Jacques Engelbrecht was born in South Africa, but only spent a couple of years there and then immigrated to the USA with his family in 2000. They missed biltong when they migrated, so my father and Jacques would make it at home. Jacques introduced it to my friends, and they loved it so Jacques would sell to my high school. Once Jacques got to college, Jacques accumulated some Read More
The El Diablito fish jerky brand name launched in 2016 in Tabasco, Mexico to transform the hated, feared, and invasive “pez diablo”, or devil fish into a delicious and healthy snack. The devil fish is a serious problem in Mexico, where it now accounts for 70% of freshwater capture, and has decimated the small-scale fishing industry.
Because of the fish’s mild flavor and firm Read More
Frustrated with what jerky was available in Quebec, Alex set out to create jerky that was different from the status quo. The main focus is the quality of ingredients, and different flavour combinations as a healthy alternative source of protein. Alex claims to have 32 grams of protein per 70 gram bag, the highest percentage of protein when using the metric of Read More
A massive shout out to John Bailey from Beefy Boy’s, Nina Marie Nina Cattaneo from Ray’s Own Brand, Dustyn Dahn from Empire Jerky, Alexander Halasz from MTL Jerky, Evan Arndt from Stoney Point Inc., Clarice Owens from Healthy Oceans Seafood Company Inc., Mike Merwin from Crazy Mike’s Beef Jerky, Franco Fonseca from Smokehouse Jerky Co., and Jeff Richards from Jeff’s Famous Jerky for their contributions to this global Read More
A special thanks to John Bailey from Beefy Boy’s, Nina Marie Nina Cattaneo from Ray’s Own Brand, Dustyn Dahn from Empire Jerky, Alexander Halasz from MTL Jerky, Evan Arndt from Stoney Point Inc., Clarice Owens from Healthy Oceans Seafood Company Inc., Franco Fonseco from Smokehouse Jerky Co., and Jeff Richards from Jeff’s Famous Jerky for their contributions to this global coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic post.
Our world has entered unprecedented times due to the coronavirus COVID-19 disease. Pretty much every person and business has been impacted, and jerky companies are no exception. Based on our observations on social media, around 20% of jerky makers worldwide have shutdown to personal choice or forcibly, just a wild guess mind you. For jerky makers that are still able to manufacture jerky, this coronavirus has been a boon for the jerky makers.
Here is John Bailey’s update from Beefy Boy’s who reports a remarkable spike in sales both in online and locally: “All of the team at Beefy Boys Jerky Co. in Salinas is still working, with the exception of one delivery person who had to stay home to care for children home from school.”
“We have far more work than we could ever need right now as we have seen a remarkable spike in sales, both online and locally.
“But we are carefully monitoring the larger COVID situation, as our primary concern is for the health and safety of our employees and our customers. We will remain vigilant.”
“We have been relieved to receive news of a formal FDA pronouncements that the food supply chains are safe, and not currently seen at risk by the pandemic.”
“Here is the FDA safety comment:”
“So, our loyal employees continue to work overtime to meet the increased consumer demand.”
“I pray that non-essential businesses are able to open in the next 60 days. If not, I personally believe that the outcome will be total disaster for all businesses, whether ‘essential’ or not.
Here is Nina Marie Cattaneo update from Ray’s Own Brand, who states that her and husband Ray have been crazy busy: “We have been crazy busy Just the two of Us Raymond and I are working more than we did last years. We have a jerky and sausage manufacturing company and the stores are nuts. With the just two of us we produce Monday thru Friday 14 hour days. Do you want to talk? With a husband and wife company we do not need to stay away from one another and we have distributors that we are keeping employed.”
Dustyn Dahn from Empire Jerky reports sales are staying steady and true. Dustyn maintains a full-time job in the financial industry.
Here is Alexander Halasz update from MTL Jerky, who is still making money: “Yes interesting times indeed. Things have been ok on my end. Some businesses I supply to are closed so that has had an impact for sure, but at least I’m not losing money 😊. Online is picking up a little, but not that busy. To be honest, I think a lot of people still just look at the sticker price and think it’s an expensive product, not realizing how nutrient dense it is. They are watching their expenses and looking for cheap products to fill their pantries…
Here is Evan Arndt update from Stoney Point Inc. who report a 15% increase in sales: “We are well suited to handle this situation to say the least.”
“We are an SQF level three plant and have the ability to increase capacity by 3 time’s current volume which would put us at 35 thousand lb finished jerky a week.”
