The dried meat and meat chips business is suitable for those who love meat and are ready to experiment with recipes, honing the taste of products to perfection. Dried meat is a natural product that, thanks to a special cooking technology, contains a maximum of useful substances – proteins, natural vitamins and trace elements, amino acids. At the same time, dried meat can be stored for several months , which is an advantage among other types of meat snacks.
Meat chips , which are thinly sliced and dried pieces of meat with fragrant spices, are still little known to the Russian consumer. Therefore, it’s time to take advantage of a fresh business idea for their manufacture. This healthy and nutritious “fast food” will come in handy in today’s society, which strives for a healthy lifestyle .
Business pros and cons
Why making jerky or meat chips can be a profitable business? Because to start production you do not need to purchase special equipment and invest a lot of money. Consider the main pros and cons of this business idea.
- Minimum investment with tangible income. To prepare the first batch of jerky or meat chips at home, you only need to invest in the purchase of raw materials. The main investment will be your time, which will have to be spent on training, and your manual labor. But, even taking into account the retail margin of 25-30%, you will receive about 50% of the return on the initial investment.
- The gradual implementation . Start with the simplest recipes you can make at home using only the refrigerator. In the future, it is worth thinking about purchasing or independently manufacturing a climate chamber and expanding the range.
- Wastelessness of production . Even if you make minor mistakes in the process of preparing the first batches of jerky or meat chips, their price will be small, like the first batches of delicacies. At the same time, everything that is cooked correctly but not sold, you can eat yourself. Therefore, do not be afraid to experiment, involve your friends in the tasting, because in the future they may become your first regular customers.
- Long shelf life . Finished products are stored in the refrigerator for up to two months. And if you later purchase a vacuum sealer, then outside the refrigerator. The advantage of vacuum packaging is an airless space where bacteria and mold will not grow.
- Low competition. It is unprofitable for large producers to invest in dry-drying because of the length of the process. And at the moment there are very few private entrepreneurs who are engaged in the manufacture of dried meat or meat chips.
- Special equipment for mass production . If for the first time you have enough home refrigerator, then when you start even a small batch production, you will need to purchase special equipment: a slicer for thin and even cutting of chips, a thermal chamber for drying them, a vacuum packer for long-term storage of ready-made delicacies, climatic or refrigerator chamber.
- Long technological process . If the production of meat chips takes several days, then the preparation of even such a simple dried product as chicken fillet will take a week, pork tenderloin – three weeks, basturma – from a month, and for large products and salami it will take two months or more.
- The need to comply with sanitary norms and rules . We must not forget that you will not only work with products, but are going to feed people. If you do not have a health book, then do not forget to take the necessary tests and do fluorography at least annually. Safety is paramount.
- weight loss . From salting to the finished product, 40% – 50% is lost. Those. from one kilogram of meat we get only half a kilo of finished products.
Jerky as a business at home
Before you start implementing your business idea for making jerky and meat chips, it is worth working through the points below . Each region will have its own introductory, as well as market features, but the general principles work the same everywhere.
Demand and competition analysis
Traditionally, dried venison, horse meat and hunting products were produced in Russia, and not beef and pork, they were mainly supplied from abroad. But after the imposition of sanctions in 2014, the Russians practically lost their favorite jamon and cheeses from Europe.
And if the Russian market for young cheeses is actively developing, private cheese dairies are constantly opening, then the market for meat delicacies, the production of which requires special technologies and time, is still poorly represented in the Russian Federation . At the same time, it is worth considering that in the 21st century, the trend towards a healthy lifestyle is gaining momentum, so it is logical to increase the demand for natural meat snacks that do not contain GMOs and E-additives, which will become a worthy and healthy snack.
You can search for competitors producing similar products through search engines on the Internet or using hashtags on Instagram. You can go shopping and places where they sell beer snacks. Make a list of the most popular products, evaluate their cost, freshness and packaging. Analyze competitors that are ahead of you in many ways , this will give you valuable information on how and where to develop further. And most importantly – try to create a unique offer that will distinguish you from your competitors.
You can dry-dry a variety of meats: from beef and pork to elk and horse meat, as well as poultry and other game. It all depends on your imagination and the cooking time of the final product.
To start a business at home, it is better to focus on simple recipes that do not require additional storage space and long-term drying. Start by making chicken pastrami , which only takes a week to make. And crispy meat chips from any kind of meat will be ready in a couple of days. Here are some more popular delicacies that can be cured at home:
- Basturma. Beef tenderloin or horse meat cured in a crust of spices for about a month.
- Bresaola. Dry-cured beef tenderloin with a crust of sea salt and pepper. Preparing from 35 to 50 days.
- Balyk. Dried pork neck, which is cooked for a little over a week.
- Hamon. Dried ham of a young pig with salt. It takes 1.5-2 years for the classic jamon to ripen, but you can cook a “quick” jamon in 30 days. It should be borne in mind that pork is not advised to dry at home , as it deteriorates faster than other types of meat and is more likely to become infected with harmful microorganisms.
