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

Meat snack sales have increased 3.5 percent over the past year to $2.8 billion, in accordance with Nielsen, with 7 percent compound growth throughout the last four years. Though chips sales will be more than twice that amount, the category posted a dollar development of just 1.7 percent last year.

American households spend about $25.81 on meat snacks annually, which puts them in second spot in the salty snacks category, behind the normal $35.37 people dedicate to potato chips. Households spend more funds on meat snacks compared to they do on cheese snacks, popcorn or corn chips, though that may be because meat snacks can command higher prices.

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

There has additionally been a dietary trend far from carbohydrates and toward protein, which may lead some customers to eat fewer chips and a lot more meats, particularly meat snacks. “Meat snacks have took advantage of the increasing prevalence of Americans trying to eat more protein included in a healthful diet,” said Jordan Rost, v . p . of consumer insights at Nielsen, in a email.

The marketplace for them is growing even as meat departments in supermarkets are lagging, according to Food Navigator, which reported that sales in grocery meat departments declined 2.5 percent just last year. That decline was due to deflationary pressures who 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 prone to highlight the truth that their meat is grass-fed, and their goods are gluten-free and Paleo diet friendly. Consumer research firm Mintel found that nearly three-fourths of clients crave healthier salty snack options, and that 79 percent want to be able to recognize a snack’s ingredient list, in accordance with trade publication Convenience Store Decisions.

That’s why you might be seeing increasingly more 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 number of grams of protein in all of its bars in huge font, in addition to “100 percent grass-fed.” Many products are geared toward Millennials, particularly those doing CrossFit, a demographic to whom some brands, like Wild Zora, market directly.

That move is in step with overall snacking trends. “Things like organic, natural snacks, clean label, are growing in general,” 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 brand making meat sticks with substances that seem like 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 occur soon. While the market for meat snacks is growing in a faster rate, potato chips still appear ahead with regards to units sold: Based on data supplied by Nielsen, over 3 billion packages of potato chips sold in the last year, when compared with 900 million meat snacks.