Sales of biltong rocketed by 500% in the US last year, and the biggest seller thinks it can double consumption again this year

Business Insider SA
American biltong
Stryve Biltong on Instagram.
  • American biltong startup Stryve has a new co-CEO and other executives, new packaging – and a plan to grow its sales significantly in 2020.
  • Stryve says the market for biltong grew by 500% in America last year, and it plans to double sales this year.
  • The well-funded startup was created by buying out South African expats and combining their biltong operations, securing Stryve a majority of the market.
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American biltong startup Stryve has added a new co-CEO to its executive roster, just gone live with psychedelic new packaging, and now plans to double its sales in a market where it still has to explain how biltong differs from jerky.

Earlier this month Stryve announced it had promoted its chief marketing officer Jaxie Alt to co-CEO, and added a chief operating officer, a chief financial officer, and a chief sales office to its ranks.

It has also made significant changes to the way it packages biltong for shelves, going from a fairly standard presentation for snack foods to a rather psychedelic look for both its biltong and the drywors it markets as "biltong sticks".

Stryve's new packaging

Stryve is funded to the tune of hundreds of millions of rands, with the promise that it can convert Americans away from snacks such as jerky (a sugar-rich form of preserved meat) to what it presents as the much simpler, healthier, and protein-packed alternative that is biltong.

By its own estimation, things are going well. Stryve says that in 2019 sales of biltong in the United States of America grew 500%.

It expects to double its own sales this year.

Stryve is thought to control as much as 75% of the American biltong market. It sells via physical outlets such as Walmart, as well as through online marketplaces such as Amazon.

The company was created in part buy buying up two biltong operations that had been founded by South African expats; in the space of two months in 2018 it bought Biltong USA (founded after a South African family moved to the USA in the 1990s) and Braaitime LLC, which was created when a different South African family moved to New York in 2001.

See also: A year ago this US football star thought biltong was too good to be true. Now he wants to mix it with nuts.

(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)

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