Maximize Quality in Your Meat Case The Prairie Fresh Way
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Maximize Quality in Your Meat Case The Prairie Fresh Way

Pat Watkins, Vice President of Retail Sales, Seaboard Foods

Speaking with...Pat Watkins, Vice President of Retail Sales, Seaboard Foods, producers of Prairie Fresh

U.S. raised, all natural and premium quality are among the top claims consumers look for when making meat purchases1 and 71 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for quality meat products.2 Progressive Grocer asked Pat Watkins, Vice President of Retail Sales for Seaboard Foods, how The Prairie Fresh Way — the company’s unique approach to producing pork in a way that achieves unmatched, consistent quality — can help grocery retailers attract and retain loyal meat customers.

Progressive Grocer: Exactly what is The Prairie Fresh Way, and what does it mean for grocery retailers looking for ways to improve their offerings in the pork category?

Pat Watkins: It is our approach to how pork should be raised that is founded on a connected food system. We collaborate with our American-owned farms in the Midwest and Great Plains, processing plants and networked supply chain colleagues, which means we control the production process from farm to delivery. Because we control the entire process, we can maintain the highest production standards in everything from the exceptional attributes achieved from superior genetics to operating the newest plants in the industry to tailoring animal feed for ideal characteristics.

Maximize Quality in Your Meat Case The Prairie Fresh Way

PG: There are three distinct product lines within the Prairie Fresh brand. Can you describe what each offers?

PW: We recently introduced Prairie Fresh USA Prime®, our premium pork brand that is setting a new standard in the meat case and meeting consumer demand for restaurant-quality meals at home. Quality is proven with a three-step evaluation process that includes proprietary technology that checks cuts for tenderness, color, and marbling and ensures a higher level of consistency and quality. A hand-selection step from the top tier of our nest, all-natural pork means cuts will deliver superior tenderness and rich, juicy flavor. Plus, distinctive labeling and merchandising and marketing support are driving consumer interest.

Our Prairie Fresh Signature products are meeting increased consumer demand for value-added, and convenient meat products, with the 2023 Power of Meat study finding 67 percent of meat shoppers purchased value-added meat and poultry last year, especially among online purchases. Pre-seasoned, pre-portioned cuts are available in a variety of flavors that have been consumer tested. Products come in net-weight, case-ready packaging that describes features consumers consider most important — things like product flavor and protein content, plus a picture of dishes made with the product. Online recipes equip consumers with ideas to elevate their Prairie Fresh Signature dishes such as Honey Sriracha Pork Noodle Bowl or Make-and-Bake-Later Garlic Herb Pork Tenderloin Sandwich.

Prairie Fresh Natural is our line of minimally processed pork made with no artificial ingredients, which lets our quality shine through. It’s a perfect complement to our other lines to provide retailers the right mix of products for self-service and meat counter displays. No matter which product grocers choose, members of our plant production team are invested in making pork the right to specification for our customers. You see the difference in better yield and consistency in the meat case.

PG: What else would you like retailers to know about partnering with Prairie Fresh?

PW: The Prairie Fresh Way extends to the way we service our customers. Our deep meat knowledge, marketing support and data-driven consumer insights are the foundation to our partnership. We know that keeping your shelves stocked with quality pork is how you keep your shoppers happy. And that’s what we’re here to help you do.

1 2022 Power of Meat study, 2 Prairie Fresh data