Note: For a more current taste review on a tweaked bag design and ingredient list, open up Bridgford – Sweet Baby Ray’s Original Beef Jerky (Review #4).
The Bridgford jerky brand name is distributed by Bridgford Foods Corp based out of Chicago, Illinois. Year to year, Bridgford has consistently been in the top five of the world for jerky sales. Bridgford Foods Corp started over 80 years ago, and today employs approximately 500 employees. You can visit their web site for a more detailed explanation of their history.
The beef used is not guaranteed to be free of growth hormones or additional antibiotics. Also, the beef is not guaranteed to have at least partial free range access to graze on grass. As a result, the highest ingredient rating that can be awarded is a Good (8/10) rating.
The term flavorings is ambiguous. It can mean almost anything, good or bad.
The sugar level is a little on the high side at 5 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky. Our preference is 3 grams of sugar or under. The salt level is high at 430mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky. Our preference is 350mg of salt or less.
We have two unhealthy, salt based preservatives present, with sodium erythorbate and sodium nitrite. This jerky does not qualify to be MSG free as it uses MSG outright. Worse though is that the flavor enhancer hydrolyzed corn protein is used. Being hydrolyzed makes it a type of unhealthy trans fat.
The strips are medium thickness, and medium to small in size. Being an original flavor, the taste of beef should stand out. For this Bridgford original flavor, I find the beef has a slightly processed taste, instead of the real beef flavor standing out.
Overall, the most noticeable taste is salt. There is only a mild sweet taste, despite a fair amount of sugar and brown sugar in the ingredient list by weight. There is no residue left on my fingers from this jerky, nor can I visibly see any signs of fat.
I paid $6.99 for this 3 ounce/85 gram bag of Bridgford jerky. That works out to $2.33 an ounce, which rates as a borderline average price. Considering that the ingredient list used is not great, there are better deals out there.
The overall layout is attractive and professional looking in appearance. Everything is imprinted directly on the bag, both on the front and back. There are no labels affixed to this bag.
Their slogan appears to be “Premium Brand”. Some facts are printed on this bag such as “Natural Style”, “Solid Slices of Smoked Beef”, “The Premium Brand”, “Made in the USA”, “96% Fat Free” and “Premium Quality Since 1932”.
All bag categories are covered here. There is a good blurb printed on the back about this jerky. Bridgford Foods Corp deserves credit for displaying a toll free phone number for customer inquiries. There is also a ‘Satisfaction Guaranteed’ policy offered.