Pulse: Chatter: Foodstuffs: Meat Marketing

Hoagies as health food

Statisticians describe the home of the hoagie this way: Philadelphia indexes at 151 for deli-meat consumption. Translation: We eat 51 percent more cold cuts than the average American. The region chews through 20 million pounds a year. That fact — and the impressive corporate reach of local Hatfield meats — convinced Greek-based Creta Farms to choose Philly as the sole American test market for its healthy — er, healthier — deli meats, infused with extra virgin olive oil (a.k.a. the good fat). After 18 months of surveys and taste tests, the company did make one significant tweak to its ham, turkey, roast beef and bologna before the products hit Acme’s deli counters over the summer: In the Mediterranean, the deli meats are up to 15 percent good-for-you olive oil, but local taste buds could only tolerate up to eight percent healthier hoagies. (Does that mean we can load on eight percent more cheese?)