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Beef Jerky: Not Just for C-Stores Anymore

Jerky’s growing popularity has inspired a growing retail franchise.
October 16, 2014

​SEYMOUR, Tenn. – According to a recent article in USA Today, beef jerky is benefiting big time from the nation’s current protein obsession. In fact, it’s now moving out of the convenience store channel with its own store front, as the Beef Jerky Outlet opens its 26th store in less than four years — with plans for 11 more.

Beef Jerky Outlet bills itself as a place for jerky connoisseurs, with products like turkey, salmon, buffalo and even alligator jerky. In all, the stores sell about 200 different jerky offerings, much of it sold by the ounce from wooden barrels and the rest sold pre-packed.

"We're the right product at the right time," Paul Lyons, co-founder of Beef Jerky Outlet, told USA Today. With outlets in 16 states, the chain’s sales topped $15 million last year and they aim to open 100 stores nationwide.

But it's not just the national infatuation with high-protein, low-calorie foods that's driving growth. So is our national need to snack. Nearly four in 10 Americans are replacing meals with snacks, reports a recent Nielsen Global Survey of Snacking. Snacking is now a $374 billion global industry — and is growing about 2% annually. So why shouldn't jerky get its fair share? That said, many view jerky as a rising trend, and what goes up must come down after all. But don’t tell that to Paul Lyons.

NACS Magazine identified the benefits of jerky to store sales and consumer traffic way back in 2009!