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Biltong’s growing popularity
Biltong and jerky are valued by consumers as healthy and convenient snacks. In South Africa, consumers like their biltong juicy. But the popularity of biltong extends beyond the country’s borders. In the United States, consumers also prefer their jerky with some moisture.
Biltong is popular with consumers everywhere as a healthy and convenient snack.
There are no official estimates for the annual production of biltong in South Africa. However, sources indicate that several major producers ship over 100 tons of biltong annually. It is believed that the total annual production is thousands of tons.
In 2019, Closwa Biltong, Namibia’s largest biltong producer, produced up to 1660 tons of the product per year. There are few countries in the world where biltong is as popular as it is in Namibia.
Millions of locals and tourists enjoy it every day, and the finest brands are exported throughout Africa.
Large food companies have been slow to jump on the biltong bandwagon, but investors have begun to see great potential in supporting biltong startups.
In early 2019, Stryve (which acquired biltong makers Braaitime and Biltong USA) reported that biltong sales in the United States of America had increased by 500%. Stryve Biltong, a fast-growing Oklahoma startup, is taking on the challenge of opening a new biltong production facility.
The company opened a 52,000 square foot facility in Madill, Oklahoma last year after receiving $10 million during a funding round led by Meaningful Partners and Murano Group. The new facility is designed to meet fast-growing orders for Stryve’s products and achieve higher standards.
Although Stryve does not report sales figures, the company estimates that biltong sales will more than double by 2020.
Biltong has become a popular snack around the world, including in Namibia, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, the U.S., and Canada, as well as some countries in Europe, including Denmark, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.
These markets sell biltong through online sites and stores that sell traditional South African products. Biltong has become a tasty snack for people all over the world.
Biltong producers in South Africa are struggling to export their products. Until now, international markets have been virtually closed off due to the lack of an EU-certified biltong factory in South Africa.
The high cost of raw meat and consumer demand for quality and consistency have limited the success of South African biltong.
As more people in the U.S. become aware of biltong – a tasty, healthy snack – they are interested in how the product is made and enjoy the fact that it is not actually cooked but marinated and cured.
With the expected expansion of the growing meat snack market, including smaller brands and education about the product, biltong could have a bright future.
Biltong, a popular ready-to-eat salted and dried meat product from South Africa, has an interesting history. Preserving meat through salting and drying is not a new concept. Centuries ago, sailors salted and cured meat in wooden barrels.
Before the settlers arrived, the native tribes of Africa developed their own methods of preserving meat. Some methods included the use of salt and drying. Some settlers then adapted these methods because of the need for food preservation.
It is said that before the settlers arrived, the native tribes of Africa developed their own methods of preserving meat. These included salting and drying meat. Some settlers then adapted these methods due to the need for food preservation.
While game was available in large numbers in South Africa, the natives had no way to store the meat they hunted. They dried it in the sun but added vinegar and spices. The spices they used came from Cape Colony, and the vinegar was made by the Huguenots (French grape producers).
Like many indigenous tribes, the early Southern Africa hunters had no way to store their game meat, because if they didn’t eat it quickly, it spoiled.
A rich part of South African history is the willingness to endure difficult situations. One of those difficult situations was finding a way to preserve meat for a cross-continental journey.
The Voortrekkers (early pioneers) were able to cure meat and dry it for up to two weeks before setting out on their journey. The meat was then wrapped in cloth and stored for the next leg of the journey. Thus, drying became an accepted means of preserving meat.
The name biltong is derived from the Dutch words “bil” (“buttocks”) and “tong” (“tongue”). This is because the meat is cut into slices that resemble a tongue.
Nowadays, biltong is produced by both individuals (households, butchers) and large companies using different recipes and processes to produce a product of the highest quality. Many countries have their own distinctive jerky products. In North America, beef jerky is a very popular choice.
Worldwide, charqui, carne seca and carne do sol are most often compared to biltong.