Calgary Co-op says it has launched a perfect line of Alberta meat products – pork, beef and goat – that use alternative production practices such as no growth hormones or no antibiotics.
The line “is adding another level of drawing customers into our stores,” said Trevor Moore, meat operations director at Calgary Co-op.
It started last September with Perfect Pork, which is open pen-raised, with no no hormones, 100% vegetable grain fed and aged 14 days.
READ: Calgary Co-op lists fresh open pen raised Alberta pork
Perfect Beef – which is range fed 100% Alberta Angus beef, no added antibiotics or growth hormones, aged at least 14 days and Halal – followed in January. Perfect Goat was launched in February, featuring Alberta fresh spring goat with no antibiotics or hormones, is free range and is grass and grain fed.
The product attributes represent “the biggest reason that we’ve launched these items,” Moore said, adding no other retailers can claim to have similar products.
The meat products do not have organic certification. They come from suppliers in Northern, Central and Southern Alberta who are selling exclusively to Co-op.
Moore said fresh goat is an underdeveloped market. “We know that goat is the number one selling protein in the world and we wanted to open up a new market for consumers.”
He added consumers increasingly want to cook differently, try different foods and experiment with different proteins.
Although the Co-op has been selling frozen New Zealand and Australia goat for at least 18 months, “we really wanted to promote fresh. There was no one else doing it in Calgary.”
Cubed goat is the only product in the goat line and sells at $11.99 a pound – a bit more expensive than frozen goat. “We feel this is something we’re going to grow and no other retailer can copy us.”
There are about 20 items in the pork line, which costs 10-15% higher than commodity pork, and 15 items in the beef line.
Promotions for the Perfect line have included print ads in local media and in-store tastings, said Tara Kayler, marketing manager at Calgary Co-op.
Moore said the Co-op is about to add bison to the line, while chicken and duck will come later.
The Perfect line is available at all 24 Calgary Co-op stores in Calgary, Higher River, Strathmore and Airdrie.