INDEPENDENT NEWS

Tegel’s World-First Chicken “Bacon” Set To Fly Hig

Published: Wed 13 Nov 2002 01:08 PM
November 13, 2002
Tegel’s World-First Chicken “Bacon” Set To Fly High
Chicken goes where it’s never been before – to the breakfast table
Tegel today announced it has created what it believes is the world’s first “bacon” made from chicken.
Available throughout New Zealand supermarkets next week, Tegel Smoked Chicken Rashers are also set to fly internationally.
Tegel’s Managing Director Bruce Scott said until now, Tegel has almost exclusively serviced the domestic market but this latest product breakthrough is a real opportunity to take New Zealand chicken products offshore.
“This added value product puts chicken and Tegel where we’ve never been before – on the breakfast table.
“We knew pigs might have to fly before people would think about eating chicken for breakfast – so that’s exactly what we set out to do”.
“We are also giving people who, for either health reasons or religious beliefs choose not to eat pork, a chance to enjoy a true bacon alternative”.
The Smoked Chicken Rashers smell and taste like bacon – but are made from premium chicken and are 95 per cent fat free.
The “bacon” initiative highlights Tegel’s on-going transition away from a supplier of commodity products to developing a whole range of added-value food products.
“To be serious about exporting we need to be smarter at developing a range of added-value consumer ready products because there is no return in exporting chicken as a commodity item,” Mr Scott said.
“Our chicken rashers are a prime example of adding-value. We believe there is great potential for exporting such as to the premier hotel and restaurant trade in Asia Pacific, he said.
“Currently we have people overseas exploring export opportunities in the Pacific, Australia and Asia.”
A year in the pipeline, the bacon project - has been a genuine “Kiwi invention” - conceived, researched, developed and processed at Tegel’s newly expanded Christchurch plant.
Category Manager Christine Taylor said the new product certainly challenges the traditional breakfast.
“We wanted to challenge people’s thinking about eating chicken for breakfast. Chicken is high in protein which makes it a perfect fit with the most important meal of the day. “
“But we had to come up with a product which appealed in taste and appearance for the breakfast plate. “
“As a food ingredient bacon is so versatile because people eat it in a wide range of other meal creations for brunch, lunch and dinner – so we’re also adding a Tegel twist to the classic BLT or even the bacon and egg pie”.
Ms Taylor did travel overseas to see if she could find a similar chicken bacon product.
“I managed to find some turkey bacon in the United States and in the UK, but chicken didn’t feature in any of the major markets. While it may exist in some tiny market somewhere, we couldn’t find it so we believe it’s another world first for New Zealand.”
“To create a premium product we needed to get chicken to perform like bacon. So we worked with a range of different quality cuts to get the right texture and consistency. We then cure and naturally wood-smoke it”.
But as for the recipe, Ms Taylor says Tegel is keeping it tightly under wraps.
Tegel expects that in New Zealand its Smoked Chicken Rashers will compete strongly for a slice of the multi-million dollar breakfast market. While it is a premium product, it is competitively priced with pork bacon and will be found in the bacon section of the supermarket.
In the coming months Tegel is also launching a range of other delicatessen products which have export potential.
ENDS

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