- The growth of the meat snacks industry could be due in part to low commodity prices, according to a Reuters report.
- Meat snacks often have a "health halo" that highlight their levels of protein and healthy fats, NPD Group analyst Darren Seifer told Reuters.
- Per capita consumption of meat snacks in the U.S. jumped 14% since 2012, posting much faster growth than other savory snacks, according to NPD Group statistics in the article.
Aside from soaring demand, meat snacks producers also benefit from low commodity pricing that makes these products more profitable. But the question is whether popularity of the snacks are coming from the "health halo" trend or cheaper prices for manufacturers.
It's no wonder that everyone from Tyson to Hershey is exploring the potential of meat snacks with today's consumers, many of whom fixate on protein consumption. More studies have unveiled that red meat and saturated fat may not be as bad of a choice for the heart as once thought. But other research from the World Health Organization last year suggested that red and processed meats could cause cancer, which opens another set of challenges for processors.
U.S. per capita meat consumption saw a nearly 5% uptick last year, the largest increase in 40 years, according to Rabobank Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory group. For many consumers, that meat consumption has translated to meat snacks, which are more convenient yet provide the same protein and health benefits.