9 Meat-Snack Innovations for 2018


The competitive meat-snack category is bringing intensity to the merchandising arena, with at least one sure winner: The meat-snack aficionado who’s flush with choices thanks to a slew of new options filling the retail pipeline.

The category is a behemoth, with solid dollar- and unit-growth positions, paced by sales in excess of $3 billion annually, according to Nielsen ScanTrak.

And with the category poised to grow larger, suppliers are eager to oblige the jerky consumer seeking new and exotic flavor profiles and innovative packages. Minong, Wis.-based Jack Link’s recently announced the rollout of five new products to its portfolio that will arrive at retail from February into April.

Meanwhile, the Puget Sound Business Journal recently named Kent, Wash.-based Oberto as its Family Business of the Year. The honor comes as Oberto Brands celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2018.

“This is a true honor for Oberto Brands,” said President and CEO Tom Hernquist. “Oberto has been family-owned for 100 years, and we have always been committed to providing our customers with the highest quality, best-tasting meat snacks.”

Click through to view nine varieties that either recently rolled out or are on the cusp of launching soon.

Jack Link's Pork Rinds

Jack Link’s is expanding into the chip aisle in March with a new line of Jack Link’s Pork Rinds. Containing 1 gram of carbohydrates and 8 grams of protein per serving, the pork rinds will be available in two flavors: Applewood BBQ and Sweet & Hot.

oberto trail mix

Oberto Trail Mix With Jerky offers an ideal balance of All-Natural Original Beef Jerky, hearty pecans, walnuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, sweet dried cranberries and golden raisins, and decadent semisweet chocolate chunks.

oberto pepperoni

“Packed with protein rather than grease,” according to the company’s website, Oberto All-Natural Pepperoni Jerky differs from traditional pepperoni products that need to be refrigerated, the company says. 

Lorissas Kitchen Sticks

Rolling out in February, Lorissa’s Kitchen Beef Sticks are made from 100% grass-fed beef without added nitrates, MSG or gluten. The seasoned, slow-smoked 1-ounce meat sticks contain 6 grams of protein and will be available in three varieties: Original, Smokey Sweet and Jalapeno.

oberto snack sticks

Oberto says it toiled long and hard to develop the best-tasting better-for-you snack stick, and it’s finally here. Made with premium pork and what the company says is the perfect blend of spices, Spicy Snack Sticks deliver natural, flavor and a “great snap in every bite.” It is also available in a 1-ounce pack size.

Jack Link's Cold Crafted

Jack Link’s Cold Crafted is a new line of portable snacks featuring smoked meats and cheese combined. Available in the refrigerator aisle and fresh-snack area of convenience stores in April, the snacks are made with 100% beef and Wisconsin cheese. Varieties include smoked meat sticks (original, loaded with pepper jack and loaded with cheddar cheese); beef and cheese bites; and smoked meat sticks and cheese (cheddar and pepper jack).

Jack Link's Steak Strips

Jack Link’s Steak Strips are made from 100% beef and contain 8 grams of protein and 70 calories per serving. The strips will be available in February in two varieties: Original and Teriyaki.

Jack Link’s Multi-Packs

Jack Link’s Multi-Packs feature 10 individually wrapped meat sticks made from 100% meat. The packs will be available in the meat-snacks aisle in February in three varieties: Original beef sticks, Pepperoni beef sticks and Turkey sticks.

cattlemans original jerky

Cattleman’s Cut Original Beef Jerky from Oberto is available in a 10-ounce bag; it's low in carbohydrates and high in protein (10 grams per 1-ounce serving).