Oscar Mayer P3 – Lunchables for Millennials?

Oscar Mayer P3 Turkey

Oscar Mayer has a new product line called P3, which stands for Portable Protein Pack. In a cute website (proteinproteinprotein.com) and commercials aimed at health conscious millennials, the Kraft subsidiary is trying to steal market share from the booming healthy bars business:

Before there were powders, bars, and goos, there was meat, cheese, and nuts. Introducing the P3 Portable Protein Pack. It’s not rocket science. It’s not even Chemistry 101. It’s just 13 grams of protein from food, proven effective by thousands of years of human existence.

The messages are clear:

  • we’ve got protein
  • our food is real – it’s something your great grandparents and their ancestors ate
  • bars don’t stack up

This is clever marketing, but let’s see if the products itself stacks up.

The snack pack is heavy on plastic use. It’s got three compartments, one for each of the meat, nut, and cheese snacklets. The 2 ounce portion is relatively low in calories – only 160. When you consider that nuts and cheese usually are high in fat, this means we are talking about a relatively small portion. Indeed, 90 of the calories are from fat – about 11 grams worth. A 160 calorie snack that properly balances fats, proteins, and carbs can stave off hunger for hours. Here we have a “low-carb” version:

  • 13 grams of protein
  • 11 grams of fat
  • 3 grams of carbohydrates

From an ingredient perspective, there are fewer bad ingredients here than in many of Oscar Mayer’s deli meats. For example, there is no use of sodium nitrate, rather celery juice, which is a natural preservative; it’s more costly too.

Oscar Mayer P3 Ingredients

The sodium level is very high. For just 160 calories, you’ll use up 420mg of sodium, 18% of the daily maximum allowance.

How does this product compare to bars?

Take a look at this KIND bar: Fruit + Nut Bar, Protein, Almond, Walnut & Macadamia. It has 10 grams of protein. Some are from the nut mix, but the product also uses soy protein isolate, something your grandmother did not eat. In this respect, P3 is the better option. KIND, like most bars, tends to sweet, and thus has a higher carb (sugar) content, 13 grams (7 grams sugars).

Bottom line: while P3 is no health food, it’s certainly not as bad as the Lunchables line.

Want to know how P3 and other products rate nutritionally? Get the free Fooducate app for your iPhone or Android.

  • Louise

    Pretty sure it should say “fewer” bad ingredients (not “less”). Thanks for the review.

    • http://www.fooducate.com/ Fooducate

      Thanks for the grammar quickie!

  • Lauren

    This looks like its gluten free, in which case there are a lot of people who would be happy to try it out.

    • FedEmpNJ

      Careful – we checked with the Oscar Mayer consumer line and they can’t confirm that it is. The woman said some of their products use “natural flavors” which she says contain rye.

  • Jason Harrison

    I’m pretty sure that celery juice provides the same sodium nitrates that are as the artificial sodium nitrates. Thus linked to colon cancer. Not sure that my grandmother would recognise a number of the other ingredients. Cellulose powder? Cherry powder?

    Certainly “not as bad” as lunchables, but an unnecessary product.

  • timlockk

    Natamycin? No thanks.

  • Aria Gonzalez

    They look seriously overpriced for what you get. I’d definitely buy one if I was starving and needed something convenient but for everyday use? No way.

  • Mel

    Why are lunchables so bad for you? I eat them often(like 4 times a week) because they are easy and quick to pack for school. Any other healthier options?

  • anon69


  • Deez

    I work at the factory that packages these over the months I’ve watched people cough sneeze eat the product off the production line not wash their hands. I would never purchase these or recommend them knowing what happens in this factory and there are a lot of people I’ll currently working with this stuff as we speak I really hope there isn’t an outbreak because I’m sure all this product is going onto a truck soon not to mention the meat that a guy committed next to like a month ago I know that stuff has already left the building