Progressive Grocer

JAN 2017

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through streamlined formula- tions and clear labeling." Several brands, such as Oscar Mayer, with its Selects Natural Applewood Smoked Ham luncheon meat, have helped ease consumers' minds by incorporating celery juice, extract or powder to replace conventional curing preservatives such as nitrites and nitrates, which some believe are potentially carcinogenic. While celery extract doesn't offer a complete solution to removing added nitrites and nitrates, it does pro- vide the clean-label solution valued by consumers. Artificial ingredients are particularly unnerving for Jeremy Zavoral, manager of the Hormel Natural Choice brand from Austin, Minn.-based processor Hormel Foods, as he believes consumers strongly value "real" food without the fake taste and appear- ance of many mainstream products. "But that doesn't mean flavors can't be as bold as the conventionally produced enhanced prod- ucts," he insists. "For example, Hormel Natural Choice deli meat launched applewood-smoked turkey, which is deli meat that has been smoked over real applewood chips — not [using] liquid smoke — to give it an authentic flavor." What's desirable, however, among natural foods — espe- cially refrigerated meats — is high protein content, Zavoral stresses. Consumers want products that are free from artificial preservatives while still keeping them fuller longer and supporting healthy muscles. is has resulted in an expansion of natural meat products in grocers' refrigerated cases. Cincinnati-based grocer Kroger and Hormel, for example, both are working to expand selection in cleaner meats that also support satiety and muscular development. Kroger has implemented dedicated natural meat sets to bring together all of these types of products in one easy-to-shop set, regardless of product category. Meanwhile, Hormel is address- ing this trend by delivering protein-packed natural products across the refrigerated case under the Hormel Natural Choice brand, including natural deli meat, pepperoni, bacon and ham. © 2016 NatureSweet Tomatoes Tomatoe aised ight. Sweet and sound. When you're grown in the safety of a peaceful greenhouse, looked after by nurturing Associates, and tenderly handpicked off the vine–how can you not grow up to be sweet?

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