Meat Snacks Continue to Top Charts

A recent study from Nielsen Co. finds that sales of total-channel meat snacks, including jerky and convenience-packaged dry sausage sticks, has grown at the same time chip sales have slowed. Broken down, meat snack sales have increased 3.5% over the last year to $2.8 billion, according to Nielsen, with 7% compound growth over the last four years.

For convenience stores striving to stay in step with consumers’ changing snacking preferences, a little due diligence can go a long way in terms of increased sales.

In the 52 weeks ending May 14, 2017, convenience store dollar sales of dried meat snacks rose 2.9% to $1.53 billion compared to the previous year, while unit sales dipped 0.13%, according to data from Chicago research firm Information Resources Inc. (IRI).


One driver of rising sales is increasing demand from younger Americans who are putting more emphasis on snacking. More studies show that Millennials are less likely to sit down to full meals and more inclined to snack throughout the day so they’re seeking snacking options that will satiate them for extended periods.

“Sales of leaner cuts of gamier meats are still small but are seeing some of the most rapid innovation and growth in distribution,” said Rost. “Consumers spent nearly $4 million on bison meat snacks over the last year (52 weeks ending May 27, 2017), making it one of the fastest growing meat snacks. Other smaller but rapidly growing varieties include wild boar, venison and elk.”

“Beef is still the number No. 1 seller, but chicken, pork and turkey are gaining in point of distribution and sales,” Demster said.

More consumers are trying to eat more proteins, living healthfully and not surprisingly, their choices have never been more plentiful. As purchasing trends continue to evolve, the need for manufacturers and retailers to continue to innovate to remain on top of the evolving category is as pressing as ever.



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