Asian-Americans love jerky so much, they’re driving the continued growth of the meat snack industry in the United States, a new study revealed.
Spending an average of $31.61 on meat snacks annually, the Asian-American household has helped make the salty treat become the number one preferred snack in the country, followed by refrigerated options, confections and vegetables/fruit.
“Meat snacks have seemingly opened the door for more snacking spending among Asian Americans,” Nielsen Consumer Insights VP, Jordan Rost was quoted as saying. “Even in the last year, Asian Americans increased their spending on meat snacks more than any other ethnic group.”
According to the study, jerky and stick snacks have had compound sales growth of over 7% annually in the last four years in North America. Currently, both meat segments (jerky and sticks) account almost equally to its combined $2.8 billion value.
But while Asian Americans love their jerky, Rost noted that they are not particularly interested in other salty options.
“On the whole, Asian-American households tend to underspend on key snacking categories,” Rost explained. “For example, they spend 15% less on potato chips than the average buyer.”
The report also noted that the salty meat snacks are particularly popular with Baby Boomers. Among all age groups, the 50-70-year-old bracket spends more on meat snacks, spending $28.48 per household annually. According to Rost, however, Millennials are catching up.
“Millennials are rapidly increasing their spending on meat snacks,” Rost said. “In the last year, Millennial households grew meat snack spending by 17%, faster than any other consumer segment. So, while Boomers are today’s biggest spenders for meat snacks, that may change in the near future.”
Rost further stated that the salty meat industry may soon offer more varieties to cater to the growing demand.
“We’ll likely continue to see new tastes and flavors within meat snacks,” he said. “Consumers are flocking to new Korean barbecue-inspired potato chips [for example] and that seemingly creates a natural opportunity for meat snacks.”