8 New Meat Snacks Hitting Store Shelves

beef jerky

As a growing number of consumers reach for savory, low-sugar snacking options, meat snack and jerky makers are responding in kind with innovation that pushes the boundaries further.

Kent, Wash.-based Oberto Snacks Inc. is poised to satisfy growing consumer demand for low-sugar, fresh snacks with new jerky and smoked sausage products. “We’ve seen these trends play out across categories and have invested in our processes to address this growing consumer need,” said Stephen Oberto, vice president of marketing for the company.

These new arrivals are making in impact on the category. In the all other dried meat snacks segment as defined by Chicago-based data firm IRI, Oberto’s Cattleman’s Cut grew sales 158.7% during the 52-week period ending Nov. 3, 2019. Trappers Choice from Old Trapper Smoked Products, Forest Grove, Ore., outpaced that performance with a 462% increase, according to IRI.

The meat snack market for the 52-week period grew 5.1%, with c-store channel dollar sales reaching $1.7 billion, according to IRI.

All other dried meat snacks—the top segment—increased dollar sales 6.9% to $965.2 million and units 2.9%. The top five manufacturers included Link Snacks Inc., Conagra Brands, Frito-Lay, Thanasi Foods and Tillamook Country Smoker, with Thanasi having the top dollar growth at 24.6%.

Meanwhile, the jerky segment grew 2.8% for the period, led by Jack Link’s, Old Trapper and private-label offerings. Among the top 20 products, Conagra Brands’ Slim Jim Jerky enjoyed a 134.5% dollar sales increase for the 52-week period.

Click through for a spotlight of eight new meat snack products that landed in stores during the second half of 2019.

Photograph: Shutterstock

1.Oberto Snacks

Oberto Jerky

Oberto’s Beef Jerky, which comes in Original, Peppered, Spicy Sweet and Teriyaki flavors, has been reformulated with 27% less sugar and 20% more protein. The flavor and texture have also been enhanced with a new process that includes natural wood smoke and a tenderizing step.

Photograph courtesy of Oberto Snacks

2. Conagra Brands

Slim Jims

With 3 ounces of meat and 18 grams of protein per stick, Slim Jim Savage Size from Conagra Brands Inc. marks the biggest Slim Jim SKU the brand has produced—three times heftier than Slim Jim Giant. The packaging is embossed with graphics depicting pro wrestler Randy “Macho Man” Savage. Also rolling out in the portfolio are Slim Jim Fire Fries and Slim Jim Pork Rinds.

Photograph courtesy of Conagra Brands

3. Jack Link’s

Jack Link’s

Jack Link’s Protein Snacks is broadening its meat-bar portfolio with Sweet Habanero and Blackberry Barbecue varieties, rolling out this month. Other new offerings include Jack Link’s 100% Chicken Bars, which cater to those preferring an alternative to beef. The bars are available in Rotisserie Chicken and Spicy Chicken flavors.

Photograph courtesy of Jack Link’s

4. Old Trapper Smoked Products

 Old Trapper Smoked Products

To add transparency to its offer, Old Trapper Smoked Products unveiled in summer 2019 clear-view packaging for 10-ounce beef jerky bags—done to allow customers to clearly see the beef-jerky product inside the package. In September, the company followed it up with a new Big Bag of its beef jerky, also in clear-view packaging. Along with the Big Bag format, the supplier is communicating exactly how much product is inside.

Photograph courtesy of Old Trapper Smoked Products

5. Think Jerky

Think Jerky

Inspired by various flavors from East Asia, Think Jerky’s new Sesame Teriyaki offering combines sesame oil and garlic with notes of ginger and orange peel for a zesty finished meat snack. Other flavors available in the lineup include Sweet Chipotle, Sriracha Honey, Thanksgiving and Classic.

Photograph courtesy of Think Jerky

6. AriZona Snacks

AriZona Snacks

AriZona Snacks in June launched all-natural Crazy Cowboy Beef Steak Jerky, available in Classic, Peppered, Teriyaki, Maple Bacon and Mango Habanero varieties. The meat snack is made from the right cut of top-round meat for a tender beef jerky offering, according to the company.

Photograph courtesy of AriZona Snacks

7. Tillamook Country Smoker

Tillamook Country Smoker

Tillamook Country Smoker in July introduced 2.2-ounce bags of 100% U.S.-raised Zero Sugar beef jerky in Original and Black Pepper flavors. Each bag contains zero grams of sugar, zero grams of total carbs and 25% more protein per serving than the leading beef jerky, the company said. The Zero Sugar product line contains no artificial ingredients and sweeteners, no added nitrites and nitrates and is slow-smoked over real hardwood.

Photograph courtesy of Tillamook Country Smoker

8. Chef’s Cut

Chef’s Cut

Chef’s Cut Real Jerky debuted a new high-protein meat snack in July that contains zero sugar in Chef’s Cut Biltong, a South African-inspired style of meat snack. With the release, the supplier became one of the first brands in the United States to offer biltong. Available in Original and Spicy Chili flavors, Chef’s Cut Biltong is made by cutting fine cuts of lean beef razor thin, soaking them in a spice-infused vinegar marinade and allowing them to air-dry. Each bag contains 26 grams of protein and zero sugar.

Photograph courtesy of Chef’s Cut Real Jerky