The 1oz beef sticks, listed online for $1.99 each, are available in both of the brand’s signature flavors, Original Hickory Smoked and Sweet & Hot.
“We decided to add the 1oz sticks because we see the demand for convenient beef snack items growing with brands like Jack Links and Slim Jims, but these brands don't produce halal products domestically,” Colin Hewett, media manager at Midamar, told BakeryandSnacks.
“Halal consumers on the go are also looking for a convenient snack at a low cost.”
Single-serving sizes fit well on convenience store shelves, where foodservice accounted for 22.5% of in-store sales in 2017, or more than $50bn, according to the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS). Centerstore snacks, which includes salty and alternative snacks, comprised about 10% of instore convenience sales.
“Having our sticks available as individually packaged items will make them a hit with our customers,” added Mohamed Abdellatif, domestic sales account manager.
“Midamar now offers its customers a fine range of refrigerated and shelf-stable snacks that are convenient, great-tasting, healthy and nutritious.”
Beef snacks snapshot
Which groups are most interested in meat snacks?
Asian-American households spend the most each year at $31.61 on average. In fact, they are more than 22% more likely to buy meat snacks than the average shopper.
In terms of age groups, Baby Boomers are the biggest buyers, spending $28.48 per year, making them 10% more likely to buy meat snacks.
Source: Nielsen / Where's the Beef? Check the Snack Aisle
The Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based company already sold its Zabihah Halal Beef Snacks in three other formats: standard dried chunks in a 2.5oz bag, ‘bites’ in a 4oz bag and an 8oz pack of 11 beef sticks.
The producer makes its beef snacks from halal beef without added nitrates, nitrites or phosphates, aside from those that occur naturally. They are also free from MSG and gluten.
Ziyad Brothers, a Chicago-based importer and wholesaler, distributes Midamar’s products across the US.
Meat snacks poised for growth
Sales of meat snacks grew 7% in 2017, making it a $2.8bn category, according to Nielsen. Meat sticks account for arround $1bn in sales.
The market researcher reported the average US consumer spends about $25 annually on meat snacks, behind only potato chips – the leading snack category at more than $7bn in sales. Supercenters and conventional grocery stores each snag about a quarter of sales, with an additional 20% occurring at warehouse clubs.
They are also a higher-ticket item than major snack categories like chips and popcorn. Nielsen reported that where US consumers spend about $3.60 on potato chips per trip, they typically spend $7.42 per trip on meat snacks, including both sticks and jerky.
Despite the overall growth of meat snacks, Nielsen’s report noted the decline of pork snacks, which have fallen 6.5% since March 2014.