Aldi targeting US demand for antibiotic-free meat

Aldi targeting US demand for antibiotic-free meat

Aldi is looking to tap into consumer interest in the US in meat products manufactured without the use of antibiotics with a new own-label line.

The discount retailer, which has more than 1,500 stores in the US, is launching its Never Any! range, which it says "meets three criteria" that are certified by the US Department of Agriculture - no antibiotics, no added hormones or steriods and no animal by-products, with the chicken, pigs and turkey used for the line being vegetarian-fed.

There are six "core" products in the Never Any! range, including chicken breasts at US$3.99 per lb and hickory bacon, which is priced at $4.49 for a 12-ounce pack. Aldi said it is testing two chicken sausage lines in "select areas". The retailer refused to disclose which company or companies were behind the new products.

Faced with growing demand in the US for meat products made from animals reared without or with minimal use of antibiotics, US meat companies have made a series of announcements in recent quarters.

In February, for example, US poultry processor Perdue Farms said it was extending its antibiotic-free poultry aim to now cover all of its value-added chicken products sold in grocery stores and foodservice outlets in the US.