Jerky and biltong companies merge to create Meatsnacks Group

The Jerky Group has merged with biltong brand Cruga to form the largest ambient beef snack manufacturer in Europe. 

Meatsnacks Group will supply all the UK’s main grocery retailers (Asda, Co-op, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury, Tesco and Waitrose), as well as leading petrol forecourt operators, independents and pub chains.

Employing more than 100 people at its facilities in the Scottish Highlands and Milton Keynes, the combined output is expected to be 10 million packs across 27 countries, with a turnover of £12 million this year.

The Jerky Group opened in 2000 with its Wild West brand, and has also produced Texas Joe’s and own-label products for Marks & Spencer and Men’s Health Magazine.

Cruga was founded in 1998 and includes the highly successful biltong brands of Cruga and Bundu, plus a number of private label contracts with online sports and nutritional suppliers.

The two companies have been working closely together for a number of years, with the merger and creation of Meatsnacks Group being acknowledged as a natural progression.

James Newitt, md, explained the popularity of the products.

“The growth and demand for jerky and biltong in Europe has been significant in recent years, with the key driver that consumers are increasingly aware that both products are healthier, being high in protein and lower in fat alternatives to traditional carb-based snacks,” he said. “The Jerky Group and Cruga have collaborated for a decade in areas such as NPD, centralised packing, sales and distribution. The merger allows the new Meatsnacks Group to adopt a ‘house of brands’ strategy which will add value both at a B2B and B2C level.”

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