Kroger owned, Matthews, NC based grocer Harris Teeter announced late last week that it is the first retailer in the country to offer U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Certified Very Tender beef. Harris Teeter will begin labeling its Reserve Angus Private Brand beef brand with the USDA Certified Very Tender label in its stores starting April 23, 2014. The new certification guarantees consumers the highest-quality tender eating experience.
“Harris Teeter’s meat merchandising team has always been committed to offering its customers the best quality products available, as well as helping them better understand the items sold in its Butchers Market,” said Danna Jones, communication specialist for Harris Teeter.
“We are going above and beyond the norm to give our shoppers another measure of confidence they deserve when purchasing quality beef products,” said Danna Jones, communication specialist for Harris Teeter. “Our hope is that this label will help eliminate confusion at the meat case.” The Company believes that the USDA Certified Very Tender program will serve as a useful tool for consumers for whom tenderness is a necessary contributor to their beef purchase.
“We are excited to share the certification with our customers to highlight the natural tenderness of Harris Teeter Reserve Angus Beef,” added Jones.
Cargill Meat Solutions, Harris Teeter’s supplier of its private label Reserve Angus Beef, was the first processor to have its tender program certified by USDA and will provide Harris Teeter with the cuts eligible for certification. These cuts include Ribeye, Striploin, Shortloin, Tenderloin and Top Blade.
“Tenderness claims have been around for quite some time but with that claim being certified by the USDA, consumers can trust that it’s the truth,” said Glen Dolezal, assistant vice president of business development and communication for Cargill Meat Solutions. “Under this program, our processes and standards pass several audits; including tenderness shear-force testing that meets the strict USDA Certified Very Tender standards.”
Harris Teeter is currently training its meat market associates on the USDA Certified Very Tender program and looks forward to better serving its customers at the meat counter through the launch of this program.