NORWALK, Conn. — Stew Leonard's here has introduced its first “Naked” deli meat — turkey — shortly after adding Naked pork to its successful line of fresh meats that are free of hormones, antibiotics and preservatives.
Naked pork was added last month to the company's fresh meat lineup as customers have increasingly embraced other Naked-branded items, officials said. One source told SN that customers say they appreciate being able buy such products.
“Stew Leonard's created the Naked brand — a line of all-natural meat, chicken, salmon, and now pork, that has never been treated with antibiotics, and has no added hormones or preservatives — in response to customers wanting an affordable option to organic meats,” said Andrew Colton, vice president of purchasing for Stew Leonard's.
Naked pork is available at Stew's in boneless center-cut pork chops, bone-in center-cut pork chops, and pork tenderloin.
Like the other products in the Naked line, Naked pork is process-verified, so it can be traced back to the farm where it was raised. The pork comes from Duroc hogs raised on family farms in North Carolina.
The continued success of Naked beef and Naked chicken has spurred the four-unit independent to continue to search out and add products that qualify to carry the Naked brand.
This spring, just in time for the grilling season, the company added Naked salmon, a product that's “antibiotic-free and chemical-free but costs less than half what you would pay for wild Alaskan salmon,” Stew Leonard, Jr., said in a statement at that time.
“Our Naked salmon are raised on a farm in the waters off northern Scotland that practices environmentally sound techniques and are fed a diet that emulates what is found in the wild, providing a rich omega-3 fat content.”
Stew Leonard's created the Naked brand with its introduction of Naked chicken two years ago. The chickens, raised on family farms in Pennsylvania's Amish country, are fed a vegetarian diet of corn and soybeans.
Next to get Naked was beef. Naked Black Angus got a flamboyant send-off last Labor Day weekend at all four Stew Leonard's stores. The ranchers themselves, in attention-getting cowboy attire, grilled strip steaks and offered tastes to customers as they entered the store.
“We talked to customers about the naturalness of the Naked Angus steaks,” John Butler, chief executive officer, Beef Marketing Group, a Great Bend, Kan.-based cooperative that represents the cattlemen, told SN earlier.
Since that day last September, beef sales overall at Stew Leonard's have risen by double digits, officials said. The company worked closely with Beef Marketing Group to develop the line.