Sunday, April 20, 2008

Wal-Mart Great Value Beef Jerky - Sweet & Hot

Wal-Mart Great Value Beef Jerky - Sweet & HotGreat Value is one of Wal-Mart's famous store brands, reflecting a product line of low-priced goods manufactured by an army of private label companies.

I'm not exactly sure who makes the Great Value brand of beef jerky, but I've seen rumors across the Internet that it's made by Link Snacks, Inc., the maker of Jack Link's beef jerky.

This jerky does indeed look and smell just like the Jack Link's jerky, and has a taste and consistency that also resembles the same.

Several years ago, Wal-Mart positioned its beef jerky towards the camping and outdoors section of its store. A few years ago, they revamped their beef jerky marketing strategy by introducing this "sunrise" graphic, and softening the design to make it appeal to all sexes and age groups. Now, it's sold in same section with the snack foods, and is selling a lot better because of it.


The ingredients list shows the following: beef, water, sugar, salt, flavorings, MSG, spice, sodium nitrite.

Mostly what I taste is a subtle sweetness, and a little bit more spiciness. Overall, the spiciness is not that hot, probably what I would refer to as "mild", and what softer tongues might refer to as "medium hot". There is also a salty taste, but not overpowering at all.

Otherwise, I don't really taste much anything else, aside from a slight smokiness.

I don't taste much any of the natural beef flavors either. I was able to get a hint of beef, but very subtle, after chewing a piece, and sucking out the juices. And I got that taste from one of the dryer, less seasoned, pieces. I found another piece that had some larger streaks of fat which gave off a better beef experience.

Meat Consistency

Many pieces are cut large, and others bite-sized. The pieces are sliced medium.

These appears to be cuts of real meat.

Most of the pieces are soft and tender, with just the right amount of chewiness to provide a good beef jerky experience. The package says that this meat was tenderized with bromelain, a popular meat tenderizer. Some of the pieces have that soft rubbery consistency which you often find in Jack Link's beef jerky, further suggesting that this was made by them.

Most of the pieces appear to be quite lean, but there were some others with a slight marblization, and one piece that had larger streaks of fat. I did find a few pieces with some tendon.

Product Value

As a Wal-Mart brand, you expect this to be cheap, and cheap it is. I paid $2.98 for a 4 ounce bag, working out to $0.75 per ounce.

This jerky does live up to its flavor claim of being sweet and spicy, probably more spicy than sweet. Even though it really isn't that hot for me, it'll be plenty hot for most folks.

Since most folks like soft and tender jerky, made with real meat, and with some good flavor, this is defintely a great value considering its low price point.

Wal-Mart Great Value Beef Jerky - Sweet & Hot

Wal-Mart Great Value Beef Jerky - Sweet & Hot


I'm giving this an average rating.

While it has great snackability, and great value, it still doesn't jump out at me as warranting a higher rating. The flavor is rather ordinary. I would have liked this to offer some unique flavors. As it is, the relatively plain and usual ingredients list makes this a "plain jane" jerky.

I'm sure Wal-Mart wasn't wanting gourmet beef jerky anyways. They just wanted something that offers up some great snacking at a low price, and they certainly got it. If low price is important to your snacking habits, try this beef jerky, you should be pleased.

Rating: Average

Where to purchase: at any Wal-Mart store.

1 comment:

  1. Big fan of the WalMart jerky since it doesnt cost my $8 for a decent size bag.