Ashley Kohn, Naturally Chicago member, is Chief Creative Manager at PREVAIL Jerky, which she co-founded with husband (and CEO) Glen Kohn and Rob Linden. We get inspiration from the stories of people who initially created their delicious products to address a personal health issue (Good Food is Good Medicine is one of Naturally Chicago’s sister programs at FamilyFarmed), and Ashley and her partners really nailed it. PREVAIL’s jerky is so uniquely tasty and tender that the company was accepted into the sixth cohort of the Good Food Accelerator that got under way in late February.
PREVAIL Jerky — the company I founded with my husband, Glen Kohn — emerged from our efforts to address a personal health issue. But more than that, we wanted to show people that healthy food could taste delicious. Just because you have a food allergy doesn’t mean you should settle for bland, boring food.
I had terrible food allergies from the age of 16 and even years before. Eating a raw carrot would make my lips swell, being in the same room where raw potatoes were being cut would make my throat itch and eyes water — the list goes on and on.
I began to eliminate many foods from my diet in order to not have a reaction, and my parents put me on several allergy medications. But the list kept on growing. I was tested for food allergies and was told to avoid corn and soy, but I was in my 20s and it proved very difficult to eliminate those items completely; I did not understand at the time that the food I was eating was part of my problem.
It wasn’t until my early 30s — after hearing that my mother had been diagnosed with Celiac disease — that I started to take my health into my own hands. My symptoms matched up, and I began to really take a look at what I was eating and the chemicals that I was ingesting.
I was diagnosed with Celiac in 2004 and moved to a gluten-free diet. I then found that moving to a Paleo diet really helped ease my symptoms even more. At that time, there really weren’t many Paleo products on the market, so most of the food we were eating was made from scratch.
That is how PREVAIL Jerky got its start. Luckily, my husband is an amazing home chef and he would help make things that I could take with me while I traveled for my job. When you travel with food allergies you are basically left with eating a banana or hard-boiled eggs in the airport. So I relished the trips when I had homemade jerky to take along.
Once we had children, our focus on food health became even greater, and our diets became extremely clean. Friends and family suggested that we sell our jerky to the public because it was like nothing they had tasted before. When we dug into the space and tested more than 100 jerkies, we found that no one had our unique flavor profiles or texture. Sure there are a few healthy jerkies out there, but they all tasted ”healthy” rather than delectable.
We pride ourselves on PREVAIL being free of the top eight allergens (we do contain coconut), and we love being able to provide delicious, flavorful jerky that is high in protein and low in sugar and sodium. We are equally proud of our Paleo & Gluten Free certifications, and our 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef with 0% saturated fat. We are free from soy and cane sugar and are among the highest protein, lowest sodium beef jerkies on the market.
No one should have to settle for bland rip and tear jerky, we should always PREVAIL when it comes to our food choices. We are providing a clean, easy, flavorful, on-the-go snack for travel, work or after-exercise fuel. To customers who say they don’t like jerky, we say they haven’t tried ours — and nine times out of 10, they buy a bag.
We are the most uniquely flavored, delicious, tender beef jerky that you’ll find on the market today. At PREVAIL, we see ourselves as a category disrupter. Jerky has been done the same way for so long, and we know that the consumer is looking for more.
We are jerky for foodies. We do consider ourselves a premium brand without the premium price. We feel our product is elevated against most common brands. PREVAIL is out to prove that healthy food can be delicious.
PREVAIL® Jerky comes in 4 crave-worthy flavors:
Original: Original got an upgrade. You’ve never tried Original Jerky like this. Cardamom? Matcha? Our non-traditional and now not-so-secret recipe is sure to become your next crave-worthy addiction. Just tear open the bag, you’ll believe it when you smell it.
Spicy: This savory snack has a kick that keeps on kicking. The trick? Morita chile peppers from Mexico. They’re bold and smoky, yet fruitier than your average pepper —so the heat may take you by surprise. A very pleasant surprise.
Umami: It’s sweet, it’s savory, it’s umami. We use coconut aminos made from aged coconut sap to create this uniquely alluring flavor. You can count on this healthy snack to hit the spot every time, any time. Umami Jerky for breakfast? We won’t judge.
Lemongrass: When life gives you lemongrass… add Sichuan peppercorns. These two complement each other like yin and yang, to create a flavor fusion never before tasted by the jerky world. A sweet and tangy zest followed by a subtle tingling sensation that keeps you wanting more.
Now stop reading and dig in.