CHICAGO -- Snacking is big business. And within salty snacks alone—the category's biggest moneymaker—meat snacks continues to be a big driver of growth.
The meat-snacks subcategory posted sales of $2.8 billion in the year ending Feb. 25, 2017, with the total sales volume split almost evenly between jerky and sticks, according to Nielsen.
Over the past four years, the category has registered compound annual sales growth of more than 7%, growing by 3.5% in the past year alone.
And though the category makes up a small portion of the $27.5 billion salty-snacks market, the average household spends $25.81 per year on meat snacks, second behind only potato chips.
Customers also spend more on meat snacks per trip than other staples such as potato chips and popcorn. The average per-trip spend on meat snacks was $7.42, compared to $3.61 for chips and $4.01 for popcorn, according to Nielsen.
Here are six meat snacks to consider adding to store shelves …
1. Country Archer meat sticks
Paleo-friendly meat sticks are the latest product innovation from Country Archer Jerky. The variety is made with 100% grass-fed and finished beef and turkey raised without antibiotics or added hormones. The 1-ounce sticks will hit store shelves in early summer and are available for an SRP range of $1.79 to $1.99.
2. Duke’s Brisket line and shorty sausages
Rolling out this spring and summer are Duke's Smoked Meats' new Brisket line and Cajun Style Andouille Smoked Shorty Sausages. The Brisket line is made with 100% grass-fed brisket steak. It comes in Chipotle BBQ, Honey Bourbon and Traditional Sea Salt in 2.5-ounce bags. New Cajun Style Andouille Smoked Shorty Sausages (merchandised in 5-ounce bags) are smoked with real hickory hardwood.
3. Tillamook Country Smoker’s Old Fashioned and Chili Pepper Pork Jerky
Old Fashioned and Chili Pepper Pork Jerky join Tillamook Country Smoker’s wide range of brand offerings. The Old Fashioned variety has a blend of sweet and smoky flavors, while Chili Pepper has a spicy Southwestern flavor.
4. Three Jerks' Veri Veri Teriyaki jerky
Three Jerks Jerky, manufacturer of 100% filet mignon beef jerky, is partnering with Soy Vay, makers of Asian sauces and marinades, to create Veri Veri Teriyaki. This new jerky flavor is gluten-free and does not contain artificial ingredients. It launched on Kickstarter, offering consumers a chance to taste the new flavor and receive special offers.
5. Epic Provisions
General Mills acquired Epic Provisions, a premium-meat-snacks company, in January 2016. The brand operates under General Mills’ Annie’s business. Its lineup includes Epic Bars, Epic Jerky Bites, and Epic Hunt and Harvest Trail Mix, spanning a variety of snacking occasions and segments.
6. Krave Bars
Krave Bars are made with simple ingredients and no added nitrites or artificial ingredients. They come in four varieties that combine protein with quinoa and dried fruit: Chipotle Cherry Beef, Cranberry Thyme Turkey, Mango Jalapeno Pork and Wild Blueberry Beef.