Beef jerky is expensive because it's made of higher-quality, nutrient-dense ingredients that require a greater level of preparation than most other snack foods.
|Source: USDA, et al.|
A simple cost comparison of Beef Jerky vs. other snack foods shows that on average, it's over 9 times more expensive. The reason behind this eye-popping statistic is more complicated than just higher cost ingredients. Let's take a look at why jerky is so expensive.
Making beef jerky isn't as simple as preparing other snack foods like potato chips, cheese curls, cookies and the rest. Not only are there many pieces to the cost puzzle, but every jerky is different which adds to the mystery. Consider how each of these elements can have a dramatic effect on the cost of beef jerky.
The ingredients for every beef jerky recipe represent a significant reason why beef jerky is so expensive.
The cost of beef itself is significantly higher the than primary ingredients of other popular snacks.
|Main Ingredient||Snack||Price Per Pound|
|Russet Potatoes||Potato Chips||$0.75|
|Source: Source: Beef Magazine, Statista.com, Ycharts.com,StLouisFed.org|
In addition, differences in beef quality can also add to the cost of individual jerkies. Examples include:
The type of spices and flavorings used in preparation of the meat also contribute to the cost. For higher quality product these tend to be natural flavors and spices, while others may rely on extracts or powders to impart flavor.
Unlike other foods, the primary ingredient in beef jerky shrinks in size by 60-70% during preparation; this is water weight. So, a 6 oz steak only yields about 3.9 oz of jerky!
That's a big reason why jerky is so expensive.
Preparing beef jerky requires a series of steps that are more labor intensive than the many mass-produced snack alternatives. The result? A pricier snack.
Beef jerky is prepared using the following steps:
Generally beef jerky is more expensive than other snacks, but there can be a big difference between individual jerkies. You may have wondered: What's the difference? Simply put: Quality.
When considering which beef jerky you want to sample, you may find that the additional cost may be worth it.
|Quality Jerky||Cheap Jerky|
|Ingredients||Ingredients Natural spices and Flavorings
Hydrolyzed Corn Protein
|Preservatives||Celery Juice Powder||MSG
Beef jerky is more expensive because it's a higher quality, more nutritious snack than most mass-produced snack foods. It's generally high protein, low fat and ready in a moment's notice.
At Karl Family Farms, we're dedicated to making high-quality beef jerky. If you're looking for cheap beef jerky, we don't have that. But if you want a high-quality beef jerky that tastes great and is something you can feel good about, give us a try.