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Chips have always been a well liked snack for Americans, but they might be beginning to lose their edge. Research recently from Nielsen has found that sales of meat snacks, like buy beef jerky online and convenience-packaged dry sausage sticks, has expanded, while chip sales have slowed. And if Slim Jims are what one thinks of, think again: New competitors have entered the current market, driving growth by emphasizing their wholesome qualities and marketing toward consumers on specialized diets.

Meat snack sales have risen 3.5 percent over the last year to $2.8 billion, according to Nielsen, with 7 percent compound growth over the past 4 years. Though chips sales tend to be more than twice that amount, the course posted a dollar growth and development of just 1.7 percent just last year.

American households spend about $25.81 on meat snacks every year, which puts them in second place in the salty snacks category, behind the standard $35.37 people spend on potato chips. Households spend more funds on meat snacks than they do on cheese snacks, popcorn or corn chips, though that may be because meat snacks can command higher prices.

So what’s with all the sudden rise in popularity of jerky? Individuals are snacking more and eating fewer take a seat meals, which contains led them to search for “snacks that pack a nutritional punch” said David Walsh, v . p . of communications and membership for SNAC, a major international trade association for that snack industry.

There has also been a dietary trend far from carbohydrates and toward protein, which can lead some people to eat fewer chips plus more meats, particularly meat snacks. “Meat snacks have taken advantage of the increasing prevalence of Americans looking to eat more protein included in a healthful diet,” said Jordan Rost, v . p . of consumer insights at Nielsen, in an email.

The marketplace for them is increasing even while meat departments in supermarkets are lagging, in accordance with Food Navigator, which reported that sales in grocery meat departments declined 2.5 percent last year. That decline was because of deflationary pressures which may have brought down the cost of meat, said Rost.

Many newer, upscale brands have eschewed the hypermasculine marketing that brands like Slim Jim once favored. They’re more likely to highlight the fact that their meat is grass-fed, and their goods are gluten-free and Paleo diet friendly. Consumer research firm Mintel found out that nearly three-fourths of clients crave healthier salty snack options, and that 79 percent want so as to recognize a snack’s ingredient list, as outlined by trade publication Convenience Store Decisions.

That’s why you may be seeing a growing number of of brands like Naked Cow, whose motto is “Just Beef Jerky – No ‘Udder’ Stuff”; Chomps, which touts its Whole 30 approval; and Epic Provisions, which puts the quantity of grams of protein in each of its bars in huge font, together with “100 percent grass-fed.” Many items are geared toward Millennials, especially those doing CrossFit, a demographic to whom some brands, like Wild Zora, market directly.

That move is in line with overall snacking trends. “Things like organic, natural snacks, clean label, are growing by and large,” Walsh said.

Big brands are catching on, too. ConAgra, which owns Slim Jim, recently purchased Duke’s, a maker of snack sausages with folksy branding that emphasizes whole ingredients. In 2015, dexjpky87 purchased Krave, a product making meat sticks with substances that appear to be a gourmet meal: spicy red pepper pork with black beans, or sesame garlic beef with sweet potato.

But tend to meat snacks beat the chip industry? It’s not likely to take place soon. While the market for meat snacks keeps growing at the faster rate, potato chips still emerge at the top regarding units sold: In accordance with data given by Nielsen, more than 3 billion packages of potato chips sold within the last year, in comparison with 900 million meat snacks.