LOVELAND, COLO. — In January, Grass Fed Foods began rolling out its new kids’ line of blended products as well as bison blended product at retail in volume.
Products in the kids’ line include a mini corndog, a hot dog and a meatball. Products are composed of about 80% meat and 20% vegetables like mushrooms, squash and carrots.
Based on feedback Grass Fed Foods got from retailers including Costco, Kroger and Whole Foods at a fall event at one of the company’s Montana producer partner’s ranches, Matador Ranch & Cattle, demand should be super-strong out of the gate, said Jeff Tripician, Grass Fed Foods’ president and .chief executive officer.
“We had 80 guests, more than we thought we’d get, and what we found is that interest was greater within each customer,” he said. “For instance, we had five people from Whole Foods, three from Costco. I think that’s a great sign. To me it shows the depth of interest, and that’s very encouraging.”
Stretching 380,000 acres from the Beaverhead Valley through the Blacktail Range and into the Centennial Valley, the Matador ranch is teeming with wildlife, cold trout streams and healthy soil and grasslands, Tripician said.
“A working ranch, caring for 12,000 head of cattle outside of Dillon, Montana, Matador Ranch & Cattle is honored to uphold and enhance the high standards in agricultural and environmental practices while advancing new and innovative projects on the ground. Every aspect of regenerative cattle ranching was on display from carbon sequestration to methane reduction, to High Intensity Rotational Grazing, to increasing organic matter in soil — and each topic was presented by an expert in their field. It was an incredibly impactful and informative learning experience.”
Catering to different demographics
Kids who have tried Grass Fed Foods’ products often say they taste better than their all-meat counterparts, Tripician said.
“It’s because it’s milder,” he said. “Highly-seasoned is not what kids like.”
Retailers at the fall event told Grass Fed Foods that many meatless protein alternatives just weren’t selling well enough to validate keeping them on store shelves.
“I think they burned themselves on the stove of alternative meatless products,” Tripician said. “I think this is a really exciting moment for us and for them.”
Grass Fed Foods’ blended products have much less fat and sodium than their conventional counterparts and are chockful of nutrients, Tripician said.
Coming up for Grass Fed Foods, likely in the second quarter of 2024, is a line of blended products for older consumers, where the product philosophy will be the opposite as the one for the kids’ line. Because taste buds dull as we get older, the product for older people will have more seasoning than a typical product.
It’s often better, Tripician said, for older Americans to improve their health through food than medicine.
“A lot of seniors are told, ‘You can’t eat anything, go buy some medicine.’”