Euromonitor food analyst Jack Skelly told BakeryandSnacks that meat snacks are extremely popular (and growing) in the snack industry. It’s no surprise; with consumers on the lookout for snacks that feature a higher level of protein, meat is the next logical step to take.
These meat snacks are now a multi-billion dollar industry in their own right. Skelly said even though these snacks are dwarfed by chips, biscuits and other snacks, they are “outperforming the majority of other snacks” in growth.
He said some of the major meat snack brands have seen global sales increase by 10% to 11% each year between 2010 and 2015, leading more manufacturers to explore the market.
New products showcase growth
Highlighting the growth of these meat snacks are new offerings from Tyson’s Ball Park and Hormel’s Spam.
Ball Park recently launched Ball Park Flame Grilled Jerky snacks in Original Beef, Peppered Beef, Bourbon BBQ Beef, Barbecue Pork, and Teriyaki Pork flavors. Meanwhile Spam launched Spam Snacks, available in Classic, Bacon and Teriyaki.
“There are certainly a lot of new entrants flooding into the high-protein market and that may contribute to the idea that this is something of a fad,” Skelly said. “Meat snacks certainly appeal to health conscious consumers. Indeed, this is an advantage over snacks such as chocolate and biscuits which tend to be viewed as unhealthy.”
He said meat snacks were far from a fad but they will have to compete with products such as Slim Jim, Jack Link’s and Hershey’s Krave Jerky. It remains to be seen whether Hormel and Tyson will become market leaders, but Skelly believes meat snacks will likely get great visibility in stores.
Meat and healthier snacks as part of a 'snacking continuum'
Proliferation of the snacking profile across the “snacking continuum” is a big priority for snack manufacturers across the industry, Skelley said. This is likely why more companies are trying to launch new products in the meat snack market, among others.
The term, which was coined by Hershey, means incorporating a variety of different kinds of snacks a company, including cookies, chocolates, protein bars and now, jerky snacks.
“Thus, manufacturers which tend to be present in traditional snacking products, such as Hershey, Mars, Nestlé and Mondelēz , have all started to acquire companies which produce healthier snacks,” he said.
“There is a long-term shift towards healthier snack products. There will still be a place for the likes of chocolate and candy, but healthy snacks will occupy a greater proportion of the ‘snacking continuum’ in the future.”