“That being said we have had a large uptick in some areas since we private label products for customers and all sell our own brands. Our online orders have gone through the roof, While our farmer markets and smaller stores have suffered bad.”
“We have also been able to grab a lot of business from other locations who their supplier has earthier shut down or cannot meet demand.”
“So over all we have grown by 15 percent in the last two weeks but i do think it will settle out over the next few and may even drop a little.”“
Here is Clarice Owens update from Healthy Oceans Seafood Company Inc. who is reporting sales are up by 350%: “Pescavore sales are up 350%. A shelf life of 18 months means this is a great substitution for fresh and frozen seafood that may be harder to get in times of disaster.”
Here is Franco Fonseca update from Smokehouse Jerky Co. who reports an uptick in business: “We are doing well. Respecting social distancing, but then again, we’ve always been that way. I have a thing about people being too close to me so it’s thus far it’s proving helpful.”
“We are doing pretty well. We’ve only had one private label client cancel their order so far, but I’m sure lots will not order because they are the people who specifically attend events for the sales.”
“We’ve had 6 people hit us up about private label and they purchased our sample pack. That’s always a good indicator of who is serious.”
“Our online sales have seriously picked up. We are up $2300 this month from a year ago. Lots of large orders where our average is $43.”
“We’ve heard some of the jerky makers are shutting down or curbing production and honestly, I hope they keep doing it. We are not closing and I think some of the new business we are getting is coming from the other guys closing. Either way, I’m happy about it.”
And lastly, here is Jeff Richards informative update from Jeff’s Famous Jerky:
“You can see that I am trying to be positive and especially urging people who can to support their favorite businesses right now… whoever the business is, because they are going to really need it to survive the months ahead. Most businesses will not want government loans to help them because they already have too many loans to service… what they really need are government grants to keep them healthy to have a chance to survive. In the end, I think it will be the innovative hustlers who will survive.”
“I don’t really want to be quoted on the rest of this, just give you my opinion for you to have to make your own summations. The jerky business booming is all relative. It has been booming for quite some time now, but the amount of competition in the industry is now way, way, way overboard. I believe the large companies with heavy financial backing are probably mostly all booming with good year-to-year growth rates. However the medium and small jerky companies have been fending for themselves the best they can even way before the Corona Virus pandemic. January and February and March are the slowest months of the year for the jerky industry, and the spring season brings lots of new business with people selling jerky at events all over the country. And so with that stopped, many of the people who sell at events already had events lined up with deposits out to event organizers for a few months to start their season. I imagine no one got their deposits back, just a credit for a future event. Some of them already purchased lots of jerky to sell and have no where to sell it. And many of those people buy on credit terms of anywhere from a few weeks to 30 days rely on their new sales and income to pay those invoices… so when the world stops that puts everyone in deep trouble.”
“And to compound this all, the cost to be in almost any type of business has continued to escalate every year for the past ten years. Minimum wage increases like California has experienced two years in a row means less businesses can afford the employees they need. In the jerky industry, the cost of beef and producing jerky has increased incredibly. You can see part of that by just looking at your local supermarket toward what has happened to the cost of hamburger. And most hamburger uses lower cuts of beef and still contain some fat, anywhere from 3-20%. When you make jerky all the fat has to be trimmed off and to make quality jerky, you need whole muscle meat. American ranchers are hurting more and more every year because most of the beef for the big brands all comes from outside the USA because it is cheaper. Companies disguise the fact saying things on their packages like “Packaged in the USA” (Jack Links)… think about that and the lack of American jobs it is supporting.”
“The companies who really do minimally process their jerky in the quest to make true artisinal beef jerky use real premium whole-muscle American beef still have to compete with the giant companies with deep pockets and all the marketing and advertising dollars they throw out there to persuade the public to buy their product. So, jerky is booming in sales overall, but there are two many companies doing it and the forever rising costs have put every jerky business owner in a position of having to offer wholesale prices that are the lowest in history just to expand their business. Distributors that are out there are working with their lowest margins in history and are struggling, especially if they only sell jerky. Jerky factories are busy overall, but most of their business is booming from the bigger companies private labeling their products and working on low margins using the advantage of mass volume to make their money.”
“Any jerky company that is still showing an increase in sales over last year is doing really, really well. Any jerky company that shows a profit in 2020 will be really, really lucky. Any jerky company that is still in business at the end of 2020 will be really lucky too.”