General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

Why is beef jerky so expensive on a cost-per-lb. basis?

Asked by elbanditoroso (23534points) 3 months ago

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11 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

How much would the same amount of meat cost if it were full of moisture (and bone and fat) and didn’t require the special processing and packaging?

Darth_Algar's avatar

Because people are willing to pay that much for it.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

How much would the same amount of meat cost if it were full of moisture (and bone and fat) and didn’t require the special processing and packaging?

On the other hand, jerky is not perishable like meat. I find the high cost of jerky odd.

johnpowell's avatar

Jerky also takes time. Kinda like why whiskey and wine are expensive. The ingredients aren’t expensive but sitting in a place for a long period of time adds a lot of cost.

Darth_Algar's avatar

As I seem to recall it wasn’t that expensive until these companies started marketing it as a “manly” product to hipsters with a frail sense of masculinity.

johnpowell's avatar

20 years ago I started making my own. And I am fucking lazy. So it has been expensive for at least that long.

Really, everyone should make their own. It is pretty much the easiest thing in the world and requires very little capital to get started.

zenvelo's avatar

In addition to taking time, it is process intensive. You have to soak the meat, then cook it, then lay it out to cure.

And, a lb of jerky takes three lbs of raw beef. So, if you are paying $4 a lb for the beef, the jerky will cost you $12 a lb, plus the sauce ingredients, plus the cooking and curing time.

johnpowell's avatar

@zenvelo :: My fondest memories of my grandpa was waking up at 4AM and going out and shooting a Elk and making it into steaks and jerky. They were all over his backyard in the morning.

kritiper's avatar

More labor intensive. The slicing thin, the salting, the peppering, the drying, the packaging in small individual packages…

Jeruba's avatar

My point was that the process begins with raw meat, which has a price. After all the processing and packaging it takes to turn it into jerky, it’s not going to cost less, despite the reduction in volume and weight.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Jeruba Good point, although a counter argument is that the OP is asking about the finished retail cost of the raw meat vs. jerky, and you’re comparing the original cost of the raw meat. It’s possible (at least theoretically) that the retail cost of raw meat could be a much higher multiple than the jerky due to it’s perishability and shelf life. I suspect distribution and product expiration are huge components of the final retail price of a product.

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