In what it believes is a first among Canadian food retailers, Sobeys Quebec has launched its own brand of humanely-certified fresh chicken products.
The four ‘Certified Humane’ cuts–breasts, drumsticks, thighs and flattened chicken–are a wing of Sobeys new Compliments Naturally Simple private label.
Products in the Naturally Simple line “are made using wholesome ingredients (and) with names you can pronounce.” The line, which launched earlier this summer, accompanies Sobeys’ 2,000-item Compliments private label line. It has a handful of products including snack bars, pita chips, peanut butter and now, chicken.
The products come from animals raised without the use of antibiotics or hormones, and products don’t contain artificial sweeteners, colours, flavours, or hydrogenated oils or fats.
In addition to those criteria, the Certified Humane certificate ensures conscientious consumers concerned about animal welfare that both producers and processors respected strict standards in terms of breeding, handling, transport, and the slaughter of livestock, including poultry.
“We feel these new products meet the growing demands of our customers,” Sobeys Quebec spokesperson Marie-Noëlle Cano told Canadian Grocer.
“And we’re proud to be the first Canadian retailer to offer them.”
In addition to being advertised in store, the new product line is also being marketed through social media sites and popular Quebec food blogs.
The new chicken cuts and humanely raised label, Cano added, were developed under the auspices of The Joy of Eating Better campaign that Sobeys Quebec launched last year.
The program notably aims to help consumers eat better, make more responsible choices (such as choosing Quebec-made foods and products), discover more local and international flavours, and cook more.
The program has garnered Sobeys Quebec several recent industry awards. It won top honours in the Communications Large Commercial Food Enterprise category in the 2015 DUX contest, which celebrates initiatives that help Quebecers eat healthier, and was a finalist at the Retail Council of Canada (RCC) annual Excellence in Retailing Awards gala in June.
The new vacuum-sealed products are regrouped with other humanely certified brand products at IGA stores across the province.
Other Certified Humane brand partners include DuBreton Pork, Aspen Ridge Natural Beef, Blue Goose Poultry, and Sunrise Farms, where animals are fed a 100% vegetable grain diet, and are raised in low-stress environments with low population densities.