7 Reasons to Explain That Why Beef Jerky is Very Expensive? (Specialty of Beef Jerky)

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Beef jerky has gained so great popularity due to its unique taste and texture. People throughout the world claim it to be so delicious that it can drive you to the addiction level.

On the other hand, people also complain about its high price tag and higher costs. Just like you are queries right now about beef jerky is so expensive.

If you are also a food lover like me and feel annoyed because of its high price, follow this article. I love the taste of beef jerky myself. In my opinion, the taste of beef jerky is mouth-watering. 

In this article, I have tried to cover the 7 most logical and valid reasons to answer this query: why is beef jerky so expensive?

For those of you who don’t know about beef jerky much, let us start shortly with its origin.

What Is Beef Jerky?

The origin of beef jerky is supposed to come from South Africa. Jerky means any type of meat that is treated with salt solution and possesses low moisture content (less than 50% of the overall water content of meat). Jerky itself is lean trimmed meat that has been cut into strips and dehydrated to prevent spoilage. 

lean trimmed meat

The history of beef jerky reveals that meat was treated with salt before drying to prevent bacterial growth. Now the modern processing of beef jerky also includes its marination with seasoned spices and liquid.

Beef jerky is a type of meat snack that is ready to eat and does not require any additional cooking or preparation. It can be stored for several months without any need for refrigeration. 

Which Animals’ Meat is Used to Make Jerky?

There is a wide variety of jerky as it can be prepared from both domesticated and game animals. Domesticated animals include:

  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Goat
  • Muttom
  • Lamp

Jerky of game animals is also available in the market like:

  • Deer
  • Kudu
  • Kangaroo
  • Springbok

Another variety of animal meat that is recently introduced in the market for jerky include:

  • Turkey
  • Ostrich
  • Camel
  • Salmon
  • Tuna

The most common jerky among all types of  meat is made by “turkey“.

Why Do People Use Beef Jerky? [What is the Speciality?]

Beef jerky remains popular among people because it is a low-fat and protein-rich meat snack. Beef jerky is also low in cholesterol. It is considered low-calorie with high nutritional value.

People prefer the use of beef jerky due to its nutritional value. Beef jerky consists of many minerals and proteins. In broader terms it possesses

  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Vitamin B12
  • Phosphorus
  • Folate

Another reason for the popularity of beef jerks among people is its variety in flavors. Beef jerky is available in different people that help the people to pick the one according to their taste and choice. The most common flavor of beef jerky is pepper flavored jerky. Other flavors include:

  • Teriyaki jerky
  • Hot style
  • Barbecue style
  • Hickory smoked
  • Maple Spice 

Why Is Beef Jerky so Expensive?

People seem to complain about the beef jerky being so expensive. Here we try to justify “why is beef jerky so expensive” with reasons so people can easily understand what raises the cost of beef jerky? So let’s start.

  1. Cows Are Costly:

The basic ingredient of beef jerky is beef that comes from a cow. If you don’t belong to a village or own a farming business, you will be unaware of how costly a cow is. The cost of one cow reaches $1000 and $2000. One cow will give 400 – 600 pounds of beef. When this beef is processed and transformed into jerky, it yields 2 – 300 pounds of dried jerky

Do you see that beef jerky is almost half of the weight of raw beef? I hope now you will begin to understand why beef jerky is so expensive. 

  1.  Government Regulations:

In Muslim countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, etc, here, slaughtering cows to make beef is legal and does not require strict government policies. 

In the case of European and western countries, beef jerky production is regulated by USDA. Government regulation includes regular inspections and plans. Implementation of these plans added a factor to the cost of finished products raising the overall price of beef jerky. 

  1.  High-quality Product:

Beef jerky is a slice of processed meat in which a little deviation from quality may lead to spillage of meat. Beef jerky is expensive due to its overall high-quality processing and packaging

Another factor that contributes to its high cost is cuts of beef used to make jerky. Lean cuts are considered the best cuts for jerky that makes them more expensive than fattier cuts. Lean cuts for jerky tend to use top and bottom round, hence giving more flavor and texture.

Less expensive and cheap jerky is made of fattier cuts having more marbling. This option provides you with a less expensive jerky with a low quality. The texture and taste of quality cuts in the case of beef jerky are worth the price.

  1.  Reduction in Water Content:

Beef consists of approximately 60% of water. Loss of water from the meat requires processing as well as causing shrinkage of meat. It leads to a permanent loss in remaining meat as well as an increase in the price.

Here is an example of a mountain American who makes a slice of processed meat jerky. Here 50 lb smokehouse gives only 32 lbs of the finished product. 

  1.  Requires Intensive Labour:

The process of making the beef jerky is time-consuming and labor-intensive. It commonly requires three days to produce a small batch of jerky from raw meat to finished product. Of course, more labor and time increase the price of the product to overcome the money invested in its manufacturing. 

Some commercial food companies prepare jerky by dehydrating it instead of smoking their meat to avoid intense labor. This approach however yields drier and rougher jerky. The quality is somehow affected to make the product less expensive.

  1.  Use of Additives: :

A lot of chemicals are included in the finished product such as preservatives and fillers. The use of additives increases the production costs of even low-quality beef jerky. These preservatives and fillers prevent the meat from spoilage during long-term storage.

Typically, additives are not used to manufacture high-quality beef jerks, but they are still expensive due to beef cuts and high-quality processing. All these factors contribute to its high price tags.

  1.  Shipping Cost:

The final factor that contributes to the high price of beef jerky is the shipping cost. It takes a noticeable amount of money to transport raw material to the factory and then transport the finished products to the market for sale.

Sometimes it is transported out of the city and out of the country too. The cost of fuel and refrigerated trucks full of meat increase its shipping cost to a larger value.  Manufacturers have pressure to overcome the shipping cost from the price of products by consumers. 

Wrapping Up:

Beef jerky is a low-fat and high-protein snack that gains popularity among people due to its unique nutritional values and variety of strong flavors. People who belong to the status of the middle class somehow hesitate to buy it due to its high price tags.

Beef jerky is worth its price and quantity because great things are usually expensive and come in small packages. This article hosts the reason to explain why beef jerky is so expensive. 

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