Does anybody else get excited when their local meat and seafood department adds new products? No? Just me? Well I for one was excited when I found out that Natural Grocers has undergone a huge refresh in its Meat and Seafood Departments. Across 19 states, all Natural Grocers saw new and improved features in the displays as well as increased variety and safety.
"Our standards ensure that all of our meat is naturally and humanely raised and our seafood is sustainably sourced, which we believe is the best for our customers, the animals and our environment," said Kemper Isely, Co-President. "We also believe our customers appreciate that we make this incredible quality and variety affordable."
I sure do appreciate it. The new and improved Meat and Seafood Department features high-quality and exotic varieties of grass-fed meat, pork, poultry, fish and seafood. Customers can expect a wide variety of offerings including, bison, beef, yak, wild boar, elk, venison, lamb, pork, chicken, turkey, ostrich, cod, mahi mahi, salmon, scallops, shrimp, tuna, pollock, rockfish, and sole. This much selection is a little overwhelming, but I sure am willing to try them all out.
According to its press release, Natural Grocers maintains very high meat standards. At a minimum, all fresh and frozen meat includes humane raising requirements, no hormones, no growth promoting drugs, no use of antibiotics, no land animal by-products, and non-GMO feed is always preferred. The retailer's high seafood standards mean it only stocks third party certified sustainable options including wild-caught fish, scallops, and organically farmed shrimp.
Natural Grocers takes it a step further and has put together a ranking system for its fresh and frozen meat selections that will help customers easily identify and find the quality standards they are looking for. Natural Grocers' new ranking system, which identifies meat and seafood products as bronze, silver, and gold, is based on criteria that matter to consumers and improves transparency, which is often lacking in label claims. Years of complex information went into Natural Grocers' meat and seafood standards, and customers can clearly see how individual products are raised and produced.
"The unique thing we've done is create real transparency and information about animal product labels so that customers can better understand, and more importantly, trust the food they're buying and eating is really what it claims to be," said Heather Isely, Executive Vice President. "There are so many loopholes in each animal species industry, and we've done our best to bring light to those areas of confusion and provide information that is usable at the point of purchase. Often there is a disconnect on how food gets from the farm to the table, and we want to help bridge that information gap."
To read the full ranking system, click here for the press release. With Natural Grocers taking a lead into food safety transparency and awareness, will other retailers follow suit? Keep reading Deli Market News as we uncover more developments in the retail industry.