The Bridgford jerky brand name is manufactured and distributed by Bridgford Foods Corp., located in Chicago, Illinois, at least in 2013. Today, their headquarters has moved to Anaheim, California. Bridgford Foods Corp. started business in 1932 specializing in multiple food products, not just meat snacks, and currently have about 500 employees. They appear to have a deep distribution network, and are likely in the top five for jerky sales in North America.
Ingredients: Turkey, Water, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Soy Sauce Powder (Soy Sauce [Wheat, Soybeans, Salt], Maltodextrin, and Salt), Black Pepper, Paprika, Monosodium Glutamate, Spice Extractives, Natural Lemon Flavor (Corn Syrup Solids, Lemon Juice, Lemon Oil), Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite, Natural Smoke Flavor. Allergen Warnings: Soy, Wheat
While the ingredient list contents has not changed from the Recipe #1, there are some minor changes with quantities, and the turkey. This bag has 98% fat free turkey, compared to 96% before. There is also slightly less sugar and salt used.
The liquid marinade is comprised of lemon juice, lemon oil, and water. The soy sauce is in powder form, which is a cheaper alternative to using actual soy sauce, and generally more processed. Lemons offer many health benefits.
It is disappointing that a processed sweetener such as corn syrup solids (powder form) is used. Corn based ingredients have no business being in jerky.
The sugar level is respectable at 3 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky. The salt level is very high at 620mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky. Our preference is 350mg of salt or less.
The not so healthy preservatives used are sodium erythorbate and sodium nitrite. Also not good, MSG is used. Even worse, the highly processed flavor enhancer hydrolyzed corn protein is used, which is both a type of MSG, and an unhealthy type of trans fats.
The strips of turkey are mostly small, with quite a few pieces that are very small, which could be considered as shavings. These strips are sliced to a medium thickness. The texture is dry, but not overly dry, where this jerky is relatively easy to chew. There is no fat to be seen anywhere, and handling this jerky leaves no oily residue on your fingers.
The first flavor detected is the actual natural turkey flavor. Then the saltiness kicks in that is at too high of a level. There is a mild level of sweetness that is within reason. Occasionally, you get a minor peppery taste from the black pepper. Both the soy and smoke flavors are faint. Overall, nothing special here.
The contrast of colors used is appealing. Everything is imprinted directly on the front and back of this bag, with no labels affixed.
On the back of the bag, there are some “Per Serving” categories. They are “70 Calories”, “0g Saturated Fat”, “12g Protein, and “0g Trans Fat”.
There are no slogans, but there are some facts displayed such as “Solid Slices of Smoked Turkey”, “Made in the USA”, “Natural Style”, “98% Fat Free”, “No Refrigeration Needed”, and “Satisfaction Guaranteed”.
All bag categories are covered in this bag of jerky. To the credit of Bridgford, they display a toll free phone number for customer inquiries. There is a rather lengthy blurb on the back of this bag giving a history of Bridgford Foods Corp., which is appreciated. With growing popularity, a QR code is displayed, along with social media icons for Twitter and Facebook.