Chips have always been a popular snack for Americans, but they might be beginning to lose their edge. Research recently from Nielsen found that sales of meat snacks, like beef jerky online and convenience-packaged dry sausage sticks, has exploded, while chip sales have slowed. Of course, if Slim Jims are what pops into your head, you better think again: New competitors have entered the current market, driving growth by emphasizing their wholesome qualities and marketing toward consumers on specialized diets.
Meat snack sales have increased 3.5 percent over the last year to $2.8 billion, in accordance with Nielsen, with 7 percent compound growth over the last 4 years. Though chips sales are more than twice that amount, the category posted a dollar expansion of just 1.7 percent last year.
American households spend around $25.81 on meat snacks every year, which puts them in second place in the salty snacks category, behind the normal $35.37 people pay for potato chips. Households spend more money money on meat snacks compared to they do on cheese snacks, popcorn or corn chips, though which might be because meat snacks can command higher prices.
So what’s using the sudden interest in jerky? Individuals are snacking more and eating fewer sit back meals, which contains led them to search for “snacks that pack a nutritional punch” said David Walsh, vice president of communications and membership for SNAC, an international trade association for your snack industry.
There has additionally been a dietary trend clear of carbohydrates and toward protein, which could lead some people to eat fewer chips and more meats, particularly meat snacks. “Meat snacks have taken advantage of the increasing prevalence of Americans attempting to eat more protein as part of a healthful diet,” said Jordan Rost, v . p . of consumer insights at Nielsen, within an email.
The market for them is increasing even as meat departments in food markets are lagging, in accordance with Food Navigator, which reported that sales in grocery meat departments declined 2.5 percent a year ago. That decline was because of deflationary pressures which have brought down the price of meat, said Rost.
Many newer, upscale brands have eschewed the hypermasculine marketing that brands like Slim Jim once favored. They’re more prone to highlight the fact that their meat is grass-fed, and their merchandise is gluten-free and Paleo diet friendly. Consumer research firm Mintel discovered that nearly three-fourths of clients crave healthier salty snack options, and this 79 percent want to be able to recognize a snack’s ingredient list, as outlined by trade publication Convenience Store Decisions.
That’s why you may be seeing increasingly more of brands like Naked Cow, whose motto is “Just Beef Jerky – No ‘Udder’ Stuff”; Chomps, which touts its Whole 30 approval; and Epic Provisions, which puts the number of grams of protein in every one of its bars in huge font, along with “100 percent grass-fed.” Many products are geared toward Millennials, particularly those doing CrossFit, a demographic to whom some brands, like Wild Zora, market directly.
That move is in step with overall snacking trends. “Things like organic, natural snacks, clean label, are growing overall,” Walsh said.
Big brands are catching on, too. ConAgra, which owns Slim Jim, recently purchased Duke’s, a maker of snack sausages with folksy branding that emphasizes whole ingredients. In 2015, dexjpky87 purchased Krave, a brand name making meat sticks with substances that appear to be a gourmet meal: spicy red pepper pork with black beans, or sesame garlic beef with sweet potato.
But tend to meat snacks beat the chip industry? It’s not likely to occur soon. While the market for meat snacks is increasing at a faster rate, potato chips still turn out ahead when it comes to units sold: Based on data provided by Nielsen, greater than 3 billion packages of potato chips sold in the last year, when compared with 900 million meat snacks.