourmet sausages and burger patties are designed to stand out from the competition, with an emphasis on creative flavors and quality meats.
“Our burgers are designed to give a premium craft experience that you normally find in cool new burger joints,” explains Josh Wark, director of marketing. “Our Renegade Chef's Blend is a mix of sirloin, short-rib, and brisket. We want to deliver an experience that your mind won't believe what your mouth is telling it."
Wark notes that the retail burger category hasn’t seen many truly new products.
“We've seen some companies try to create something new, but it's always the same boring stuff — add a new cheese, put bacon on it, but no one is truly innovating,” he says.
“We focus on the burger itself. We've created a line of burgers that you can eat with or without toppings, or with or without a bun. Premium craft is more than just a logo or a fun name. What we choose each of our ingredients with care,” he says.
The company’s line of fresh sausages has experimented with bold flavors, such as a Sriracha Chicken Sausage or a Bacon, Beef & Cheddar Pork Bratwurst. Wark explains that the success of the sausages inspired the company to expand its craft meat approach into burger patties.
“It's a really cool uncharted space that no one really knows how to navigate,” he says.
In addition to a line of Angus beef patties that include a 50/50 Beef/Bacon patty and a BBQ & Cheddar Patty, Man Cave Foods has added a Jalapeno & Queso Fresco Turkey Patty and a selection of ground poultry products. Items like a Sweet Thai Style Chicken Chub or a Ground Turkey with Bacon Blend Chub will help guide consumers on their future home culinary experiences, Wark says.
Man Cave Foods started with a booth at the Minneapolis Farmers Market, where its creative flavors attracted a strong local following. Since taking the brand nationwide, the company’s products can be found in hundreds of stores across the Midwest and West Coast, including Safeway/Albertsons, Food Lion, Kroger, Ahold/Delhaize and many other large regional players.
Wark says that the long-term goal of the company is not to be just another food brand. Man Cave Foods wants to be a lifestyle brand.
"We want people to share the experiences they have and lifestyles they live while enjoying our products," Wark says. "It's more than just a moment in time where your mouth meets greatness; it's about taking that feeling and spreading the joy with the rest of the world."