Meatsnacks Group aims to widen appeal of jerky and biltong with sporty Strive

By Vince Bamford

- Last updated on GMT

Meatsnack Group's Strive brand comprises jerky and biltong
Meatsnack Group's Strive brand comprises jerky and biltong

Related tags Snack foods Nutrition

UK jerky and biltong manufacturer Meatsnacks Group is launching a new brand aimed at sports and fitness fans.

The manufacturer claims a majority share of the UK jerky market and already supplies products under its own brands including Wild West, Texas Joe’s and Cruga, as well as retailer own-label products and a licensed range under the UK Men’s Health lifestyle brand.

Silverside of beef

The upcoming addition to the line-up is the Strive brand, which comprise a jerky containing 40% protein and a 51% protein biltong.

Both are made with silverside of beef sourced from the UK and EU and are lower in salt and sugar than some of the business’s other brands. They are also low in calories and fat, said Meatsnacks, with the biltong containing 94 calories in a 35 g pack.

Strive officially launches on January 31 this year and will make its debut at the ISM trade fair in Cologne (running from January 31 to February 3 2016).

Post-training recovery

The manufacturer told BakeryandSnacks that it hoped the brand – pitched as ideal for post-training recovery – would tap into the protein trend and widen the audience for jerky and biltong snack products beyond the estimated 8% market penetration in the UK.

Meatsnacks Group

Meatsnacks Group was formed last summer when The Jerky Group merged with Cruga, Europe’s market leader in premium beef biltong.

Cruga was founded in 1998 and produced Cruga and Bundu biltong; The Jerky Group, founded in 2000, included Wild West and Texas Joe’s jerky, Hogbites pork snacks, and a UK Men’s Health range produced under licence.

The combined business has two UK facilities, a packing and biltong production operation in Milton Keynes; and a jerky production facility in Forres, in the Scottish highlands.

The business supplies supermarkets chains and independent retailers in the UK and exports to 27 countries.

Penetration and frequency of jerky isn’t great in the UK​,” said Meatsnacks Group managing director James Newitt.

The trick is getting jerky and biltong into people’s hands - once they try it they like it, and you get the sales​.”

Dedicated fixtures

He added the presence of meat snacks was increasing in the UK. Jerky had primarily been sold from clipstrips in the UK but retailers – including Waitrose and Sainsbury’s – were now hosting dedicated meat snacks fixtures.

Meat snacking has huge untapped potential. In the US, consumers are waking up to beef jerky as a very acceptable snack​,” he said, adding that the success of the Krave jerky brand (acquired by Hershey a year ago) had “really opened up people’s eyes​”.

Balancing carb and protein

Strive had been developed to promote the message that jerky and biltong can be healthy snacks.

Sports people want some carbs [sugar] in their snacks but they also want the high protein​,” said Newitt

With Strive jerky we have tried to create a balanced carb/protein snack​.”

Meatsnacks Group said retailers had reacted well to the concept, and that it expected Strive to be in multiple retailers in the UK this Spring.

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