SONOMA, Calif. ? A convenience store staple is getting a makeover. Beef jerky has been gussied up in gourmet flavors to appeal to a growing consumer base, the Wall Street Journal reports.
With its high protein content, jerky has become a favorite workout snack food, as well as those looking for a low-carb snack. Flavors like Lemon Garlic and Basil Citrus have helped drive sales of beef jerky up 13.6% to reach $760.2 million for the 12 months ending Aug. 12, according to SymphonyIRI Group. Sales rose 13.4% last year.
Oberto Brands has been on a crusade to rehabilitate the perception that jerky is, well, not a very healthful food. ?We call it jerky shame,? said Tom Ennis, Oberto CEO. The company has revamped its jerky products with seven ?all natural? flavors, such as Spicy Sweet and Hickory Beef.
?There's just this nasty perception out there? that the food has way too much sodium and preservatives, plus artificial ingredients, said Ennis. His company took out corn syrup, dextrose, sodium nitrite and MSG from its jerky products.
Jack Link?s Link Snacks changed its packaging to catch the female consumer?s eye. Slim Jim by ConAgra Foods added a Steakhouse line.