The Butterfly Effect: U.S. Convenience Store Beef Jerky Sales Threatened by War in Ukraine

“The Butterfly Effect” is a chaos theory based on the work of mathematician and meteorologist Edward Norton Lorenz. Lorenz also developed the theoretical basis of both climate and weather predictability.

In this particular theory, the idea is that something minor happening on one side of the world could have a ripple effect of infinite proportions on something that otherwise would seemingly have no real connection.

The theory gets its name from the example that a tornado forming in the Midwest could have had its origins influenced by a butterfly’s wings flapping a few weeks earlier.


So, you may wonder what on earth Russia’s invasion of Ukraine might have to do with beef jerky sales at convenience stores in the U.S. It is, in fact, a prime example of the butterfly effect in action.

According to the CNN Business report Americans Can’t Afford Gas. That’s Bad News for Beef Jerky, Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine is indeed affecting beef jerky sales at gas stations in America. Here’s how:

Russia is the world’s third largest oil producer. When Vladimir Putin ordered troops to invade Ukraine, he did nor foresee sanctions by the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, and the European Union.

Those sanctions are having a crippling effect on Russia’s economy, but by taking 10% of global oil production off the market, that strain on supply has driven oil prices to their highest level in seven years.


When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the country, demand for gas plummeted. As an example, the average price per gallon drivers were paying at the pump in the U.S. in April 2020 was $1.94.

Once vaccines had been developed and rolled out, the economy started to recover, and consumers started to return to using their cars more. More demand for gasoline resulted in higher prices.

By March 2021 drivers were paying an average of $2.82 per gallon. That’s an increase of 45%.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, resulted in an additional 20% spike in oil and gas prices. The price of gasoline shot up around the world, not just in the U.S.

Now while that’s a nice lesson in the economics of the oil industry, what on earth does that have to do with falling sales of beef jerky at convenience stores? The answer to this goes back to driving habits.


According to, as of April 2022, the average price per gallon of gasoline in the U.S. is hovering around $4.508. Gas prices since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have reached over $5 per gallon in some states.

Prior to the availability of COVID vaccines people weren’t driving because they weren’t leaving the house. That lack of demand drove the price of gas down.

Current high gas prices are having the opposite effect. Because consumers don’t want to pay the higher gas prices, people are choosing to drive less.

Around 80% of the fuel purchased in the United States is done so at convenience stores. Of the customers who are stopping to fill their tanks, 44% go into the store and make additional purchases.

Bonnie Herzog, managing director at Goldman Sachs, specifically noted declines in the sale of jerky products in a research note published April 13, 2022. Herzog attributes the falling jerky sales as being a result of the reduced foot traffic convenience stores are seeing due to decreased driving. In fact, Herzog indicates the decline in sales is being seen across most major snack food categories.

According to the New York Post, an anticipated busy summer travel season is now likely not expected to include quite so many families hitting the road because of the high price of gas. And that, Post scribe Lisa Fickenscher says, is going to negatively impact “salty and sweet snack sales including beef jerky.”

At least it will affect sales of beef jerky and other snacks at convenience stores. There are other ways to feed your craving for beef jerky without taking any unnecessary trips in the car.


According to Beatriz Estay, Content Marketing Manager at BigCommerce, ecommerce has become a more appealing option to venturing out on the road – not just because of high gas prices, but also because of the sheer convenience.

As opposed to physically going to a convenience store, with ecommerce you can shop from your bedroom without getting dressed. In fact, thanks to smartphones, you can pretty much order from anywhere – at that point the getting dressed is just a personal decision.

Ecommerce accounts for 11% of all retail transactions, as currently measured. That figure is expected to double to at least 22% by 2023.

B.U.L.K. is one of the leading beef jerky sellers in the U.S. thanks to a commitment to only using the best cuts of USA-raised beef, adhering to traditional award-worthy recipes, and doing it at fair and affordable prices.

Instead of making the time in your day to drive to the convenience store, using up costly gas in the process, think about ordering your beef jerky and other snacks via the web and having it conveniently delivered to your door. Plus, the more you buy, the better the price. And the prices are pretty darn good to begin with.

B.U.L.K. offers brisket and round cut Premium Beef Jerky in packages from 3-ounce individual servings to 6-pound bulk quantities. Varieties range from traditional rip-and-chew styles like cowboys used to eat on the prairie to tender all-natural brisket that practically melts in your mouth.

When it comes to flavor, varieties range from traditional to exotic. There simply is a taste to satisfy everyone.  Also offered are Wood Smoked Meat Sticks, Premium Dried Fruit, and Premium Bulk Nuts.

Chips are another favorite item drivers like to pick up when they stop for gas. B.U.L.K. recently introduced what some call the ideal chip – B.U.L.K. Signature Kettle Potato Chips in Original Salted and Sour Cream & Onion. 

These chips are sourced locally with fresh potatoes from neighboring area farms and are only cooked in 30-pound batches. An experienced Kettle Master personally presides over each batch, ensuring perfect texture, color, and taste.

Nobody wants to pay high prices at the gas pump. And if you order from B.U.L.K. you don’t have to. Plus, you’ll get a better tasting product and at a better price.

For all the best solutions to your snack cravings visit:

Peace. Love. Trust.

If you appreciate the nature of my words here, I ask that you take just a moment to share this article with your social media of choice. Follow me on Facebook (/rikki.travolta) and Twitter (@RikkiLeeTV)

Leave a Reply