KANSAS CITY, MO. – In August 2021, Plano, Texas-based Stryve Foods launched a line of premium supplements called Stryve Nutrition. Supplements may seem like a departure for a company known for its better-for-you portfolio of air-dried meat snacks, but for Stryve, the meat snacks are a natural progression to provide health-conscious consumers with high-quality supplements and snacks from a trusted brand.

The new products include collagen protein powder, bone broth protein, pre-workout mixes and gummies – functional foods loaded with protein but without the stuff consumers say they don’t want such as GMOs, sugar, gluten, soy and dairy.

Health and wellness always have been top-of-mind for consumers, but that focus only intensified during the last two years as the coronavirus pandemic held the world in its grip. But even as restrictions and mandates begin to loosen, consumer demand for healthy, better-for-you foods is here to stay and expected to grow alongside consumers’ desire for personalization and convenience.

Stryve’s “better” brand evolution focuses on healthy eating and snacking, to support consumers’ growing focus on maintaining immune health and preventive measures against lifestyle and age-related ailments.

The company is positioning the new collagen and bone broths as a complement to the portfolio of meat snacks that got Stryve noticed in 2017, when former National Football League player Gabe Carimi, Dymatize founder Ted Casey and Pro-Supps founder Joe Oblas launched the company. At the time, the brand started with snack bites, meat sticks and a little-known meat snack called biltong – an air-dried, cured and sliced beef protein snack with origins in South Africa. Biltong was ideal for American consumers wanting to increase their intake of lean protein with little to no carbohydrates, sugar, nitrates or other additives.

Stryve entered the snacking scene at a time when the trend of consumers substituting snacks for main meals began to catch fire. Driven by a desire for convenience without sacrificing taste or nutritional value, consumers turned to meat snacks of all types and varying proteins.

Stryve embarked on a growth streak that netted the company millions of dollars in funding which enabled its expansion through acquisitions. By 2021, Stryve had captured 85% market share of the air-dried meat business in the United States and established distribution agreements that added more than 4,000 additional retail locations to carry the company’s Stryve, Kalahari and Vacadillos meat snack brands.

In this episode of the MEAT+POULTRY Podcast, Joe Oblas, chief executive officer and one of the original founders of Stryve, traces the company’s journey from primarily meat snack manufacturing to a purveyor of premium nutrition supplements, the company’s expectations for success and how Stryve will become the go-to brand for better nutrition and taste.

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