Supermarket Perimeter - February 2021 - 33

" Verde's sourcing standards and ongoing product development
have been in lock step with the two forces driving modern consumers'
purchase decisions year over year, particularly millennial consumers
and their families: personal values, and experiential factors like
convenience and on-trend flavors, " he said. " Today, the industry
segment is tasked with satisfying both. "
At Weavers Way Co-Op, a member-owned grocery co-op with stores
in Northwest Philadelphia and Pennsylvania's Montgomery County,
Apollo Heidelmark, meat and poultry manager, has seen grass-fed beef
sales grow year over year, and only a decade ago, it wasn't even offering
the segment.
" People are interested in these grass-fed products because they are
local and I personally believe folks believe because of their personal
allergies to grains and such they should avoid animals who eat grains-
especially GMO grains. Of course, this is a misconception but consumer
behavior dictates this trend. "
Just a decade ago,
Weavers Way CoOp didn't even offer
grass-fed meats. Now
sales are surging
every year.

Understanding pasture-raised poultry
Mike Badger, executive director of the American Pastured Poultry
Producers Association, noted the correct way to identify grass-fed
poultry is " pasture-raised " because poultry are omnivores, while cattle
and sheep are herbivores and can survive on a grass-only diet.
He explained that pasture-raised poultry will eat a grain-based ration
that often includes ingredients such as corn, soybean, alfalfa, wheat,
or oats. The poultry also graze for insects, legumes, grasses and seeds
in the pasture. That diversity in diet builds a more complex flavor and
creates a nutrient dense product compared to non-pastured poultry.
" As we head into 2021, consumers are demanding more pastured
raised and that's catching the attention of regional and national
integrators who are bringing the commercial industry's contract grower
model to pastured poultry, " Badger said. " That interest is also bringing
with it an increasing amount of shelf space for pastured poultry
products. "
For instance, in 2020, Perdue purchased a leading pastured poultry
farm, Pasturebird, and is now raising pasture-raised chickens.

A sustainable mindset

the positive health benefits of products, " she said. " And, 65% say they
want to buy products that do something to positively impact the
environment. Panorama Organic Grass-Fed Meats fit so nicely within
those important goals and are the right answers for the right time. "
Dana Ehrlich, CEO of Verde Farms, headquartered in Boston, has seen
the network of grass-fed farms grow from 100 to more than 1,000 in
the past 15 years, as demand for grass-fed meat and poultry continues
to rise.

Sustainable farming methods, holistic management, and a concern for
the soil, water, air and other resources allows farmers to heal the land so
it's available for future generations, and grass-fed animals are part of the
equation.
Brent Jarvis of US Wellness Meats, Canton, Mo., said he's noticed an
increased interest in healthier, more nutritious foods, and holistic land
managers are finding out firsthand that raising grass-fed cattle and
pastured poultry is good for the land.
" The animals play an important role in building rich soils, " he said.
" While they graze, they're also composting grasses, and amending
the soil. This allows life under the surface of the soil to flourish, which
in turn feeds the green plants above ground. Green grasses capture
atmospheric carbon and pull it into the soil where the subterranean
microbial community goes to work. It's really just a matter of letting
nature do its thing. "
Grass fed meat is proven to be higher in healthy omega-3 fatty acids
and antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin E and A.

supermarketperimeter.com

FEBRUARY 2021 - 33


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Supermarket Perimeter - February 2021

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