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Sealed for Freshness: The Many Benefits of Heinen’s Meat Packaging

This post was inspired by an interview with Tom Heinen and Director of Meat, Eric Besselman.

If you were to travel back to 1929, you would find a Heinen’s in Shaker Heights, but it surely would not look like the store you shop in today. That’s because the first Heinen’s that opened in 1929 was actually a butcher shop! That’s right, before Wellness, Prepared Food, Cheese and Produce filled our shopping carts, Joe Heinen and his team were focused on sourcing, butchering, smoking and serving the best possible meat to local customers.

Joe Heinen Slicing Meat in Butcher Shop

Today, Heinen’s continues to uphold Joe Heinen’s standard for meat, but the days of quartering and hanging meat on hooks out in open air are long gone thanks to improved packaging that enhances the quality, flavor and life of our premium meats.

Much as Heinen’s has evolved over the years, so has our meat packaging. At first, Styrofoam trays over wrapped with a breathable film acted as our packaging for cuts of beef and pork, but because the wrapping was not airtight, the meat would begin to brown after only a few days in the fridge.

With the help of Heinen’s meat experts, and technology in our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, Heinen’s meat packaging is now air-tight, which dramatically improves the overall freshness, convenience and quality of our meat.

Heinen's Beef Packaging

What does this mean for you? The advantages are endless!

  1. Long Lasting Freshness:  This new packing allows for an extended life in the refrigerator. In fact, the life of the meat doubles.  Simply put, because of the airtight packaging, our meat stays fresher longer, which makes it perfect to have on hand when schedules get busy.
  2. No Preservatives: People often think that preservatives are added to help extend the shelf life of meat, but we do not add any preservatives. It’s the airtight packaging, with limited oxygen, that keeps the product fresh.
  3. In-Package Aging: When oxygen is removed from meat by putting it in a vacuum sealed package, the ability for air to break down each cut is reduced, while tenderness and flavor are preserved and enhanced.
  4. Leak- Free: There’s no need to worry about your meat dripping or leaking in your refrigerator, the airtight seal on this packaging traps anything that could cause cross-contamination.
  5. Freezer Ready: Say goodbye to foil wrapping and Ziploc bagging your meats to protect from freezer burn. Since our new packaging does not “breathe”, or allow air movement (which causes freezer burn) our meat can simply be placed in the freezer in the original package and pulled out whenever you need it for an easy, fresh-tasting meal solution.

Heinen's New Meat Packaging Benefits Signage

Airtight packaging has been a true improvement to the quality and longevity of Heinen’s meat, but we strive to be even better thanks to feedback from our customers. In fact, we’ve released new packaging that allows for a 360 degree view of our meat so that you can see the definition, thickness and overall quality of the product while still receiving all of the benefits of an airtight package.

Heinen's Beef Packaging

It’s clear that Heinen’s meat has evolved over time. Joe Heinen was the first butcher to display meat in a self-service film-wrapped package and now, we continue his legacy of having the most innovative packaging in the market. We have only one goal in mind and that is to continue to provide the best quality meat to our customers, just as Joe Heinen intended.

Looking to learn more? A Heinen’s Meat Associate is happy to answer your questions!

Heinen's logo in black
By Heinen's Grocery Store
In 1929, Joe Heinen opened the doors of a small butcher shop on the east side of Cleveland, Ohio, aiming to establish himself as the city’s purveyor of quality meats. As customers came into Heinen’s new shop for their meat purchases, they began asking him to carry groceries as well. Joe added homemade peanut butter, pickles and donuts and by 1933, business had grown enough to include a line of produce and canned goods. Heinen’s Grocery Store was born.

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