Yogurt and sausages may not be the most naturally associated pairing, but JBB in Poland is pioneering the duo.

Although a fairly uncommon strategy for meat brands, it could help to boost their nutritional profile, add new flavour notes and potentially improve digestibility. Using yogurt in meat marinades and sauces is, however, far more established.

JBB launches yogurt-enriched sausages

JBBBrands are increasingly taking note of the more health-conscious consumer in Poland. In order to appeal to this group and to drive engagement amongst the more open-minded and novelty-seeking younger demographics, JBB – a Polish meat processor – has launched children’s sausages enriched with plain yogurt. This could be viewed as a fairly niche approach, given that growing numbers of meat brands are now joining the lactose-free movement. JBB’s new sausages are made from chicken and pork and contain 11% natural yogurt. Moreover, they are free from gluten and feature a protein claim ‘Źródło białka na każdy dzień’ (‘an everyday source of protein’).

Yogurt as a nutrient-rich ingredient

Adding yogurt to meat products and explicitly calling this out on the label is a rare strategy, yet using yogurt as a wholesome ingredient in other categories is not. For example, a couple of meat brands in Germany have also experimented with enriching their formulations with yogurt, including Bernard Matthews Oldenburg Balance Geflügel-Fleischwurst mit Joghurt (Poultry Meat Slices with Yogurt), Kff Pura Natura Bio Wiener Würstchen (Wiener Sausages) and Rewe Beste Wahl Delikatess Paprika-Lyoner (Delicatessen Bell Pepper Lyoner Slices). Mixing in yogurt could resonate with health-driven and experimental consumers of all ages as it could offer a milder and more original taste as well as provide extra nutritional value. It could also help to improve digestibility.

 

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Whilst using yogurt in meat products is sparse, there is definitely more activity around using yogurt in marinades or sauces (particularly those inspired by ethnic cuisines), as seen in the examples of Delmart Kure Tandoori (Chicken Tandoori) in the Czech Republic, Woolworths Food Slimmer’s Choice Yoghurt and Chilli Marinated Chicken Breast Fillets in South Africa and Marc Angelo Souvlaki Pork Sirloin Kabobs in Canada.

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High protein claims gain traction

With protein being recognised as an on-trend ingredient, the pace of innovation around the use of high protein claims is soaring across the global market as well as in Poland. For example, of all food launches with high protein claims introduced in Poland between January 2014 and October 2015, 9% were accounted for by poultry products and 3% by both meat products as well as meat snacks. Of those, 20% were explicitly targeted at children.

There appears to be more opportunity to explore ‘rich in protein’ descriptors as the understanding of protein and its function is high amongst Polish parents, standing at 84%. Protein is recognised as essential for the proper growth and development of children, therefore high protein foods (products naturally rich in proteins, as well as fortified options) are likely to enjoy increased interest.

A combination of health benefits offers further appeal

Despite their niche positioning, JBB’s yogurt sausages for children are an interesting example showcasing ongoing efforts to appeal to the finicky palates of children. This strategy does also help to create a point of differentiation in the crowded marketplace as the Polish meat industry is heavily impacted by such mainstream brands as Sokołów, Morliny and Krakus.

The heavyweight meat brands are, however, exploring different routes other than bolder flavour and ingredient innovation, devoting extra attention to elevating their health and wellness credentials (to connect with health-driven parents) and engaging children through fun packaging designs. The most common approach is to offer a combination of health claims, including high protein, low fat and low sodium as well as free from phosphates, MSG, gluten, lactose, artificial colourants and preservatives. Highlighting a high meat content and a mild taste is also a common technique.

Honorata Jarocka is Food and Drink Analyst for Poland at Mintel, focusing on food categories with a particular interest in health and wellness trends, as well as product innovation. With almost a decade of experience in market research, Honorata has analysed various sectors in Poland, including packaged food, retailing, beauty and personal care, home care, tissue and hygiene; consumer health, tobacco, pet food and pet care products.

 

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