To each...Fareway pork products trend away from by-the-pound sales

Meat department assistant manager Konnor Leffler holds one of the five-pound bacon packages now sold at Fareway, one of its many popular pork products. (Photos by Pete Temple)

Several bratwurst options are offered at Fareway.

Asparagus is just one of the many bacon-wrapped items available at Fareway’s meat counter.
Pete Temple
Express Sports/Ag Editor

     “Each” has become a buzzword for the pork products being sold in the meat counter at Fareway in Monticello.

     More and more, the price being displayed for Fareway’s pork products is what you pay for each individual piece – such as with a tenderloin slice, rather than by the pound.

     “Anything that we go to by the ‘each’ is growing in sales,” said Aaron McAtee, manager of Monticello’s meat department. “Everyone knows exactly what they’re going to pay for an item.”

     Konnor Leffler, the department’s assistant manager, agreed.

     “The ‘each’ items are becoming a more popular thing,” Leffler said. “They’re already pre-weighed.

     “It used to be we would sell those tenderized loin slices by the pound, but now we almost exclusively sell them by the ‘each,’ as well as the ribeye chops. It’s easier for them to see what they’re getting at a certain price point.

     “There is portion control involved with that too. You know that you’re getting a pretty similar piece of meat across the board.”

     In general, pork products at Fareway continue to be popular, although it changes based on prices.

     “It all depends on the market,” McAtee said. “Last year when beef prices went up, the pork sold well. When pork prices are high, it slows down a little bit.”

     No matter the market, tenderloins are always a big seller.

     “People can’t get enough of those,” Leffler said. “It’s a 4-ounce, boneless loin portion that we tenderize twice. We do have some breaded ones, but most people buy them plain and bread them, or do whatever, themselves.”

     Bacon is also popular, and not just in connection with other pork products. For instance, Fareway offers bacon-wrapped asparagus and peppers, among other items.

     “Anything that is bacon-wrapped, sells,” McAtee said.

     Along with tenderloins, a pork tenderloin kabob that is marinated, and pork loin filets that are wrapped in bacon, Fareway also offers pinwheels.

     “They are stuffed with various things,” Leffler said. “One of them is the Italian pork pinwheel. It has pepperoni, Italian pork sausage and a provolone cheese. We tenderize it, roll it all up and wrap it in bacon.”

     Recently, Fareway began to offer bacon in five-pound packages.

     “We’ve always just sold it by the pound, but now we get 15-pound cases, with three, five-pound packages in those cases,” Leffler said. “People really like to buy in bulk, so those are much more popular.”

     Chops have always been a big seller. Fareway recently had a sale on Iowa chops that were bone-in, and 1¼-inch thick. Customers also enjoy the center cut chop, which is ¾-inch thick.

     “And we have a seasoned, boneless ribeye chop that sells very well,” Leffler said.

     Specialty items, whether they involve bacon or not, are part of what makes Fareway’s meat department unique. Fareway has a variety of pork specialties that are stuffed, seasoned, and more.

     “That way, people can just take them home and put them in the oven instead of having a lot of prep time,” McAtee said. “Everybody’s busy, so we try to save people time.”

     The movement toward “each” items saves people from doing a lot of math as well.

     “They’re continuing to let us do more with the ‘each’ items,” Leffler said. “Coming up, we’ll have a boneless eight-ounce chop that we’re going to offer by the ‘each,’ which is something new for the company.”

     McAtee has been with Fareway for a total of 24 years at various locations, the last 2½ as meat manager in Monticello. Leffler, originally from Fulton, Ill., started as assistant manager in December after having worked at Fareway stores in Clinton and in Geneseo, Ill.



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