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Country Archer aims at disrupting jerky space

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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