Bob Tullio’s Product Perspective: A Closer Look At Products, Equipment And Services That Will Impact An Operator’s Business

Sept. 16, 2019

The Product: Mighty Spark Chicken Snack Sticks

Five Flavors: Honey Jalapeño, Original, Black Bean & Chipotle, Cranberry & Ginger, BBQ Seasoned Sweet Potato


After hearing from a micro market operator that a new chicken protein snack was flying off the shelves, I asked the people at Mighty Spark to send me some samples. I wanted to see for myself what was behind this new “high velocity” product.

As much as I love meat snacks, when four boxes of Mighty Spark's Chicken Snack Sticks arrived at my home, I followed the advice of Jim Engel, Mighty Spark’s Brand Manager, who urged me not to eat them all myself.

"Share them – see what people think – you’ll be impressed,” said Engel.

So, on a recent Saturday morning, I handed out Mighty Spark Snack Sticks to about 20 golfers around the first tee at my golf club. Every one of them, except four female golfers, chomped down on the snack sticks immediately. The demographic of the golfers was perfect, ranging from 24 to 60+ years old. Clearly, protein snacks have strong appeal – morning, noon and night. The ladies ate their snack sticks during the round and delivered rave reviews in the clubhouse.

Across the board, the golfers loved them, especially the Honey Jalapeño, which happens to be the No. 1 seller. One female golfer noted that she could taste the black beans in the Black Bean & Chipotle.

Since most everyone these days seems to be on one low carb diet or another, the Mighty Spark Chicken Snack Sticks were a huge hit with the golfers even before they tasted them. As if they had “plucked” them from a micro market shelf, they studied the packaging and read the label. The fact that they are low calorie and made from chicken was a bonus. A couple others immediately wanted to know if they could invest in the brand!

One golfer noticed the words “GIVE BACK” on the packaging and inquired about the donated meals. They were impressed when they found out that Mighty Spark gives away a meal for every three sticks that are sold. The company is focused on fighting “Food Insecurity,” a condition that is defined as “not being sure where your next meal is coming from.” Meals benefit local food banks, school lunch programs, orphanages, disaster relief, individuals and families in need. Chelsea Schulz, VP of Marketing at Mighty Spark, predicted that the company will be sending quite a few meals to the Bahamas following the recent hurricane.

If there was any doubt whether the Mighty Spark Chicken Snack Sticks were a big hit, it was erased one week later around that same first tee, where at least twenty golfers had only one question for me: “Where are the chicken sticks?”

Do Mighty Spark Chicken Snack Sticks make sense for operators?

For vending, pantry and micro market operators, this is a product that delivers new dollars – which is as good as it gets in the convenience services business. Consider the positives:

· Mighty Spark is part of the fast-growing meat snack category

· Great flavor and creative selections

· Competitively priced – the $2.00 to $2.50 selling price delivers a nice margin

· Shelf stable – Always key

· “Better-for-you” product

· Low calorie, high protein, low carb = the perfect combination

· Natural Ingredients

· Cause Marketing Appeal – Includes a very cool “meal meter” on their website that is clicking off meals donated.

· Powerful packaging – Attractive and informative.

Bob Tullio’s Perspective

Mighty Spark Chicken Snack Sticks deserve a spot in your vending machines and some meaningful shelf space in your micro markets and pantry locations. Based on the sales reports I have seen, this product is hitting home runs in micro markets, jumping out as a top five SKU in the first week of sales. That is a high velocity item.

What is particularly exciting is the cause marketing side of Mighty Spark Chicken Snack Sticks, which gives operators a very easy opportunity to jump on the critically important cause marketing bus. Mighty Spark has a perfectly transparent approach to the donations, and the “meal meter” on their website is brilliant.

The people at Mighty Spark are generous with samples and encourage operators to reach out for some. Whether you eat them yourself or share them on the first tee is up to you.

For samples and information, contact Derek Ogren at [email protected] or 952-826-9214.

About Bob Tullio

Since selling his business in January of 2017, Bob Tullio has been an active industry consultant at tulliob2b - focusing on content creation, strategic planning, sales training and business development. He has written over 40 columns and features, providing operators and other entrepreneurs with an inside look at how he helped build a successful business from the ground up. Currently, Tullio is developing an online sales course, “Selling Convenience Services,” which is scheduled for release in early 2020. Website: Phone – 818 261-1758