For years, Peperami sticks had a rap - most people assumed that they were full of rubbish, and although they tasted great, we all accepted that they probably weren't very healthy.
But in recent years we've noticed that the Peperami brand has tried to reposition itself as a healthy snack. We've started seeing Peperami sticks included in lunch meal deals as a healthier alternative to something like crisps, and we've also noticed that the Peperami packaging now proudly displays that it is a high protein product. But are Peperami sticks actually healthy? We wanted to take a close look at these meat sticks to find out, let's get into it:
What are Peperami sticks made from?
As we mentioned in our introduction, there was a time when people didn't really know what Peperami sticks were made from - all we knew for certain was that they weren't 100% meat. And that is still the case, but we're not too disappointed with the Peperami ingredients. Pork is the main ingredient in a Peperami, and each stick lists pork as the number 1 ingredient, alongside pork fat as one of the main ingredients. You'll also find a few artificial flavour enhancers and preservatives, which we were a little disappointed to see.
What are the nutritional statistics of a Peperami?
You can buy Peperami sticks in a variety of different sizes, but for the purposes of this guide, we'll be referring to the 22.5g sticks, the most popular variety.
Let's start with the positives - Peperami makes a big deal about the protein in each stick, and there is no denying that a Peperami stick is pretty high in protein, although we expected it to be a bit higher. You'll find 5.2g of protein in a 22.5g Peperami stick, which for such a small snack is quite impressive, especially when you compare it to other similar-sized snacks. For example, Fridge Raiders are available to buy in a pack which is the same size as a Peperami stick (22.5g), but a bag of Fridge Raiders only contains 5g of protein. However, you can currently buy a 35g Grenade protein bar as part of the Tesco lunch deal, and those bars contain 12g of protein each, more than double what you'll find in a Peperami. So if you're looking for a lunch snack which is high in protein then you can do a lot better than a Peperami.
But the protein content of a Peperami stick is where the positives start and end, as we weren't too impressed with the other nutritional statistics of a Peperami. For example, 1 Peperami stick contains 0.88g of salt - to put that into perspective, that’s more than double the amount of salt that you’ll find in a multipack bag of Walkers Ready Salted crisps, which contains just 0.34g of salt.
There are also 112 calories in a Peperami stick - that’s actually a lot of calories to have in such a small snack. Comparing a Peperami stick to Fridge Raiders again, the Fridge Raiders only contain 43 calories per 22.5 bag, so you've got more than twice as many calories in a Peperami stick compared to a bag of Fridge Raiders.
We were also very surprised to see that one Peperami stick contains a whopping 9.9g of fat. Not only is that a lot more than you'll find in a bag of Fridge Raiders - a bag of only contains 2g of fat - but it's also almost exactly the same amount of fat as you'll find in a 33.5g Dairy Milk chocolate bar. And where a bag of Fridge Raiders contains just 0.6g of saturated fat, a Peperami stick contains 4.1g of saturated fat.
Anything else to mention?
There is a Hot Peperami which is a slightly spicer version of a standard Peperami stick The Hot Peperami sticks have a slightly different recipe and different nutritional statistics too - for example, a Hot Peperami stick contains 0.9g of salt, which is 0.02g more salt than you'll find in a standard Peperami stick. But a Hot Peperami stick has the same amount of calories and fat as a standard Peperami stick.
So, are Peperami sticks healthy?
So in conclusion, we'd say that although Peperami sticks contain a good amount of protein, they contain too much fat, salt, and calories for us to consider them as healthy. There are other meat snacks out there that are lower in calories and contain just as much protein as Peperami sticks.
What do you think of our guide? Let us know in the comments your thoughts on how healthy Peperami sticks are!