Sometimes you don’t need a crystal ball to know the trends. It’s no secret consumers embrace snacking as a 24x7 way of life. Interestingly too, they want flavors of certain meals—such as breakfast—any time and all the time.

That said, it does take a certain degree of formulation magic to turn those trend lines into new tastes. And that’s exactly what Johnsonville LLC, Sheboygan, Wis., has pursued. In 2015, the sausage maker launched a Sausage and Gravy Stuffed Biscuit as part of a new Handheld Sandwiches line. Last year, it came back with a premium Sausage, Egg and Cheese Biscuit to show at the National Association of Convenience Stores’ annual exhibition.

Sarah Babb, director of foodservice marketing, says it took a year to develop the second item, which features a real buttermilk biscuit and whole eggs scrambled with premium Johnsonville sausage and mild cheddar cheese.

“Our R&D process made sure we had just the right ‘filling-to-biscuit’ ratio, and that the filling had the right texture to be easily eaten on-the-go,” Babb adds. “That meant the filling could not be too runny, filling or fall out. Likewise, the biscuit would be tender to the bite and not be too crumbly as to create a mess for the consumer . . . The encased format makes it an ideal product for a no-mess, grab-and-go food menu item that is great for breakfast, snacking and combo meals.”

No less important, Johnsonville made sure its new offering was equally convenient, functional and appealing for convenience store operators. 

Babb says the Sausage, Egg and Cheese Biscuits are ready to heat from the refrigerator or freezer and take only 50 seconds in the microwave. Unique packaging preserves quality from microwave to warmer, and allows each biscuit to maintain its tender texture for up to four hours in a warmer. 

“Customer feedback so far has been positive and encouraging to Johnsonville in this category,” Babb concludes. “There are customers who also appreciate being able to buy the biscuits unwrapped in bulk so they can merchandise them as being freshly baked. We are definitely meeting a need in the marketplace for portable, handheld sandwiches that work for all-day breakfast and snacking.”