The growth of the meat snack category has demonstrated that consumers are driven to meat in many hand-held forms — in the traditional jerky or meat stick variety or in the new meat bars. Expresco Foods, a Montreal, Quebec processor with a particular expertise in grilled meats, is banking that consumers will want to snack with skewers as well.

Earlier this year, the company introduced ProSticks, grilled chicken skewers sold in snack-sized pouches. Each pack provides 23g of protein, and the line of chicken snacks comes in Mediterranean, Sweet Sriracha and Chipotle flavors.

Pam Salzman, director of marketing and communications, said that the ProSticks were inspired by today’s ingredient-conscious, nutrition-minded, on-the-go consumer.

“In releasing ProSticks we considered three major attributes, including convenience as a grab-and-go, no-prep snack, health and the desire for more artisanal experiences,” she says.

Grocery trends show that consumers are willing to invest shopping dollars into foods that offer convenience. The ProSticks snacks allow shoppers to enjoy skewers of chicken without the hassle that can come with preparing them. The fact that they are minimally processed, compared to the meat stick or meat bar, also helps to differentiate them from their meat snack competition.

Salzman says that the flavors were designed to please consumers’ appetite for flavorful products.

“With the rise of food trucks, shoppers are searching for quality food that both satisfies and excites their palates. We bring bold flavor to our high quality chicken breast, inspired by the flavorful and handheld dining experiences found at today’s trendiest food trucks,” she says.

Expresco Logo

Expresco is a 30-year old processor, and Salzman says that the development of on-trend protein products is well within the company’s core capabilities. Along with a foodservice market that provides grilled chicken satay, skewers, strips and more, Expresco also offers frozen retail skewers as part of its West End Cuisine brand.

“Since 1987, we have been committed to creating top quality, artisanal and convenient grilled protein meal and snack solutions with the help of our state-of-the-art grilling technology,” she says.