James Newitt, founding partner of The Jerky Group, is a man with a plan. And it's a load of BullOx.

Newitt is on a mission to sex up the UK's meat snacking market, and he reckons that BullOx, The Jerky Group's brainchild made from 100% air-dried beef biltong, is the brand for the job.

As the son of Michael Newitt, owner of award-winning butchers and fine food specialist M Newitt & Sons, James already knows a thing or two about the meat industry.

"I'm meat trade born and bred and was indoctrinated into the business at an early age. By the time I was five I was helping to bring turkeys up from the cellar. It runs in the family; even my baby son received a butcher's set for his christening," he says.

Newitt graduated from Smithfield College as a Member of the Institute of Meat and spent 16 years working for Anglo Beef Processors before setting up The Jerky Group with business partner Thomas Morrison in 2002.

"The family business has always been a big part of my life, and continues to be, but I have always wanted to be my own boss too," he says.

The group's original product, Rocking JC Beef Jerky, which launched three years ago, is now worth £4m. The group has just launched a new variant, Rocking JC Beef Nuggets, "a softer eat" designed to appeal to the ladies.

But BullOx is different, explains Newitt. Jerky originates in the US and is a smoked product, but biltong has a South African heritage and is naturally air dried. "Nobody is doing it properly in the UK, they are just dabbling in it. BullOx will be the first major brand with real humour and attitude and we believe there are huge opportunities for it across all retail sectors," he says.

Newitt and Thomas share ambitious plans for the product, which they believe will appeal to the male market as well as the more health-conscious consumer - BullOx has less than 6% fat per pack - and the UK's burgeoning South African community.

"The Jerky Group is working to open up a major sector in what is currently a static market. With brands like Rocking JC and BullOx I have every confidence that we can achieve that," says Newitt.

He says the company is developing a host of clever marketing techniques for its brands, which could involve lads' mag giveaways and skate park advertising.