Exotic, spicy, small batch, premium and per-unit size were some attributes helping to pace the growth for the dried meat snacks category across the U.S. convenience channel this year.
For a 52-week period ending Oct. 2, 2022, meat snacks increased total c-store dollars 5.7% ($2.19 billion market), with the sub-category defined as “all other dried meat snacks” increasing sales 10.1%, according to data from Chicago-based IRI Global. Units for the broad category lost 2% while “all other” was flat at 0.2%.
The “all other” segment was paced by perennial top two brands Jack Link’s and Slim Jim, the latter growing dollars 19.7%. Rounding out the top five were Penrose, Matador by Jack Link’s and Old Wisconsin.
Surprising newcomers included Vacadillos (970.9% dollar increase, 19th for total c-store dollars) and Sweetwood Smokehouse (486% growth, 14th in the top 20).
Underpinned by the tagline, “eat it and weep,” Vacadillos fashions itself as the hot meat snack variety, encouraging consumers to “curb your cravings and melt your face off with bold Vacadillos flavors. Lean into the heat and taste the fire you’ve been craving.”
Steamboat Springs, Colo.-based Sweetwood Smoke & Co. fashions itself as the brand that “crafts the biggest meat sticks available anywhere in the country [2- and 3-ounces], with the aim of satisfying seriously big appetites,” the company boasts on its Twitter feed.
The jerky category, meantime, had a negligible performance, falling 0.2% in dollar sales and 8.8% units.
Click ahead for five recent meat snack releases.