A&P Gets N.E. Exclusive on Premium Gold Angus Beef

MONTVALE, N.J. -- The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, Inc. yesterday became the only supermarket chain in the Northeast to carry Premium Gold Angus (PGA) Beef through a partnership with Austin, Texas-based PGA Beef, Inc.

A&P was granted an exclusive license to carry Premium Gold Angus at more than 350 stores in the Northeast, including A&P, SuperFresh, Waldbaum's, and The Food Emporium. Produced from USDA "genetically verified" Angus Cattle, PGA Beef is available at top restaurants - and on luxury cruise lines - around the world.

"In our transformation to our new fresh concept, PGA Beef reflects the direction we're headed," Christian Haub, executive chairman or A&P said during a press conference held yesterday at The Post House, an upscale restaurant in Manhattan's Upper East Side which offers PGA Beef on its menu. "It offers a high-quality taste experience."

The line also adds consistency, said Dwight Hartley, founder and c.e.o. of PGA Beef, Inc., Austin, Texas, also at the conference. "If you walk the aisles of a grocery store you see lots of brands," he said. "But you don't really see brands of beef. How can you expect any kind of consistency? Even if you buy grade beef, the cattle that produced them are still coming from all over the country."

To ensure this consistency, PGA Beef has an exclusive arrangement with animal genetics company Viagen that has identified DNA sequence markers for the Angus breed using a patented process called AnguSure, Hartley said. Using this process - which achieved genetic verification from the USDA - PGA DNA-tests its beef to verify its genetic relationship with registered Angus cattle.

PGA Beef, which A&P will offer in a full-line of cuts, including grinds, roasts and steaks, comes from corn-fed Angus, which A&P said results in the most tender and flavorful beef available. PGA Beef is placed at the upper tier of the USDA's Choice grading chart, which signifies that the product offers the highest marbling scores of any product in the Choice category.

A&P is backing up its confidence in the quality of the PGA Beef with a triple money back guarantee. "PGA Beef has no equal in the Black Angus market, which is why we know consumers will be completely satisfied with their beef purchase," said Sal Baio, v.p. of fresh, A&P.

Indeed, during the press conference PGA's Hartley requested that any returned beef be sent back to him directly. "This way I can trace it back to the source and see if there's any issues."

A&P is operates 406 stores in nine states and the District of Columbia under the following trade names: A&P, Waldbaum's, The Food Emporium, Super Foodmart, Super Fresh, Farmer Jack, Sav-A-Center and Food Basics.
-- Joseph Tarnowski
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