Asda will next week begin to stock a meat-based snack product that its suppliers believe will create a £20m-a-year sub-category.
PMM Foods, established in November, has won exclusive UK rights to market Snakstix, a low-fat poultry protein targeting “fridge raiders” and the lunchbox market.
Snakstix, which are similar in principle to fish sticks, are manufactured using a patented technology called Myofibre from French company Protial.
The technique involves totally defatting high-muscle density poultry meat to create a rolled product with a texture described by chairman Ron Porteous as “jellified, soft but elastic”. Snakstix are set to go on
sale in Asda in a 225g foil bag, to create an impression of freshness, merchandised chilled near ready-to-eat meat products. One bag (rsp: £1.78) contains 20 Snakstix, flowpacked in pairs.
Sold with a dipping tub of Heinz Tomato Ketchup, the Snakstiks are described on pack as “roast chicken flavour poultry sticks” although they are made of meat from the neck of turkeys. Porteous insisted the product would not mislead shoppers. “If we had called them ChickStix, then perhaps it would have been misleading. But it clearly says ‘chicken flavour’.”
Porteous said PMM would develop the range to include new flavours of Snakstix, such as Indian and Tex-Mex.
Asda is understood to be rolling Snakstix out across its entire estate, but as yet none of its rivals looks set to follow suit.
Porteous, who until last June was deputy chairman of fish company Macrae Food Group, said he was hopeful Morrisons would come on board, but said he had not yet spoken to Tesco or Sainsbury.
The product is already on sale in France, where the Snakstix that are sold in the UK will be manufactured for the foreseeable future.
Richard Clarke