Originally Posted by TheSwede
Btw, I've been wondering who the beef jerky costumers are? I've never been to the states, so I haven't understood the culture. I imagine it being eaten by a big middle-aged man, drinking beer and going on hunting trips. Am I correct? ;)
This is my first post on this fascinating forum (I have only started making jerky tonight - keeping a close eye on the dehydrator, as I don't want to screw up the first batch).
To answer your question about who the buyers of beef jerky are: In the USA, there are many companies selling pre-packaged jerky (primarily in convenience stores, liquor stores, and gas stations - as the product is considered a quick and convenient snack food).
The buyers of jerky in this form, are predominately male. The ground and highly spiced jerky (which tends to be lower-priced) is extremely popular with teen-agers.
Jerky is also gaining huge market share with the middle-aged guys, who are concerned with controlling their weight, as jerky fits well with the popular low-carb (Atkins) diet - as the jerky products deliver a satisfying "flavor-fix", while helping curb appetite...
I believe that this segment of the market will provide great opportunities for the development of more interesting and exotic flavors (which is what led to my interest in experimenting with jerky, in the first place).
I am looking forward to learning more about the art and science of Jerky and Smoking, and am glad that I have found this great group.