A great snack is going to be easy to find when you know where to look. This is what leads many to consider both cheese sticks and beef sticks. However, what if you’re trying to choose between these two leading options for snacks? Is there a clear winner over the other? Are they just entirely different so that they aren’t in direct competition? Below, we’ve gone over the differences between them that you should know! We’ll cover:
- Convenience and utility
Both of these snack sticks are going to be great for nutrition. This is what makes them such a plus for parents that are looking for something healthy yet still appetizing for particular children. But, let’s take a look at just how their nutrition differs from one form to the next.
Cheese sticks offer up to 7 grams of protein and a 15% daily value of calcium and iron. Most will give out 90 calories per cheese stick. Beef sticks, on the other hand, will offer up to 8 grams of protein and provide a 6% daily value of iron. These tend to be 70 calories per stick.
The main difference in these nutritional content is the lactose. Cheese sticks contain lactose since they’re a dairy product. Beef sticks don’t since, well, they don’t contain dairy. For children who are lactose intolerant, beef sticks tend to win out over indigestion that they cause, particularly when looking at the similarity in protein and calorie content.
Convenience and utility
This is where the differentiations start to really come out between the two choices. Let’s start off with the shelf life since this is often a concern for budget-focused shoppers and anyone else that wants to fill their shelves with their best choice for longevity. Cheese sticks offer 6-8 weeks of shelf life and can offer more if you go beyond their best-before date. Beef sticks tend to last you anywhere from 1 month to 1 year. Store-bought beef sticks are thought to have a slightly shorter shelf life than homemade beef sticks, but it depends on preparation, etc.
Next is the need for refrigeration, of course. Cheese sticks are going to need to be refrigerated from the time they’re bought til they’re eaten. This can make it tricky for those that just want to stick a snack in their backpack or purse. Beef sticks don’t require refrigeration unless they are opened and not eaten. Since most beef sticks are individually wrapped and portioned into single servings, this is often not applicable!
Following that is the overall convenience of the snacks. Since most are looking for delicious ways to have snacks on the go that are actually satiating, comparing them head to head with convenience front of mind is going to be really important. Cheese sticks are convenient in that they taste very satiating, can be picked apart like cheese strings (for kids), and can be a little extra kick to get you through to supper.
Beef sticks are still thought to be a bit more convenient than cheese sticks. This is really because of their refrigeration part. Since many are looking for snacks they can just toss into their bags and go, beef sticks are more durable, less likely to get quashed, and don’t have to be kept cool. Whether they’re post-workout snacks, pre-meeting snacks, etc., they are just very convenient.
The last detail is the aftertaste. Cheese is notorious for that dairy aftertaste. It can often make one’s breath smell bad and leave a creamy aftertaste in the mouth. This requires brushing your teeth or having something else to mask the smell. Beef doesn’t contain that same factor. This is also a sign of why beef is much better for convenience!
Since the value for money always factors in, let’s take a close look at the numbers. Country/Archer Beef Sticks cost $2.59 each, and each stick is 1 oz of high-quality and grass-fed beef. Sargento Cheese Sticks cost $4.45 for a 12-pack of cheese sticks. The price comparison directly shows you that cheese sticks are going to be the most cost-effective compared to beef sticks.
As you already have guessed, taste and choice are going to be a matter of personal preference. However, you will certainly want to do your part to ensure that you’re getting the best taste and value for your own personal preferences. Beef sticks come in several flavors (original, jalapeño, and teriyaki). Cheese sticks can also come in several flavors and cheese types (original, sharp cheddar, garlic and herb, and Colby pepper). Most kids love both of these flavor options, and many parents will enjoy the convenience of going back and forth as tastes change.
The bottom line
As far as summing it all up, meat is going to be the higher quality snack when it comes to ingredients and sourcing. However, needs snacks are going to be much more affordable when that is your main factor. Whether you’re looking for a cheese stick alternative or you just want to know what to offer your kids, it’s nice to know that, while kids love cheese sticks, you can still tempt them with beef sticks if you want something different!
When you want to know just what you should choose, the bottom line is that you’ll want to rely on the factors that matter most to you. If cost is the most important concept, cheese sticks are the best choice for sure. If you love the aftertaste-free and satiation from meat, you’ll find beef sticks to be the better choice.
Many will find that going back and forth between the options is going to allow for a much better experience. It’s nice to know that parents and kids alike will have a choice in protein choice and also lots of flavor and texture combinations to play with, too. While some will find there is a true winner when it comes to one versus the other, it’s nice to know that it doesn’t necessarily have to be a “winner takes all” kind of situation.