‘Our company has an absolute lock on biltong’

Through the proposed business combination, Andina would acquire Stryve’s business in an ‘Up-C structure,’ changing the company’s name to Stryve Foods, Inc, which is expected begin trading on the NASDAQ under the new symbol ‘SNAX’ this week.  

Immediate access to capital

Stryve, which has been in fundraise mode for the past year, saw an immediate advantage to the prospect of joining forces with publicly-traded Andina, noted Stryve co-CEO and chief marketing officer, Jaxie Alt. 

“To do a typical IPO would take quite a bit of time,”​ Alt told FoodNavigator-USA, who added that Stryve didn’t connect with many private equity firms because of its atypical path to market as an emerging brand building a new category in the US. 

Unlike many brands starting out who use the less capital-intensive co-manufacturer route, Stryve built a dedicated manufacturing facility to produce its biltong products when it first launched into the market in 2018.

“You have very few startups that invested the kind of money we did to build a factory, because we had to, because it didn’t exist,”​ said Alt. 

“Going public through a SPAC gave us immediate access to capital that was much needed.”​ 

Stryve could not comment on the valuation of the company. 

Under the approved business combination, the company will continue to be led by Alt, Joe Oblas, co-founder & co-CEO, and Alex Hawkins, chief operating officer and chief financial officer along with the company’s board of directors. 

What is biltong?

While biltong may be more recognized today among healthy snack seekers than it was when the company first launched in 2018, educating the consumer on what biltong is and how it differs from traditional jerky products will be key to the brand’s ongoing success, said the company. 

Referring to an air-dried process that dates back centuries in South Africa, Stryve starts with high quality steaks that are washed in vinegar then seasoned with one of the brand’s signature dry rubs, which are free from artificial ingredients, MSG, sugar, and gluten.

Unlike the typical process of making jerky – which introduces heat to dry the beef – Stryve hangs its slabs of steak in a humidity-controlled room, where they’re left to air dry (better preserving the nutrition profile of the beef, the company claims). Once dried, the biltong slabs are sliced against the grain into ultra-thin, tender pieces.

Alt added that Stryve has begun in-person sampling at a few of its retail accounts to help introduce more consumers to biltong.

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