When perusing various snack choices at their local convenience store, consumers often turn their eyes upon packaged meat products. While chips and candy have their place, many customers turn to jerky or sausages over sugar-loaded treats for their protein packed nature.
Other consumers choose meat snacks because they’re simply delicious! In any case, jerky is a major snack product for gas stations and c-stores alike and it’s one you should capitalize on.
By The Numbers
In a study done by Nielsen Co, it was found that the sale of meat snacks (including jerky and convenience-packaged dry sausage sticks) has grown at the same time the sales of chips and chip-like snacks have slowed down.
Jordan Rost, Nielsen’s vice president of North American consumer insights said:
“Millennials are increasing their spending on meat snacks faster than any other generation.” He also noted that “Much of the growth areas within meat snacks [are] pushing towards newer flavors and leaner, healthier proteins.”
The numbers seem to add up; the 2016 sale of meat snacks alone was over $2.8 billion. Most of the success in this product can be attributed to product diversity.
“While beef meat snacks have sold more than the next most popular snack by a factor of six, consumers are gobbling up a wider range of proteins,” said Rost. “In fact, within the last year we’ve seen snacks including alligator and wagyu beef (often referred to as Kobe beef), added to shelves.”
Pieces of Meat
The two largest meat snack providers on the market today are Jack Link’s and Slim Jim. Together, these two companies made up just shy of 75% of total meat snacks sales in 2016. In short, these are top selling, trusted brands that any store inventory management strategy should incorporate (if you aren’t already).
While beef still reigns supreme as the king of all meat snacks, the doors have recently been opened to other obscure options. Other offerings currently on the market include bacon snacks, turkey jerky, chicken jerky, and wild game meat.
Wild game jerky from local sources also tend to have a pull with both hunting and fishing crowds, along with consumers who like to test new products. As we’ve mentioned before with craft beer; if you have a local jerky provider, consider stocking some great, local brands.
It’s no secret that most of the snacks one can acquire in a convenience store come loaded with sugars, artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, and a whole list of unpronounceable ingredients. Meat snacks are different.
While they do have to abide by strict FDA guidelines in terms of production, meat snacks are considered by many to be a “healthy” snack packed with protein, rich in iron, and satisfying to the hungriest consumer.
The craze in recent years over low-carb diets and high protein foods is also a contributing factor. Jerky and other meat products fit in nicely with these diets and lifestyles. They’re also portable and less messy than crumbly chips or gooey chocolate treats. This makes them perfect for quick snacks, on the go, and especially while driving.
So Much Meat, So Little Time
With so many different offerings by so many different vendors, it can be hard to figure out where to draw the line on “too many meat snacks.” Between shelf-stable snacks, open-air snacks, and refrigerated snacks, it can all be a bit overwhelming. A good rule of thumb is to stock a few different brands, but vary the flavors offered by each.
Luckily, with CStorePro’s store inventory management system and convenience store software, you can keep track of which jerky products are selling like hotcakes, and which could be phased out to make room for new products. To learn more, Schedule a Free Demo today.