NATICK, Mass., April 22 Although food prices have risensharply over the last 12 months, organic food sales' double-digit growthtrend, which began in 1997, is expected to continue in 2008, according to theOrganic Trade Association. While the perception is that organics are healthierand safer than conventional foods, they are also more expensive. Because ofthe uncertainty in the American economy, consumers are looking to strike abalance between their desire to eat well and their need to save money. So howcan Americans eat these healthy foods without breaking the bank?
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The values wholesale clubs provide are helping consumers save money everyday on groceries, and these savings are found throughout the organic andnatural food selections at BJ's Wholesale Club. For example, six StonyfieldFarms 10 oz. Organic Smoothies at a supermarket would cost a consumer $10.14.At BJ's, a six pack of Stonyfield Farms 10 oz. Organic Smoothies costs $6.99,a savings of over $3.00. Two Silk Vanilla 1/2 gallon containers cost $6.58 ata supermarket, which is 59 cents more than a two pack costs at BJ's.
"We believe our organic foods and natural meat and poultry provide theexceptional quality our members have come to expect at a price they canafford," said Laura Sen, president and chief operation officer of BJ'sWholesale Club. "These two categories are growing exponentially and are on apace that is outgrowing other product categories."
BJ's carries an assortment of organic dairy products, as well as fresh andfrozen fruits and vegetables. Some organic brands available at BJ's WholesaleClub include Horizon, Stonyfield Farms, Bigelow, Back to Nature, Silk,Eggland's Best, Earth's Pride and Heinz.
All About Organics
Organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products come from animals that aregiven no antibiotics or growth hormones. Before a product can be labeled"organic," a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food isgrown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meetUSDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food beforeit gets to your local wholesale club must be certified, too.
"All of our organic foods feature delicious and nutritious items that meetthe USDA's strict standards for organic products," said Sen.
Natural Meats and Poultry Exceed Regulations
Meat and poultry are the only foods that are officially considered"natural" by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and they mustnot contain any artificial flavoring, coloring, chemical preservatives orsynthetic ingredients. They must also have been minimally processed. Byfederal law, chicken and pork cannot be given hormones, but can be givenantibiotics.
"BJ's natural meat and poultry selections surpass federal guidelines,"said Sen. "Our natural meat and poultry have never ever been given antibioticsor hormones and are fed a vegetarian diet. By comparison, few supermarketssell natural meat and poultry that have 'never ever' been given hormones orantibiotics." BJ's carries natural poultry in more than 125 clubs nationwide(60 of those also carry natural beef and pork).
Vacuum Skin Packaging Locks In Freshness Longer
BJ's Vacuum Skin Packaging increases the freshness of packaged meats andpoultry. "Our packaging for our natural meat and poultry products extends theshelf life of products and reduces ice crystallization, freezer burn andincreases tenderness in beef," said Sen. "In addition, chicken, pork and beefare able to stay fresher longer."
Additional Natural Products
While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not formally define"natural," it hasn't objected to the use of the word for products that do notcontain artificial colors, flavors or synthetic substances. BJ's of