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.
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.