Product Insight from Bob Tullio – Baja Vida: This New Lifestyle Brand Will Result in Strong Micromarket Sales for Operators

The Product: Baja Vida – Beef Jerky, Beef Sticks, Dryed Mangos

Like everyone with a backyard smoker, I was convinced I could make a really good beef jerky. Then I tried Baja Vida. The texture is so perfect and the taste so good it was like tasting jerky for the first time.

Flavors of Baja

“After achieving some success in online sales, we wondered how to turn this brand into something more,” said Will Dryden, General Manager of Baja Vida. “We realized that no product identified with the Baja lifestyle, so we renamed the product ‘Baja Vida’ and added Baja flavors to our products.”

Dryden and his team use fresh produce for the jerky marinade such as citrus fruits, cilantro, onions, garlic, jalapeño and serrano peppers. Baja focuses on flavor absorption, allowing the fresh ingredients to cook into the sliced ​​beef.

Renamed Baja Vida

Baja Jerky launched in September 2019 (without the Vida), when business was booming. Like so many startups, Baja Jerky ran into the pandemic a few months later. A quick pivot to online sales has made Baja Jerky the #4 ranked beef snack on Amazon during the pandemic. The rebranding of Baja Vida took place in January 2022.

recipe for success

Baja Vida’s recipe for success combines the work of its Michelin-starred chef, an eclectic variety of products, dynamic packaging with a cool steer wearing aviator shades, a continuous dose of social media promotion and a surprising twist that positions their products as “better for you.”

“The nutritional facts speak for themselves,” Dryden said. “Baja Vida is low sodium, low to no sugar, contains 100% natural beef, gluten free, no msg, no nitrites or nitrates, nothing added. We have made the choice to produce a better quality product at the expense of our own margins, because we are committed to being totally competitive in terms of price, which I know will be appreciated by micro-operators.

3,000 convenience stores and growing

Baja Vida has already found a home in 3,000 convenience stores, and Dryden noted that the company recently struck a deal with Terrible Herbst and will be on shelves the first week of May across Nevada. The Baja Vida varieties (not to mention the colorful packaging) really stand out in the retail environment.

The selections:

  • Street Taco Beef Jerky 2.5 oz. Bag
  • Salsa Fresca Beef Jerky 2.5 oz. Bag
  • Traditional Beef Jerky 2.5 oz. Bag
  • Lime Serrano Pepper Beef Jerky 2.5 oz. Bag
  • Sweet Orange Beef Jerky 2.5 oz. Bag
  • Crackin’ Pepper Beef Jerky 2.0 oz. Bag
  • Beef Sticks – Street Taco, Traditional & Spicy Sauce – 1 oz.

Mangoes – Classic Baja

In keeping with the Baja region’s love of dried fruits, especially mangoes, Baja Vida has launched chewy, sweet and tangy dried fruit mangoes in a 3 oz. bag. As Dryden explains, “When you’re swimming in the ocean on a hot day, you go out and get a dried mango with chili lime. That’s classic Baja life. Chili Limon seasoning is a key ingredient. As Dryden points out, Baja locals put lime chili on everything—the rim of a glass, a piece of fresh or dried fruit, eggs in the morning—even sweet corn. “In Baja, you wear chili silt on your hip like a six-shooter,” Dryden said. “It can go on any food, at any meal.”

Invested in “Vida”

Baja Vida is invested in the lifestyle message and Dryden said it’s more than just marketing – the message is authentic. “We live the Baja life. Whenever we get the chance, we fish, swim and embrace the Baja Vida. We race a Baja Jerky Trophy Truck in the Baja Score Series, we fish in the Bisbees Cabo San Lucas tournaments, and we support the Rancho Santa Marta Orphanage in Baja.

On your marks, shoot, aim

“Things are going fast for us. It’s ready, shoot, aim, but the product and the message are a hit,” said Dryden. “We have distribution and we know Baja Vida is a great fit for micromarket operators targeting Gen Z and the millennial workforce.”

Bob Tullio’s take on Baja Vida

I only have one complaint about the product. Every time I handed a bag to someone on the golf course so they could try the Baja Vida, the bag came back empty. The Street Taco Jerky and Beef Sticks are irresistible. My favorite product is Salsa Fresca Jerky. Amazing flavor and texture.

“It starts with the packaging”

Baja Vida will be a huge hit in the micro market. It starts with the packaging. As Dryden explained, the company often hears consumers say, “My favorite is the green packet, or the blue packet, or the orange packet.

“Baja Vida makes sense for operators”

Baja Vida will really stand out in the unattended retail space. Offering unique flavors in a category that has been fairly static for a long time, Baja Vida is a rare differentiator for micro market operators. The pricing structure, the “best for you” factor, the lifestyle message and the strong social media following all point to one conclusion – Baja Vida makes sense for operators.

To learn more about Baja Vida, contact Laura Selecky at [email protected] or (760) 550-0345.


Bob Tullio, Industry Consultant and Contributing Editor of, is a content specialist who advises convenience service industry operators on how to build a successful business from the ground up and advises vendors on how to successfully connect to operators. Tullio’s YouTube channel, b2b Perspective, is designed to “elevate your business in two minutes.”

At the 2022 NAMA Show in Chicago, Tullio presented a pre-conference session titled “Selling Local Services: Strategies of Elite Performers”.

For more information on the services Tullio offers to operators and suppliers, visit his new website at or contact him at [email protected]