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One on one with ... The pork marketing and value creation manager for Cargill's fresh pork business discusses the benefits of antibiotic-free and all-natural pork.

Tell us about your new brand. What makes it unique and different?

Joe Linot: Good Nature pork is a line of antibiotic-free, all-natural pork that Cargill Meat Solutions launched in July. Our Good Nature pork is sourced from hogs that are raised on family farms in the Midwest. These hogs are never administered antibiotics, growth stimulants or hormones.

During processing, Cargill maintains strict natural standards: Good Nature pork is minimally processed and contains no artificial ingredients. We also air chill our Good Nature pork to ensure that the product has great color and moisture when it reaches the meat case.

Based on Cargill's consumer testing, we found that more than half of pork consumers surveyed felt that having an antibiotic-and hormone-free option was very important when shopping for fresh pork. Cargill created the Good Nature logo, brand and program to fill the consumer need for an all-natural, antibiotic-free pork offering.

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What is your go-to-market strategy in terms of educating retailers?

At Cargill, we look at our relationship with retailers as a partnership in which we both can share information. When we're talking about Good Nature pork, one of the things we like to talk with retailers about is the increasing consumer demand for quality pork--pork that not only tastes good but also contains only healthy, natural ingredients.

According to Packaged Facts, a publisher of food and beverage market research, the natural and organic food industry is expected to grow 63% by 2010, surpassing the $46 billion mark. Cargill continually monitors consumer trends, and as we talk with retailers, we discuss how carrying Good Nature pork is a way to deliver on consumer demand. We then provide our retailers with sales sheet information, on-package labels for the meat case and in-store point-of-sale materials to help them support the brand.

What is your go-to-market strategy in terms of educating consumers about the brand and its benefits?

Consumers really want to know more about what they're eating. They want to know what ingredients their meat contains. They want to know that they can trust the brand to deliver a great meal experience.

Through in-store point-of-sale materials such as meat case signage, on-pack labels and brochures, we share all the essential and important details about Good Nature: Mainly how our product is "beyond natural." Good Nature is all-natural, but beyond this, it's also antibiotic-free, all-natural and produced without any antibiotics, growth stimulants or hormones.

We've also developed a consumer website, www.GoodNaturePork.com, where consumers can learn about the Good Nature pork brand and find recipes to prepare at home.

What should retailers do to help spur sales of this product?

Retailers can bolster the success of this brand by offering a strong presence in-store through point-of-sale materials and information targeted to the consumers, such as the brochure we've developed for Good Nature pork.

Equipping meat department employees with information about the brand also helps. When consumers are looking for information about pork, the meat department staff is aware of the Good Nature pork brand and its unique antibiotic-free, all-natural attributes that allow consumers to have all-natural, great-tasting meals.

What are some overall industry trends you see happening and how does Good Nature pork relate to them?

There are two main trends that will be important to the pork industry in the near future. The first is the mainstreaming of natural and organic products at grocery stores. Industry nature experts at the 2008 Healthy Food International Conference shared how these products are moving from special peripheral areas of the store and becoming a more integrated part of the shopping experience. While natural and organic are still growing segments of the overall fresh pork industry, even a small piece of that industry can mean considerable business for retailers.

The second trend is a desire among consumers for products that answer all their needs. Obviously, one product can't be everything to everyone, but consumers are looking for products that offer them more than one benefit. The greatest opportunities for natural pork are with products that have multiple attributes. Good Nature pork is all-natural, and has no antibiotics, growth hormones or stimulants - this combination of attributes appeals to a variety of consumers.

Joe Linot Jr. works with teams at Cargill to develop customer solutions in the foodservice and retail channels.

Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. is one of the largest fresh, frozen and value-added beef, pork and turkey suppliers in the country. The business is a subsidiary of Cargill, Inc., an international provider of food, agricultural and risk management products and services. With 153,000 employees in 66 countries, Cargill is committed to using its knowledge and experience to collaborate with customers to help them succeed. For more information, visit www.cargillmeatsolutions.com and www.corgill.com.
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Title Annotation:SUPPLIER PERSPECTIVE
Author:Linot, Joe, Jr.
Publication:Grocery Headquarters
Article Type:Interview
Date:Nov 1, 2008
Words:791
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