Innovative, Flavorful Meat Snacks Appeal to Adventurous Snackers

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As consumers continue to replace meals with snacks throughout the day, they increasingly demand more from the snacking experience. Specifically, they are seeking flavor-packed, protein-rich snacks that they can enjoy on the go. Meat snacks are ideally positioned to satisfy these cravings, while the convenience stores that sell them also play an important role—offering enticing product assortments for quick and easy purchase.

Portable protein

When it comes to the nutritional attributes that consumers look for most in a snack, high-protein is No. 1. More than half (52%) of consumers say it’s appealing or extremely appealing for snacks to be high in protein, according to

Technomic’s 2018 Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report.

And with a variety of portable snack formats from traditional jerky to steak bites and bars, to sticks and sausages, as well as meat and cheese combinations, meat snacks are a perfect fit for the protein-rich snack trend. For example, Jack Link’s Beef Steak Strips in Original and Teriyaki, contain eight grams of protein per serving. What’s more, meat snacks that are high in protein and gluten free are also diet-friendly for consumers following low-carb or ketogenic diets.

Meat snacks have also expanded to include breakfast items. These high-protein and portable bacon and sausage snacks are ideal for today’s harried consumer who doesn’t have time to sit down for a morning meal. Convenience stores can maximize the grab-and-go appeal of these snacks by positioning them adjacent to coffee service or other quick breakfast snacks.

Unique & ethnic flavors

Meat snacks have experienced a flavor explosion in recent years, with new product introductions including jalapeno jerky, sriracha jerky, Asian-inspired preparations, and biltong—a spiced, dried, cured meat that originated in South Africa.

This feast of global tastes is well timed, as consumers are increasingly interested in trying new flavors, notes Technomic’s 2017 Flavor Consumer Trend Report, which found that 35% are more interested in trying new flavors than a year ago.

Interestingly, snacks may be the point of entry for consumers looking to try something new. According to Technomic’s 2018 Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report, snacking provides an opportunity to experiment with new and ethnic flavors without committing the time and cost of a full meal.

Healthy global flavors can help drive snacking occasions, with items such as roasted chickpeas or mojo beef jerky that are likely to entice consumers, particularly those 18 to 34, says Technomic’s 2017 Flavor report. Forty-four percent of this demographic indicated they would purchase more healthful snacks if unique flavors were available, compared to thirty-one percent overall.

Beef jerky boom

When following food trends, a look at what’s hot in restaurants is usually a good indicator of what’s coming to retail. Consider this: Mentions of beef jerky on restaurant grab-and-go menus have increased an astonishing 100% year-over-year, according to Technomic’s MenuMonitor. Given consumers’ increased exposure to jerky on foodservice menus, they’ll likely look to recreate the experience when purchasing snacks at their favorite c-store.

Whatever their reasoning, consumers are looking for meat snacks in both traditional and new flavors. C-stores should reprioritize their jerky shelves and offer an array of different products and flavor varieties to ensure they’re meeting the demands of both current and new customers. Find out more about what’s available at

This post is sponsored by Jack Link's Protein Snacks

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