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Chips have long been a well liked snack for Americans, but they can be beginning to lose their edge. A recent study from Nielsen finds that sales of meat snacks, like jerky online and convenience-packaged dry sausage sticks, has grown, while chip sales have slowed. And when Slim Jims are what comes up, think again: New competitors have entered the industry, driving growth by emphasizing their wholesome qualities and marketing toward consumers on specialized diets.

Meat snack sales have increased 3.5 percent throughout the last year to $2.8 billion, in accordance with Nielsen, with 7 percent compound growth throughout the last 4 years. Though chips sales are more than twice that amount, the category posted a dollar growth of just 1.7 percent last year.

American households spend around $25.81 on meat snacks each and every year, which puts them in second spot in the salty snacks category, behind the typical $35.37 people spend on potato chips. Households spend more money money on meat snacks than they do on cheese snacks, popcorn or corn chips, though that may be because meat snacks can command higher prices.

So what’s together with the sudden demand for jerky? Consumers are snacking more and eating fewer take a seat meals, which contains led them to look for “snacks that pack a nutritional punch” said David Walsh, vice president of communications and membership for SNAC, a global trade association for the snack industry.

There has been specifically a dietary trend from carbohydrates and toward protein, which might lead some people to eat fewer chips and a lot more meats, particularly meat snacks. “Meat snacks have took advantage of the increasing prevalence of Americans attempting to eat more protein included in a healthful diet,” said Jordan Rost, v . p . of consumer insights at Nielsen, inside an email.

The marketplace for them is growing even while meat departments in grocery stores are lagging, in accordance with Food Navigator, which reported that sales in grocery meat departments declined 2.5 percent this past year. That decline was because of deflationary pressures who have brought down the cost of meat, said Rost.

Many newer, upscale brands have eschewed the hypermasculine marketing that brands like Slim Jim once favored. They’re more prone to highlight the point that their meat is grass-fed, as well as their products are gluten-free and Paleo diet friendly. Consumer research firm Mintel found out that nearly three-fourths of clients crave healthier salty snack options, and this 79 percent want so that you can recognize a snack’s ingredient list, in accordance with trade publication Convenience Store Decisions.

That’s why you may be seeing increasingly more of brands like Naked Cow, whose motto is “Just Beef Jerky – No ‘Udder’ Stuff”; Chomps, which touts its Whole 30 approval; and Epic Provisions, which puts the volume of grams of protein in all of its bars in huge font, as well as “100 percent grass-fed.” Many items are aimed toward Millennials, in particular those doing CrossFit, a demographic to whom some brands, like Wild Zora, market directly.

That move is in accordance with overall snacking trends. “Things like organic, natural snacks, clean label, are growing by and large,” Walsh said.

Big brands are catching on, too. ConAgra, which owns Slim Jim, recently purchased Duke’s, a maker of snack sausages with folksy branding that emphasizes whole ingredients. In 2015, dexjpky87 purchased Krave, a brand name making meat sticks with substances that seem to be a gourmet meal: spicy red pepper pork with black beans, or sesame garlic beef with sweet potato.

But tend to meat snacks beat the chip industry? It’s unlikely to happen soon. While the marketplace for meat snacks is growing with a faster rate, potato chips still emerge at the top with regards to units sold: As outlined by data offered by Nielsen, over 3 billion packages of potato chips sold in the last year, when compared with 900 million meat snacks.