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Country Archer aims at disrupting jerky space

Richard Collings
Mar 17, 2022
Eugene Kang, the founder of meat snacks brand Country Archer, stands in the middle of his distribution facility with arms crossed wearing a grey polo shirt.
Eugene Kang, the founder of Country Archer. Photo: Country Archer

Country Archer sees raising new capital, bringing onboard a new private equity investor, or selling to a strategic as ways to help it "disrupt conventional jerky brands and become the largest better-for-you meat snack platform," its founder Eugene Kang tells me.

Why it's the BFD: Though plant-based meat alternatives are dominating the news for important reasons such as climate change, meat consumption continues to grow to record levels.

  • The meat snacks category alone is expected to increase by more than $4 billion between 2020 and 2025, with a compound annual growth rate in excess of 8%, according to data and analytics provider TechNavio.

By the numbers: Country Archer now earns around $100 million in annual revenue on double-digit growth.

Details: The last financing round funded an expansion of the company's production facilities, as it does all its own manufacturing rather than work with a copacker.

  • It's a page Kang took from two of the industry's largest players: "It's no secret that the Jack Links and the ConAgras own their own facilities."
  • The margins for making and selling jerky are not as forgiving, the founder notes, so directly controlling production is vital.

Flashback: Country Archer took in investment from Monogram Capital Partners in 2016.

  • At the time, there were a number of entrants in the meat snacking space including Krave Jerky, which was acquired by Hershey in 2015 only to then be sold back to its founder in 2020.
  • As businesses have come and gone, Country Archer is quietly and steadily emerging as the leader of the better-for-you meat snacking brands.

What they're saying: "We’re really fighting the Jack Links of the world," Kang said, rather than other emerging meat snack brands.

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