"Protein really heightens the value of meat snacks, and obviously there is nothing that has as much pure protein as a meat product," said Stephen O'Hare, Oberto Brands' senior brand manager.
The result of the portable protein snacks trend is that many startups are coming to the market place, which is upping the competition, he said.
“From what I can tell, people are just trying to grow their brands to either get acquired by a larger firm or an outside investment firm. That's the challenge for established jerky brands [like Oberto],” O’Hare added. “We’re not looking to sell our company.”
On the plus side, these competitors are pushing Oberto to innovate and making it “stronger,” said O’Hare.
“For brands like ourselves who have been around for a long time (100 years old next year), we welcome the competition. We know our products perform really well on shelf, and we want to maintain that position,” he said.
Targeting different meat snackers
Oberto has recently acquired two brands targetting different types of consumers: Pacific Gold and Cattleman’s Cut Beef Jerky.
“Oberto is uniquely positioned among physically-active consumers,” O’Hare said.
“For Pacific Gold, we have more craft foodies come to the category, looking for more flavors, so we saw the acquisition of the brand as a ‘safe adventure’. The Cattleman’s Cut is more about the value consumers: it is in a larger format for heavy jerky users,” he added.
The jerky producer also showcased three flavored meat sticks under its Oberto brand at the recent NACS Show in Chicago - original, spicy and cracked pepper - through which it believes it can target Millennials with its “clean ingredients.”
O’Hare said Oberto has experienced double-digit growth for a number of years in row, and the meat snacks category is showing no signs of slowing down in the near-term.