Chips have for ages been a well liked snack for Americans, but they can be starting to lose their edge. Research conducted recently from Nielsen finds that sales of meat snacks, like best jerky online and convenience-packaged dry sausage sticks, has expanded, while chip sales have slowed. Of course, if Slim Jims are what comes up, think again: New competitors have entered the marketplace, driving growth by emphasizing their wholesome qualities and marketing toward consumers on specialized diets.
Meat snack sales have risen 3.5 percent during the last year to $2.8 billion, based on Nielsen, with 7 percent compound growth throughout the last 4 years. Though chips sales tend to be more than twice that amount, the course posted a dollar expansion of just 1.7 percent just last year.
American households spend an average of $25.81 on meat snacks every year, which puts them in second place in the salty snacks category, behind the typical $35.37 people invest in potato chips. Households spend more money on meat snacks compared to what they do on cheese snacks, popcorn or corn chips, though that could be because meat snacks can command higher prices.
So what’s using the sudden rise in popularity of jerky? People are snacking more and eating fewer sit down meals, that has led them to consider “snacks that pack a nutritional punch” said David Walsh, vice president of communications and membership for SNAC, an international trade association for the snack industry.
There has also been a dietary trend clear of carbohydrates and toward protein, which might lead some customers to eat fewer chips and much more meats, particularly meat snacks. “Meat snacks have taken advantage of the increasing prevalence of Americans looking to eat more protein as an element of a healthful diet,” said Jordan Rost, v . p . of consumer insights at Nielsen, within an email.
The market for them is growing even as meat departments in supermarkets are lagging, according to Food Navigator, which reported that sales in grocery meat departments declined 2.5 percent this past year. That decline was on account 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 prone to highlight the fact that their meat is grass-fed, and their products are gluten-free and Paleo diet friendly. Consumer research firm Mintel learned that nearly three-fourths of clients crave healthier salty snack options, which 79 percent want to be able to recognize a snack’s ingredient list, in accordance with trade publication Convenience Store Decisions.
That’s why you could be seeing more and 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 products are geared toward Millennials, particularly 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 product making meat sticks with substances that seem like 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 occur soon. While the marketplace for meat snacks keeps growing at the faster rate, potato chips still emerge on the top in terms of units sold: According to data supplied by Nielsen, more than 3 billion packages of potato chips sold within the last year, compared to 900 million meat snacks.