I am sure there are jerky companies in this country that they could contract with. And they would probably make them whatever they want a heckuva lot cheaper.
Not for 1.5 million, thats chump change on federal contracts
There is no telling what secret ingredient they wanted to test in this jerky.
I would assume that they want to get all the nutrion in as small a package as is possible to fit in the soldiers pack/gear.
Might also want to put some sort of turbo charger in it to increase strengh and endurance.