By Shandra Martinez | firstname.lastname@example.org
on March 20, 2013 at 7:48 AM, updated March 20, 2013 at 2:23 PM
– Meijer is expanding its Made in Michigan program with 55 new grocery products grown or produced in-state by small businesses.
The program, geared to the retailer’s 102 Michigan stores, aims to give more options to consumers who want to buy local products.
Meijer launched the initiative in 2012 with the Michigan State University Product Center for Food-Ag-Bio to strengthen the state’s economy.
The program aims to strengthen the state’s economy by supporting Michigan small businesses and its been a success, said Co-chairman Doug Meijer.
“The response we received from our customers last year about this initiative was overwhelming, which is why we decided to further invest and expand this selection into all our Michigan stores,” Meijer said.
Meijer launched the program last year with 49 grocery items from blueberry butter to gluten-free baking mixes that had an economic impact of $400,000.
The year’s lineup of 55 Michigan-made grocery products will be more visible in all of the 102 Meijer stores in Michigan, the retailer said.
Products including barbecue sauces, cherry butter, salsas, guacamole and kettle chips are expected to have an estimated economic impact of $900,000 statewide, said Matt Birbeck, High Impact Venture Action Team project manager for the MSU Product Center.
“It’s been a fantastic opportunity for all Michigan businesses to have this local section at Meijer; many of them see amazing results,” Birbeck said. “Now that it’s in every Michigan Meijer store, everybody gets to see and taste the diversity of this great state.”
Meijer worked with the MSU Product Center and its HI-VAT initiative to expand the program and ensure that all the suppliers had the right food protocols and supply chain procedures.
The products are expected to remain on the shelves for a year and will have an opportunity to branch out chain-wide.
Of the first products featured in 33 Meijer stores last year, some are under consideration to be mainstreamed onto the shelves as part of the retailer’s regular grocery offerings, the retailer said.
Here’s a list of the 55 products:
Bon-A-Rose, New Hudson: Bon-A-Rose Marinara Sauce
Brownwood Farms, Traverse City: Brownwood Farms Slatherin’ Sauce, Yankee Bourbon BBQ, Cherry BBQ Sauce, Apple Riesling salsa, Jalapeno Cherry salsa, Michigan Blueberry preserves, Cherry Butter and Michigan Cherry preserves
Fessler’s, Brighton: Fessler’s Original Sauce
Food for Thought, Honor: Esch Road Blueberry Foster Rum Fruit topping, Tart Cherry Foster Rum Fruit topping, Cherry Rasp Foster Rum Fruit topping, Blackberry Foster Rum Fruit topping, Medium Chipolte Bean and Corn, Mild Blueberry salsa and Mild Cherry salsa
Great Lakes Potato Chips, Traverse City: Great Lakes Tortilla Chips, Kettle Chips Original and Kettle Chips BBQ
Herkner Foods, Traverse City: Herkner’s Homemade Cherry Topping
Johnny Secreto, Rockford: Johnny Secrecto Old World Spaghetti sauce
La Cantina Red Wine Dressing, Paw Paw
Let’zEet Food, Waterford: Let’zEet Smokey BBQ Sauce
Morano Foods, Norton Shores: Morano Pasta Spaghetti Sauce, Four Cheese Pasta Sauce
Mrs. DeVaney’s, Jackson: Mrs. DeVaney’s Hot Pepper Jelly
Safie’s Pickles, Chesterfield:
Safie’s Pickled Asparagus, Dill Pickle Beans, Mild Banana Peppers and Sweet Pickled Beets
Sansonetti Foods, Holly: Sansonetti Hot Hickory BBQ Sauce and Maple BBQ Sauce
Sauce Gone Wild, Portland: Sauce Gone Wild Mild, Wild Medium, Wild Hot and Spicy Garlic
Schaws Sauce, Iron Mountain: Schaws Sweet and Sassy
Scoville Farms, Grand Rapids: Scoville Farms Sweet Habanero Mild sauce
Slabtown Corn, Traverse City: Slabtown Coffee Caramel Corn
Sleeping Bear Farms, Beulah: Sleeping Bear Farms Real Raw Honey
TCB Processing, Bangor: Zesty Asparagus Guacamole
Teta Foods, Clinton: Teta Foods Fattoush, Shawarma, Tahini Sauce, Tawook and Garlic Dip
Uncle Gene’s Backwoods Products, Traverse City: Uncle Gene’s Butter Pretzel
Wee Bee Jammin, Manistee: Wee Bee Jammin’ Cherry Cherry and Summer Jam
Wild Bills Root Beer, Williamsburg: North Woods Wild Ginger Ale 4-pack