Julie Berling, director of brand advocacy and marketing for Just Bare chicken, which is distributed by St. Cloud, Minn.-based GNP Company, explained that the brand is all about emphasizing clean and clear labeling of its chicken products.
“As the brand name suggests, at Just Bare we believe clean labeling means keeping the number of ingredients to a ‘bare’ minimum,” she explained. “This means only labeling products as ‘natural’ if absolutely nothing has been added to them.
“As we grow the Just Bare line, it is likely we will expand to include more value-added, convenience products,” Berling said. “As such, we will look to use only natural, real ingredients and flavorings, such as lemon peel, rosemary extract, celery powder, dried basil, etc. We already offer a Just Bare deli-rotisserie product that features an all-natural marinade of chicken broth and sea salt with no phosphates.”
The company also strives for a clean look and simplicity with its package design and materials. “Since launching the Natural/No Antibiotics-Ever line of Just Bare in late 2008, Just Bare chicken products have always been in translucent plastic trays that provide a good view of the product inside and are recyclable, on a limited basis,” Berling said. “We recently redesigned our label – keeping the smaller label footprint while enlarging the product description and simplifying the attribute list for easier shopping.” The company is using the same look with its new Organic Just Bare chicken that comes in boneless, skinless breast and boneless, skinless thigh varieties and is starting to roll out nationally.
At Sterling, Va.-based Cuisine Solutions Inc. clean label starts with the caliber of professional chefs who the company works with to develop recipes for the fully cooked restaurant-quality meat and poultry entrées sold through both retail and foodservice channels.
“These professionals, including more than a dozen Michelin Star-rated chefs, put their name on our company’s rich-and-robust collection of sous-vide proteins and side items,” said Marc Brennet, vice president retail brands. “These are names that our customers – passionate foodies and fellow professional chefs – know would not compromise on ingredient quality or integrity. Using the best-possible ingredients has always been a priority for us.
“To manufacture our world-class recipes, we follow artisan processes,” Brennet said. “Hand-crafting is important to us; it brings us closer to our customers by creating uniqueness as well as greater food security and attention to our products that machines just can’t attain.”
Jeff Sklaney, culinary sales specialist-retail brands, adds, “Our sous-vide cooking technique uses vacuum sealing and full pasteurization, eliminating the need for additives, preservatives, stabilizers, flavor enhancers and other chemical ingredients to ensure a stable shelf-life, product safety and gastronomic pleasure. Undeniably, our cooking technique, combined with sourcing the cleanest ingredients and processes, seals in the moisture, enhances natural ingredient flavors and provides consistent quality results for every prepared dish.”
Sous-vide, which is French for “under vacuum,” is an innovative cooking technique mastered by the company’s chief scientist, Bruno Goussault, in 1971. Food is vacuum-sealed in a specially designed pouch, slow-cooked in water at low temperatures until fully cooked and then flash-frozen or refrigerated.
“Combining all these factors achieves incomparable results in terms of flavor, tenderness and juiciness,” Sklaney said. “It’s all of this together that defines us as clean-label manufacturers.”