ST. CLOUD, MINN. — GNP Co. announced its flagship poultry brand, Gold’n Plump, will feature new marketing claims beginning in March. The “No Antibiotics – Ever” and American Humane Certified claims will be added first to the company’s All-Natural line of chicken with all Gold’n Plump products to include both claims by 2019. GNP said the change will be gradual to ensure continuous animal care and product availability.
GNP said the “No Antibiotics – Ever” claim differentiates Gold’n Plump from competitors who have pledged only to phase out the use of antibiotics that are medically important to humans.
“GNP Co.’s move is taking that further — eliminating all antibiotics of any kind for its All Natural Gold’n Plump products now, with the remaining portfolio to follow,” said Brian Roelofs, vice-president of marketing and service for GNP Co.
The company did say it continues to believe animal antibiotics, when used judiciously and under veterinarian guidance, are safe for animals as well as humans.
“We will continue to reduce our antibiotics use in response to consumer and customer demand,” Mr. Roelofs said. “However, we will continue to treat flocks for illness, including the use of antibiotics when necessary, as withholding treatment is not ethical or humane.”
GNP said that as Gold’n Plump products transition to “No Antibiotics – Ever”, the Gold’n Plump line also will become officially certified by the American Humane Certified farm program. Most core Gold’n Plump products, such as small and family packs of boneless skinless chicken breasts, chicken thighs and ground chicken, will carry both the “No Antibiotics – Ever” claim and American Humane Certified seal by summer 2016. The remaining Gold’n Plump value-added retail, deli and food service products will transition by the end of 2019, the company said.
GNP will provide extensive media and in-store support to drive awareness to the product line transition in select markets. Advertising platforms will include a mix of print, on-line, mobile, video and radio spots. Messaging will be shared via Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, while point-of-sale shelf talkers will drive the message in-store.
“The demand for products raised humanely and with no antibiotics ever is growing,” said Julie Berling, director of strategic communications and insights.A study by Mintel International found that “as many as 42% of chicken consumers say ‘hormone- or antibiotic-free’ is an important factor to them,” Ms. Berling added, and the American Humane Association found that “92.6% of consumers find it very important to buy humanely raised meats.”