Sunday, October 7, 2007

Lorentz's Meats Featured at Econofoods

I dashed through Econofoods this evening, picking up a few necessities for the week ahead, and I noticed that an entire case in the meat department is now devoted to products from Lorentz Meats, which is based in Cannon Falls. Bacon and quite a variety of sausages were on display. What a delightful surprise.

The Lorentz Meat label, above, was designed by Triangle Park Creative, which has also designed packaging for Thousand Hills Cattle grass-fed beef, Cedar Summit Farm cheese, and other local specialty food producers.

Here's an article from Ag Innovation News about Lorentz's diversification from a typical small-town meat processor to a firm with expertise in direct marketing of meat from the farmer to the consumer. They've been very involved in a direct marketing initiative called Branding Your Beliefs, presenting seminars they developed in association with Land O' Lakes, The Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota, and The University of Minnesota. It's nice to see a small, traditional business find ways to adapt to the changing economy.

Back at Econofoods, Minnesota-grown pumpkins are featured out front, and sturdy-looking, inexpensive, reusable shopping bags -- the likes of which the store (or its predecessor, More 4) has offered before but not recently -- are on sale at the checkout lanes.

Econofoods has recently reorganized its shelving plan, with one of the main results being that organic or natural brands of many canned and packaged foods are now, for the most part, placed right next to conventional brands, where they will offer a new breadth of choice to shoppers. While there is certainly some logic to the more traditional supermarket practice of segregating natural/organic products to a specific section of the store, it has always struck me as rather a shame -- as if it were a statement that such products were not part of the mainstream, and making it too easy for the typical shopper not to see them as an everyday shopping option. I'm pleased to see Econofoods integrating them with other products in a more "natural" way.

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