Strong Outlook for Meat Snacks

meat snacksEstimates from Chicago-based Mintel Group, based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey and other data, project solid growth for meat snacks all the way through at least 2015, when they should top $1.3 billion

While regular-flavored meat and beef jerky products are the most popular based on usage, the research showed, teriyaki beats out more traditional flavors, including smoked, peppered and hickory—an indication, perhaps, that consumers would be receptive to more adventurous flavors.

The Mintel survey also found that the meat snacks and beef jerky market skews toward a younger audience, based on usage of the more popular brands.
Pricing pressures will test consumers’ loyalty to meat snacks in the near future, but smaller package sizes, healthier ingredients like chicken and turkey and some aggressive merchandising and promotions should keep sales velocity high.

“I don’t have a crystal ball, but over the next 24 months I can see the price of beef going through the roof,” said Matthew Paduano, vice president of category management for Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes in Canastota, N.Y. “I can see the 3.15-ounce bags going down to three ounce, or even less and still see product cost increases. I think the retail threshold has been pushed on bags. I see some $7.49s out there for a three-ounce bag. That’s about $40 a pound.”

Price Pressures
C-store operators need to continue to monitor pricing closely in the months ahead. “Meat sticks, from what we see, are relatively flat, but I do know that jerky has continued to grow,” said Doug Galli, vice president and general manager for Brockport, N.Y.-based Reid Stores Inc., a subsidiary of Reid Petroleum Corp., which owns and operates K&K Food Mart and 47 Crosby food stores in New York and Pennsylvania. One of the reasons for the ongoing growth, he explained, has been meat snacks’ perceived health benefits.

At Crosby stores, Galli noted, “We are actually looking to add a value-priced jerky because some of the national brands are getting a little pricey. Some of those packages are up to $6.99. I think the value brands are going to be somewhere between $4.99 and $5.99, but they will have a little bigger package, too.”

The opportunities presented by meat snacks will continue for at least the next couple of years, Paduano said. “It’s still a very high-impulse item. Personally, we are not going to hide them in the back of the store because the price might go up. ◆

Total Meat Snacks Category Brand Leaders

Meat snacks dollar share continues to remain strong in convenience stores, with the category increasing sales 4.1% in for the 52 weeks ended Jan. 18 to $1.16 billion. Jack Link’s remained by far the brand leader with about 46% of the category’s overall sales, followed by Slim Jim.

                                                       Dollar Sales    Dollar % Change      Unit Volume     Unit % Change
Total Meat Snacks Category     $1.16 Bil                       4.1                      478.47 Mil           (0.20)
Jack Link’s                                  $564.70 Mil                  4.5                      173.03 Mil            0.60
Slim Jim                                      $279.88 Mil                 (4.3)                    175.18 Mil            (4.80)
Penrose                                        $34.14 Mil                     1.1                        25.88 Mil              0.10
Jack Link’s Matador                   $33.52 Mil                   0.2                        13.12 Mil             (3.80)
Control Brands                          $31.69 Mil                       3.4                       23.45 Mil             (3.01)
World kitchens                         $23.32 Mil                       9.3                         2.10 Mil                5.00
Tillamook                                   $18.85 Mil                      0.4                         10.31 Mil              (0.40)
Oberto                                         $17.08 Mil                      57.2                         2.72 Mil              54.50
Old Trapper                                  $9.19 Mil                      48.3                        2.33 Mil               35.90
All Other                                    $216.86 Mil                      n/a                       67.82 Mil                n/a    

Source: Nielsen C-Store ScanTrack, Total U.S. Convenience, 52 Weeks Ended Jan. 18, 2014

Meat snack brand share
■ Jack Link’s: 45.9%
■ Slim Jim: 22.8%
■ All Others: 17.6%
■ Penrose: 2.8%
■ Jack Link’s Matador: 2.7%
■ Control Brands: 2.6%
■ World Kitchens: 1.9%
■ Tillamook: 1.5%
■ Oberto: 1.4%
■ Old Trapper: 0.7%

Source: Nielsen C-Store ScanTrack, Total U.S. Convenience, 52 Weeks Ended Jan. 18, 2014

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