Chips have for ages been a well liked snack for Americans, but they might be beginning to lose their edge. A recent study from Nielsen finds that sales of meat snacks, like buying beef jerky in bulk and convenience-packaged dry sausage sticks, has exploded, while chip sales have slowed. And in case Slim Jims are what comes to mind, think again: New competitors have entered the industry, driving growth by emphasizing their wholesome qualities and marketing toward consumers on specialized diets.
Meat snack sales have risen 3.5 percent throughout the last year to $2.8 billion, based on Nielsen, with 7 percent compound growth over the past four years. Though chips sales are more than twice that amount, the course posted a dollar growth of just 1.7 percent just last year.
American households spend an average of $25.81 on meat snacks annually, which puts them in second spot in the salty snacks category, behind the normal $35.37 people invest in potato chips. Households spend more money funds on meat snacks compared to what they do on cheese snacks, popcorn or corn chips, though which might be because meat snacks can command higher prices.
So what’s with all the sudden interest in jerky? Customers are snacking more and eating fewer take a seat meals, which contains led them to find “snacks that pack a nutritional punch” said David Walsh, vice president of communications and membership for SNAC, a global trade association for your snack industry.
There has also been a dietary trend from carbohydrates and toward protein, which can lead some consumers to eat fewer chips and much more meats, particularly meat snacks. “Meat snacks have took 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, inside an email.
The marketplace for them keeps growing even as meat departments in food markets are lagging, as outlined by Food Navigator, which reported that sales in grocery meat departments declined 2.5 percent last year. That decline was because of deflationary pressures that have brought down the cost of meat, said Rost.
Many newer, upscale brands have eschewed the hypermasculine marketing that brands like Slim Jim once favored. They’re more likely to highlight the reality that their meat is grass-fed, and their goods are gluten-free and Paleo diet friendly. Consumer research firm Mintel found out that nearly three-fourths of clients crave healthier salty snack options, and that 79 percent want so as to recognize a snack’s ingredient list, based on trade publication Convenience Store Decisions.
That’s why you could 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 volume of grams of protein in all of its bars in huge font, along with “100 percent grass-fed.” Many goods are aimed toward Millennials, in particular those doing CrossFit, a demographic to whom some brands, like Wild Zora, market directly.
That move is in line with overall snacking trends. “Things like organic, natural snacks, clean label, are growing as a whole,” 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 brandname making meat sticks with things that seem to be a gourmet meal: spicy red pepper pork with black beans, or sesame garlic beef with sweet potato.
But could meat snacks beat the chip industry? It’s unlikely to happen soon. While the market for meat snacks keeps growing in a faster rate, potato chips still turn out ahead when it comes to units sold: According to data supplied by Nielsen, a lot more than 3 billion packages of potato chips sold during the last year, when compared with 900 million meat snacks.