Hillary Makens | June 9, 2017
The Beef Checkoff Shares Five Hacks to Curb Snack Attacks in Celebration of National Jerky Day
Given the remarkable sales resurgence of beef jerky, it makes sense that the meat snack has its own holiday: June 12 is National Jerky Day.
Beef jerky sales grew by nearly seven percent last year, according to Nielsen. Meat snacks are second only to potato chips in the salty snack category, but potato chips posted only 1.7 percent dollar growth over the same time period.
"Beef jerky provides all of the convenience of a traditional savory snack with no cooking or refrigeration needed, but packs a punch of protein and essential nutrients that make it stand out on the snack aisle,” said Alisa Harrison, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing & Research for National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the beef checkoff.
Research shows that nearly 75 percent of consumers crave healthier salty snack options1, with beef jerky outselling seeds, party mixes and pita chips – combined.2 As consumers eat fewer sit-down meals and snack more on the go, the demand for portable protein has never been higher with more than half of Americans wanting to add more protein to their diet.3
The need for healthy snacks on the go increases as consumers take to the outdoors during the summer. With race season kicking off, beef jerky also is a powerful tool post-race or workout. In fact, a 2015 study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism looked at beef jerky’s effect on hydration status and sodium balance of endurance runners and found that beef jerky as a recovery snack following an endurance bout was comparable to traditional carbohydrate-electrolyte beverages.
“Enjoying sources of high-quality protein, like beef jerky, soon after exercise can enhance training, maximize muscle health and get you ready for your next workout,” said Nancy Rodriguez, Ph.D., RD, FACSM, the study’s author. “An alternative to post-workout snacks that often contain high carbohydrates, beef jerky is a high-quality protein snack that provides your body with essential amino acids needed to build, maintain and repair muscle.”
“Beef jerky is always a go-to snack I eat and recommend to clients,” said Chris Mohr, Ph.D., RD, nutrition consultant. “I love it in particular when traveling since it's non-perishable and a great source of high-quality protein.”
About the Beef Checkoff
The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States may retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.
About NCBA, a Contractor to the Beef Checkoff
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is a contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program. The Beef Checkoff Program is administered by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, with oversight provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.