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(US-oh) Smaller stores use animal-friendly labels to lure shoppers

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  • AnimalConcerns.org
    BRECKSVILLE, Ohio (AP) - Maria Humel has a soft spot for animals _ and kids who demand chicken parmesan and chicken fingers. Heinen s, a store with a meat case
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 4, 2007
      BRECKSVILLE, Ohio (AP) - Maria Humel has a soft spot for animals _ and
      kids who demand chicken parmesan and chicken fingers.

      Heinen's, a store with a meat case featuring products stamped
      "Certified Humane," helps balance her compassion with their

      The label on the boneless, skinless chicken breasts means the birds
      Humel buys were given clean water and hormone-free food, and lived in
      roomy cages with access to at least eight hours of real or artificial
      sunlight every day.

      Those are some of the guidelines set by veterinarians and others for
      an animal rights group that created the label.

      "That's very important to me because I really should be a vegetarian,"
      Humel said while shopping at Heinen's Fine Foods near Cleveland. "It
      matters how the animals are treated and how they're fed."

      Family-owned Heinen's, based in Warrensville Heights, is among a
      growing number of U.S. grocery stores selling meat, poultry and dairy
      under the reassuring labels that are luring compassionate carnivores
      willing to spend more.
      In the age of Super Wal-Marts, huge grocery chains and discount
      bulk-buy clubs, appealing to these consumers is a good idea, said Seth
      Mendelson, publisher of the New York-based industry journal Grocery

      "They have to compete on a niche," Mendelson said. "I tell the little
      guys all the time, 'If you're going to try to compete with the big
      guys on price, you're going to lose. Do something that offers a
      different experience, that sets you apart.'"

      According to the industry group Food Marketing Institute, about a
      third of the nation's 34,000 supermarkets _ stores with more than $2
      million in annual sales _ are independently owned and account for
      about 10 percent of the industry's $478.9 billion in 2005 sales.

      Nick D'Agostino III, chief executive and the third generation to run
      the 23-store New York-based grocery chain, said sales of some of his
      products have gone way up since the company began promoting the
      "certified humane" logo two years ago.

      The store sells more than 35 certified humane foods, including yogurt,
      milk, chicken, butter, eggs, pork and veal _ a meat whose sales have
      gone up more than 25 percent since the store began selling it with the
      label, D'Agostino said.

      full story:

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