Tuesday, January 21, 2014
This year, I finally attend the huge 2014 Winter Fancy Food Show in SF. It was quite overwhelming to see how many different specialty food items are on the market these days. I did stop by the natural beef jerky companies exhibiting... to get a sense of their business and peoples' reaction to their jerky.
What I noticed is that most of these jerky companies are marketing their stuff as very easy to chew, but it obviously requires sugar and soy sauce to make that happen. To me, it all tasted like flavored gummy candy. In my opinion, there is a place for that in gelatin-rich gummies, but not in traditional chewy beef jerky.
As my little company grows, I can see that more people are cool with tougher beef jerky. I've always been a FAN of chewy jerky that takes jaw strength to break down. Simple spices are there to enhance the already tasty flavor of the naturally lean, 100% grass-fed and finished meat. I actually wish to see more families starting their kids off on tougher foods (not purees) so that their jaws develop wide and beautiful. I was unfortunately stripped of that -- ended up with a very narrow palate that I'm now having expanded in order to improve my breathing. But I digress...
My company would definitely go down in history as providing "tougher jerky." The underdog in the very palatable, highly processed food market.
On another note, as I was exiting the show, this small chocolate company caught my attention. Cocoa Parlor is one of the only brands not using soy! I liked their Royal Dark flavor for its rich taste and clean/organic ingredients: sugar, cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, and cocoa powder.