Quality is key

RetailME Bureau

Today world-over the ‘free-from’ revolution has struck a chord among consumers. While everything organic, natural instantly catches consumer attention, price points determine final purchase decisions.

In a tête-à-tête with Colette Shannon, communication manager at Spinneys, we discuss the growing importance of consuming food that’s healthy in connection with its recently launched meat with no added hormones

How is Spinneys meeting its promise of offering high quality food for all consumers?

What you put into your stomach is very important. It’s a decision that must be taken carefully. Like any mother I feel worried about what my children put into their stomach. The need to feed them quality food ranks highest on my to-do list. Now that’s an individual perspective matching perfectly with the Spinneys promise to offer quality food every day to all our consumers. It could be Angus beef, chicken drumstick or mince lamb our goal is to offer only high quality stuff to customers.

Now factor a growing concern among consumers about additives in food as well as awareness about animal welfare practices. At Spinneys we take these concerns seriously. We believe eating quality food is every consumer’s right. It shouldn’t be based on affordability. That’s why we strive to offer quality food for all shoppers irrespective of the income bracket they belong to – a reason why we’ve built very strong collaborations with our suppliers who support us in maintaining affordable price points. 

What’s the significance of HGP-free meat that Spinneys has recently launched?

It again boils down to offering quality food to our consumers. That’s the starting point of all our initiatives, the most recent of which is the launch of meat – including beef, lamb and chicken – with ‘no added hormones’ across all our stores in the UAE.

What that means is our meat is free from hormonal growth promotants (HGPs), which are used in livestock feed to increase the weight of animals in a short period of time. While this reduces the cost of raising them, scientific studies have confirmed HGPs can adversely impact the eating quality of meat. This initiative resonated quite well with our customers.

How do you ensure your suppliers are following a natural approach in their farming practices?

We’ve been working with our suppliers for many years, travelling to every place our meat comes from, ensuring a constant dialogue with the farmers. This helps to connect with them in a much better and transparent manner, explaining to them our stringent sourcing guidelines to ensure a hygienic, controlled and safe environment in our stores. Add to that various levels of checks at the originating as well as arriving countries, coupled with regular audits from our end, which ensures high quality end products.

How difficult was it to transition to a no added hormone supply chain?

Of course it wasn’t easy! We source meat from across the world. Beef comes from New Zealand and Australia. Lamb is sourced from Australia, New Zealand and Wales, while we source chicken locally from Oman. Our sourcing network is quite huge. Having said that, it didn’t take us very long to explain our long-term vision to our suppliers, consequently building a ‘no added hormone’ supply chain.

When we took the decision to stock only HGP-free meat, we communicated with our suppliers, asking them the feasibility in doing so. And we received a green signal from them quite soon. This has been made possible due to their strong relationship with us and our trust in them to supply only high quality products.

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