Research Outline

Meat Snack Consumption Gen Z & Millennials


To determine female consumption of meat snacks by Gen Z and Millennials for demographic research on a possible audience.

Early Findings


  • Consumption of meat snacks — often dehydrated salted meats like jerky — have increased by 18% among adults over the last five years, according to research firm NPD.


  • More than 20% of women report eating meat snacks.
  • “Convenience stores are at the bullseye of the jerky trends — leveraging snacking and protein,” relayed Stuart of Cadent Consulting, noting that both male and female c-store customers are finding themselves increasingly interested in the category. “Jerky is actually more balanced in its appeal, about 60/40 male to female, than most people think,” he added.
  • Men eat far more meat snacks than women, NPD said, though women are increasingly eating the protein-packed snacks.
  • Women are increasing their consumption of these snacks.
  • The ability to eat it as a snack, high protein, convenience, humane, etc. are some reasons that meat snacks appeal to women.
  • For example, Country Archer’s website directly addresses gender by saying, “You don’t have to be a dude” to enjoy their Sweet Pork BBQ Bars. Link Snacks launched Lorissa’s Kitchen meat snacks, targeting “active, upscale women looking for a healthy snack with varieties such as Ginger Teriyaki and Korean Barbecue Beef.” In Poland, ZM Henryk Kania launched a meat stick specifically for women, and VP Dominika Raba says that the market for meat snacks targeting women is a “promising market segment.”

    Snacking in General

    • 83% of Millennial consumers saying they snack daily compared with 76% in 2014. As lifestyles evolve, snacks are no longer confined to confectionery or potato-based products but are more likely to include yogurt, meat snacks and vegetables. Replacing meals with more well-rounded snacks means people can skip meals and, in theory, save time.
    • 87% of millennials seek and expect healthier options when purchasing value snacks, 30% of millennials are more likely to trade down to cheaper brands and 81% liked the concept of a value brand offering only better-for-you items.
    • These younger consumers have strong demand for healthy snack options — 89% of millennials ate at least one better-for-you snack in the past week, and 50% have driven at least five miles to buy a snack they were craving. Nearly two-thirds (64%) said they preferred snacks with fewer ingredients, and 79% said being able to understand everything on the ingredient list boosted their trust in a packaged snack.
    • 96% of millennials say they replace a meal once a week with a snack, 58% say they snack four to five times a day, and convenience and taste are still the main desired attributes.

    Meat Snacks For Millennials

    • Millennials, in particular those between 18 to 24 years old, are more likely than any other age group to munch on meat snacks throughout the day.
    • 32% of 18-34 year-old U.S. consumers show interest in grass-fed meat snacks.
    • At least one-third of all Millennials interviewed said they snack to facilitate physical activity such as before going to the gym or on a long bike ride. This is in sharp contrast to those 35 and older. This may present an important market to companies in the snack category in the future; snacks with higher protein and supplements made to boost athletic performance.
    • Two in five reach for snacks to fuel them throughout their day, compared to just one in five older adults (55 and older) who seek snacks for an extra pep in their step.


    Snacking In General

    • Gen Z are more likely than millennials to snack between meals and to prepare simple meals when they slow down enough to do so.
    • Snacks hold special appeal to this generation for several reasons. They tend to be on the go and single, so they have neither the time nor the inclination to prepare meals. Many have grown up with convenience foods and never acquired cooking skills, so they’re more reliant on purchased products. Gen Zers also gravitate to snacks because they satisfy without breaking the bank, a big attraction for someone with an entry-level salary.
    • Generation Z is a driving force in this switch to convenient snacking from traditional sit-down meals.
    • When it comes to dining out, they’re more conscious of price than their millennial predecessors, but only 67% of them consider the nutritional content of their food. That’s a 13% drop from millennials, a group that dines out 20% more than their predecessors, boomers.
    • The snacking trend will continue to increase. 23% of Generation Z say they prefer to build a meal of appetizers or snack foods.
    • 94% snack between meals at least once a week

    Meat Snack for Gen X

    • Teens are also supporting the rise of meat snack popularity. In 2013, only 6% of meat snacks were purchased for teens, but in 2017 this number jumped to 30%.
    • Cultivate Insights found that younger generations were more likely to purchase plant-based products with 54% of Generation Z women and 49% of millennial women indicating that they bought plant-based foods recently, along with 45% of millennial men and 41% of Generation X women.


    • Both demographics make snacking a large part of their eating habits, more than any other generation.
    • Women are becoming more interested in meat snacks, and the numbers are rising, and companies are beginning to specifically market to women.
    • Plant based meats hold a special interest to both groups.