This post was inspired by an interview with Tom Heinen and Director of Meat, Eric Besselman.
If you were to travel back to 1929, you would find a Heinen’s in Shaker Heights, but it surely would not look like the store you shop in today. That’s because the first Heinen’s that opened in 1929 was actually a butcher shop! That’s right, before Wellness, Prepared Food, Cheese and Produce filled our shopping carts, Joe Heinen and his team were focused on sourcing, butchering, smoking and serving the best possible meat to local customers.
90 years later, Heinen’s continues to uphold Joe Heinen’s standard for meat, but the days of quartering and hanging meat on hooks out in open air are long gone thanks to Heinen’s new packaging that enhances the quality, flavor and life of our premium meats.
Much as Heinen’s has evolved over the years, so has our meat packaging. At first, Styrofoam trays over wrapped with a breathable film acted as our packaging for beef and pork cuts, but because the wrapping was not air tight, the meat was exposed to air, which caused it to begin to brown after a few days in the fridge.
Today, with the help of Heinen’s meat experts, and technology in our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, Heinen’s meat packaging is now air-tight, which dramatically improves the overall freshness, convenience and quality of our meat.
What does this mean for you? The advantages are endless!
- Long Lasting Freshness: This new packing allows for an extended life in the refrigerator. In fact, the life of the meat is at least doubled. Simply put, because of the air-tight packaging, our meat stays fresher longer, which makes it perfect to have on hand when schedules get busy.
- No Preservatives: People often think that preservatives are added to help extend the shelf life of meat, but we do not add any preservatives. It’s the air-tight packaging, with limited oxygen, that keeps the product fresh.
- In-Package Aging: When oxygen is removed from meat by putting it in a vacuum sealed package, the ability for air to break down each cut is reduced, while tenderness and flavor are preserved and enhanced.
- Leak- Free: There’s no need to worry about your meat dripping or leaking in your refrigerator, the air-tight seal on this packaging traps anything that could cause cross-contamination.
- Freezer Ready: Say goodbye to foil wrapping and Ziploc bagging your meats to protect from freezer burn. Since our new packaging does not “breathe”, or allow air movement (which causes freezer burn) our meat can simply be placed in the freezer in the original package and pulled out whenever you need it for an easy, fresh-tasting meal solution.
Air-tight packaging has been a true improvement to the quality and longevity of Heinen’s meat, but we strive to be even better thanks to feedback from our customers. In fact, we’ve released new packaging in January 2019 that now allows for a 360 degree view of our meat so that you can see the definition, thickness and overall quality of the product while still receiving all of the benefits of an air-tight package.
It’s clear that Heinen’s meat has evolved over time. Joe Heinen was the first butcher to display meat in a self-service film wrapped package and now we continue his legacy of having the most innovative packaging in the market. We have only one goal in mind and that is to continue to provide the best quality meat to our customer, just as Joe Heinen always intended.
Looking to learn more? A Heinen’s Meat Associate is happy to answer your questions!