Tesco relaunches red meat range

Finest range now claims 28 days maturity instead of 21

TESCO has relaunched its Finest

red-meat range with a claim that the meat has been matured for 28-days.

The Finest range is now carrying stickers to advise consumers that the meat has been matured for the optimum time to ensure greater levels of tenderness.

As well as its Finest range, Tesco is claiming, through its on-pack labels, that its standard offer has also been matured for 21 days.

Further information on the packs state that traditional butchery skills have also been introduced by the supermarket to offer cuts like Finest rib eye pork.

A spokeswoman for Tesco said the new criteria for the Finest range was necessary due to increasing concern from customers over provenance and quality of meat. A selected group of long-term UK producers, who have proven consistency in rearing quality animals, are supplying the best meat available in the market for the pork, lamb and beef ranges, Tesco said.

Finest Pork is being reared from younger outdoor bred pigs, selected from East Anglian farms with specialist pig farming expertise and Finest lamb is being fed on a grass-based diet for a unique flavour.

To aid the relaunch and grow the market, Tesco said it has doubled the space available for its premium range.

Packaging will include simple cooking instructions to help customers prepare the meat. Tesco commercial director, Steve Murrells, said: "We are seeing very strong growth in Finest of 50% and more, year-on-year, so it is absolutely right for our customers to widen the range of Finest meat products we offer and is a great opportunity for UK farming. It has taken us some time to develop a range that we think meets the grade on consistent quality, but we are confident that with the focus on traditional butchery and maximum tenderness, we've got there."

He said he hoped this range would re-kindle the customers' interest in buying top quality British meat.

Finest lamb will be sourced from New Zealand when British spring lamb is not in season.