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Case Ready - *Meat*ing Consumer Demands

Contributed by: NAPSA

Case ready meats offer consumers convenience as well as freshness and top quality.

(NAPSA) - Convenience. High quality. Excellent selection. There's now a single place in the grocery store that can satisfy the desires of today's ultra-savvy consumers: the meat case.

Fortunately, there's a way to practically guarantee a satisfying meat department shopping experience, with convenient, value-added selections of fresh meat products. From quality to convenience to variety, case ready packaging makes it possible.

In today's grocery culture, consumers have many questions about purchasing fresh meat: Will there be a good selection in the meat case? Will the cuts I want be in stock? What is the best way to ensure the meat has been properly handled? The answers lie in case ready packaging.

Case ready meats are those products that are cut into consumer or family-sized portions and packaged in a federally inspected processing plant, then delivered to the store. Once at the grocery store, the case ready packages can go directly from the carton to the grocer's meat case. Cutting and packaging meats at a central location creates a more consistent product with minimal human intervention, helping to reduce the risk of contamination.

Carton-to-case convenience is not a new concept. The case ready revolution began many years ago, and over time the technology behind packaging fresh meat products has changed dramatically. For more than a decade, poultry has been cut and packaged centrally, and improvements in these case ready technologies have paved the way for vacuum-sealed and modified-atmosphere packages, allowing the same carton-to-case convenience for fresh red meat.

How is case ready beneficial? Today, consumers can choose from economy-, family- and single-serving portions, special cuts and marinades. The product variety and convenience made possible by case ready packaging caters to almost every taste.

Beyond personal taste and preference, case ready combats another problem that most shoppers face when they go to the grocery store: time. Every consumer's schedule may not allow for a visit to the meat department during its high-traffic period. Case ready meats, in their variety of cuts, sizes and flavorings, can be available as long as the grocery stores' doors are open. A fuller meat case with more choices every hour of the day is a direct result of case ready packaging.

Also, case ready packaging is more leak resistant than overwrapped packages from the store's back room. A few years ago, a trip to the grocery store would often result in sticky hands and gooey liquid all over the shopping cart. In recent years, the leaks have dramatically subsided due in large part to many grocery stores' increased use of case ready meats.

How do you recognize case ready packaging? The grocery store's meat department personnel are a great resource for identifying the case ready meats carried by that particular store and answering any consumer questions.



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