The popularity of beef jerky is at an all-time high.
According to research done by the Simmons National Customer Survey (NHCS) in 2019 and the U.S. Census, approximately 50% of the U.S. population, which is nearly 160 million people, eat meat snacks and beef jerky regularly.
Americans love their beef jerky! So much so that, according to data from IRI, dollar sales of jerky increased 18.2% year-over-year at the start of 20211. Compare that to last year, the category had only grown about 1% year-over-year2.
This increased growth has put a lot of pressure on processors to improve yields and consistency in order to compete for those dollars.