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NATIONAL REPORT — Meat snacks are on the rise in the convenience channel, generating more than $2 billion in sales at both franchise and independent c-stores combined during the 52 weeks ended in May 2015, according to new data and analysis provided to Convenience Store News from Nielsen. While meat snacks are also growing at grocery stores, sales in this channel reached only $360 million comparatively.
Not only are meat snack sales growing, but they are also accelerating, with the most recent two months (April and May) posting double-digit growth. Beef jerky, beef sticks and beef chicken sticks made up the majority of sales during this timeframe — all increased their dollar sales by double-digits vs. the previous 52-week period, reported Nielsen.
"Price has played a role in the sales growth," Jonna Parker, director of account services at Nielsen Perishables Group, told CSNews Online. "Average prices have increased 7 percent over the latest 52 weeks compared to the prior year, which outpaces the 6-percent volume growth."
At a time when many packaged categories have struggled to grow, 6-percent volume growth is relatively strong, Parker noted. A modest increase in distribution and the number of products and varieties of meat snacks are likely playing a part in the alternative snack segment's growth.