Production technology and nuances
Before starting the production of dried meat, it is worth familiarizing yourself with some features:
- Choose lean meat of adult animals, tenderloin is best (for poultry – breast);
- Purchase meat only from trusted suppliers;
- When self-drying meat, do not forget to thoroughly comply with all the requirements of the technology, including the timing of salting;
- It is preferable to use a nitrite salt.
- Thoroughly washed meat is dried and cut into strips of 300-700 grams, which should not contain films and layers of fat. Next, it is ready for pickling. There are three different ways:
- Wet. The meat is kept in a saline solution for several days, and then dried.
- Dry. The meat is generously sprinkled with coarse salt, kept in the refrigerator for several days, then washed.
- Combined. First, the meat is aged in the refrigerator, as during dry salting, and then soaked in a special marinade.
Then the actual drying process begins.
- Evenly coat the salted meat with a mixture of spices prepared to your taste (paprika, coriander, cloves, cumin, garlic, etc.). Be sure to add red pepper, which is a natural preservative;
Wrap each piece in cheesecloth and place in the refrigerator for a week in a dry, clean container;
- Remove the meat and rub again with the mixture;
- Pack the pieces in clean gauze and tie with a strong thread by which you can hang them;
- Choose a dry and well-ventilated place for curing meat. Avoid the sun, the temperature should be + 10-20 degrees.
Search for points of sale
- Your first customers can be friends, so feel free to invite them for a tasting. Take a few photos of the finished product, put it on your page, send it to your friends on social networks, asking them to repost it. After the first orders, do not forget to collect feedback from customers, this will help you better understand the preferences of the target audience and hone the product.
- In the future, create a separate page on social networks or a website for your product. Post posts, subscribe to people, promote your product. In order not to think about the delivery of the product at first, look for people according to the principle of territorial proximity, so that self-pickup is possible. With a significant increase in orders, it is possible to deliver from a certain order amount (1000 – 1500 rubles) or by mail at the expense of the client, because vacuum packaging and a special cooking technology allow you to safely send the goods.
- Over time, try to negotiate the supply of your delicacies to bars, retail outlets, shops and online stores. The more distribution channels you can attract, the more you sell and earn.
Scaling the Meat Snacks Business
In the future, when sales increase, you develop a customer base and establish distribution channels, it’s time to think about opening your own production. A sample action plan for business expansion looks like this:
To legally engage in the production of jerky or meat chips, you must register as an individual entrepreneur. To do this, collect a package of documents to submit personally to the tax office or through the State Services portal.
It is also necessary to obtain permits to carry out their activities in the SES , Veterinary and Fire inspections, etc. At the same time, finished products must have certificates of conformity and consumer labeling. A small business can certify its products through an application-declaration submitted to ROSTEST.
Finding a place for a workshop
Next, choose a place for the production workshop. Rent a small room up to 50 sq.m., which will meet the requirements of SanPiN and is suitable for food production. It may be necessary to make repairs and check the serviceability of communications.
For the first time, hire 1-2 assistants and see how they cope with the volume of orders. If you do not have a special education, it is worth hiring an experienced food technologist who will deal with product quality control and prepare recipes for meat products. Take over the functions of the manager for the purchase of raw materials and the sale of finished products for the first time. It is easier to hire an accountant on outsourcing, you will save on paying taxes for an employee, deductions to funds and vacation pay.
How much to invest at the start
The opening of a small production will cost 700,000 – 1 million rubles . This will include:
- Payment of rent for the premises for a year;
- Formation and registration of the enterprise;
- Purchase of the necessary equipment;
- Purchase of raw materials;
- Product certification;
- Wages for employees for the first time;
- Advertising company, etc.
We advise you to have enough funds for the uninterrupted operation of the enterprise for the first six months when it reaches zero.
Profitability of the jerky business
The Russian market of meat products is the largest food market. Based on a thorough analysis of the market, it can be concluded that the production of meat delicacies is not only promising, but also a highly profitable and fast-payback business if it is possible to organize streaming production and establish stable sales markets .
But every business comes with certain risks and challenges.
- It should be borne in mind that several months and several hundred kilograms of meat will be spent on mastering the production technology. To achieve the desired result will have to be experienced. Finding a food technologist with experience will make this process easier and faster.
- Obtaining permits to open a business from various services – SES, ROSTEST, Fire Inspection, etc. Thoroughly study the requirements and fulfill them.
- Non-compliance of product quality with market requirements, which is associated with non-compliance with the preparation technology or low-quality raw materials. Therefore, it is worth paying attention to suppliers. It is better to visit dozens of farms, see the conditions in which animals are kept, and find “your” reliable supplier.
- The emergence of competitors offering similar products. To do this, it is worth opening your own workshop, already having a base of regular customers who are familiar with the product and prefer it. Do not forget to arrange promotions to attract new audiences, and please regular customers with bonuses.
- Rising prices for raw materials. Partly settled due to the profitability of the enterprise. And in the event of a significant increase in prices, the price of the finished product will rise, which will not greatly affect the overall picture, since competitors will have to resort to similar measures.