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7-Eleven Meat Snack Review


7-Eleven Beef Stick ReviewI love, love, love, beef sticks and jerky.  They are tasty, relatively harmless health wise, and an inexpensive ‘pick-me-up.’  Better for you than a Red Bull, I imagine, and certainly better for you than a Snickers.

I’ve even journeyed to outlet stores in search of quantity stock-up deals to satisfy the late Mrs. BurgerDogBoy’s jerky appetite;  there’s one for Jack Links in Minong, Wisconsin, a couple in the Pacific Northwest for Oberto, (Seattle and Albany, OR), and Tillamook Country Smoker has one next to their plant in the Oregon town of the same name. (While in the town, go tour the cheese / ice cream  factory!) (free samples!).

Today we had 7-Eleven’s house brand, 7-Select, both beef and pepperoni varieties.  I’ve been a fan of these for some time, they have a diminutive size that used to be 4 / $1 that I was quite fond of (still am, but price has been jacked.

In the past couple decades, 7-Eleven has made a move away from being your mega chips and soda provider to having ‘healthier’ options, even some fresh packed salads and sandwiches, with manufacturing contracted out to top regional suppliers.  In the Northwest, for example, a number of the 7-Eleven sandwiches are made by Lufthansa’s catering division.  House brands for the c-store chain has been a brilliant move, enabling them to offer priced competitive products with in-house quality control.

The 7-Eleven version of beef snack sticks are made from beef and mechanically separated chicken, smoke flavor and a smattering of spices. The large ones are less than an ounce of meat, at around $1.50, making that snack stick clock out in the $24 per pound range, about the same as most beef jerky products.

The taste and texture is fairly indistinguishable from competitors; beef sticks are an ‘extruded’ product, meaning, the ingredients are made into a slurry and then forced through a mold prior to smoking.

The snacks are manufactured for 7-Eleven by Monogram Foods, which was created in 2004 when some investors bought some “orphan brands’ off Sara Lee.   Monogram has a number of its own brands, Wild Bill’s, Hannah’s, Trail’s Best, O’Brien’s, King Cotton, Circle B Brand, Enjoy and Hickory Best, and some licensed product as well, Bass Pro Shops®, Butterball®, Glory Foods®, Johnsonville®, Realtree®.  Monogram has just made a major move into the frozen appetizer business with the acquisition of the (reported) $100 million revenue  Golden County Foods out of Wisconsin.

Monogram has a half dozen plants around the country; their website lists that their snack meat plant is in Chandler, MN (pictured below), but the USDA establishment number on the product points to a facility in Martinsville, VA.

7-Eleven Beef Stick Review

Some Monogram Foods Brands

7-Eleven Beef Stick Review

7-Eleven Beef Stick Review

Beef Stick, Close Up

7-Eleven Beef Stick Review

Chandler, MN Monogram Plant



7-Eleven Meat Snack Review


Jack Link’s Sasquatch Big Stick


More than a hundred years ago, Chris Link started cranking out snacks and jerky for the lumberjacks of Northern Wisconsin.  Link settled in the tiny burg of Minong (pop. 531) , and today, from those humble beginnings, Jack Link’s has become arguably the largest meat snack company in the free world.  I became a fan when they rolled out their “steak strips” as an alternative to both jerky and sticks.  It’s one of the few beef snack products I know of that feels and tastes like actual beef.

Jack Link’s is a force to be reckoned with worldwide, these days, and they have plants around the globe.

The Big Stick I purchased today, in Portland, OR, was made in New Glarus, WI, according to the USDA stamp on the package.

What, never heard of New Glarus?  You’re missing out, it’s America’s “Little Switzerland“, and is a great place to visit.   Gorge yourself on fondue and other dairy products, while swilling down some local brews.  Top it off with local divine pastries.  You might want to hit there for the annual Swiss independence day celebration in the summer!

But I digress.  The Sasquatch Beef stick is pretty tasty, and weighs in at 2.2 ounces for less than $1.80.   While I like both Slim Jim products and even 7-Eleven in-house beef sticks, Jack Link’s will remain my favorite, as beautiful downtown Minong is within spitting distance of my own hometown.


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