Sweet and salty snacks have faced stiff competition in recent years, as meat has established a firm foothold in the snacking sector. The traditional jerky and snack sticks have been joined by meat bars, meaty trail mix and many other novel configurations. Growth in the sector has fueled innovation, as more companies join the hunt to capture market share of meat snacks.
According to a 2017 Nielsen report on the snack aisle, the meat snack category has posted compound annual sales growth of more than 7 percent over the last four years and is now a $2.8 billion category. At the same time, sales growth in the traditional dominant snacks has slowed. Potato chips are still the giant of the snack category, with annual sales of $7.2 billion, but its dollar growth was just 1.7 percent for the most recent year. Pretzels lost 0.5 percent in sales over the same timeframe. By comparison, meat snack sales rose by 3.5 percent.