Company: Made by True

Introduced: February 2019

Distribution: National

Suggested Retail Price: $6.99

Product Snapshot: Biltong originated from the South African tradition of air-drying meat. Beef is marinated in traditional ingredients including salt, pepper, ground coriander and vinegar, which add flavor and act as curing agents. The meat is then air-dried and may be sliced into strips or formed into sticks called droëwors The difference? Jerky also is flavored and cured using marinades or spice rubs. However, the meat is then cooked using a dehydrator or smoke at a low temperature. Biltong is never cooked.

A growing number of snack makers in the United States are adding biltong to their product lines or focusing exclusively on biltong production. Most report robust growth through e-commerce sales and partnerships with brick-and-mortar retailers. Headwinds facing producers include educating U.S. consumers about what biltong is (and isn’t) while differentiating biltong from traditional jerky and sticks. But overall growth in sales of meat snacks has encouraged biltong makers to forge ahead and grow their niche.

Among the players in the category are Jess Thomas, Kevin Hix and James Evans, who co-founded Made by True snack company in 2015. The trio traveled to South Africa to learn about biltong from the locals.

  • Made by True Biltong: Biltong is the unofficial national snack of South Africa, where its origins date back hundreds of years. Thick slabs of inside round beef are cured in vinegar and spices, then dried at room temperature for up to a week, and finally sliced oh-so-thin for a delicious & portable snack perfect for any occasion. Health: 16g protein per oz ∣ 0g sugar ∣ 30% less sodium than leading jerky ∣ No nitrates/nitrites ∣Paleo & Whole 30 Friendly
  • Cape Town Classic: This product pays tribute to the authentic South African Biltong recipe and has the same 5 natural ingredients: Beef, Vinegar, Salt, Pepper, & Coriander. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This classic snack is tender in texture, rich in flavor, and full in nutrition, with 32g of protein and no sugar.
  • Savory Adventure:  A safari for your senses! They put their own herby twist on the traditional South African recipe by adding a couple extra (natural) ingredients, giving it a bright and tangy jolt of flavor, punched up with a hit of garlic. It still has all the protein, and none of the sugar.
  • Little Bit of Spice: It says it all right in the name. This ever-so-spicy Biltong draws on the a few of the spices they found in South Africa, including Peri Peri (a national sensation) and “chili spice.” It’s the traditional recipe, with a kick that won’t kill.