PITTSBURGH, Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Giant Eagle, Inc. announced that it is one of the few supermarket retailers in the nation -- and the only major supermarket chain in Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Columbus -- to bring Kobe beef to its shoppers. The world class, premium-quality beef is available at 12 select Giant Eagle stores starting October 3, 2003. A 13th location will be added on October 23 with the grand opening of Giant Eagle's new flagship store at Legacy Village Square in Cleveland. "Giant Eagle's meat department has always offered shoppers top-quality products, including USDA Prime and Certified Angus Beef(R)," said Giant Eagle Senior Vice President of Meat and Seafood Merchandising Ed Steinmetz. "The addition of Kobe beef further differentiates our meat department and adds another dimension to our extensive product selection." Beef Quality and Preparation Previously available only at select steakhouses and specialty butcher shops, Kobe beef is known worldwide as the "Mercedes of Meat." The quality of the Kobe beef product from Giant Eagle is higher than USDA Prime Beef because of the large amount of finely marbled fat running through the lean beef. Kobe beef is substantially higher in unsaturated fats as compared to other breeds of cattle and offers an unmatched texture and melt-in-your-mouth flavor. Additionally, because the beef is rich in unsaturated fats, it cooks approximately 35 percent faster than high-choice or standard Prime beef. History and Lore Kobe beef comes from the Japanese Wagyu breed of cattle and takes its name from the Prefecture (county) of Kobe in Japan where the animals were originally bred. The manner in which the cows are raised has long been a source of fascination. Beer is fed to the cattle to stimulate their appetites in the summer months, when the heat depresses their food intake, and massages are given to relieve stress and muscle stiffness. Some cattle are even brushed with sake as it is believed that softness of the hair coat and the skin is related to meat quality. The Kobe beef offered at Giant Eagle is from American-raised Wagyu cattle from Kobe Beef America, Inc., which does not utilize the Japanese breeding practices mentioned above. Through superior breeding, feeding and management, Kobe Beef America is able to produce to the same specifications of Japanese Wagyu beef in the United States. The American-raised Wagyu cattle are fed a midwestern hormone-free diet to meet or exceed the high quality standards of Kobe beef. The cuts of super-prime Kobe beef that Giant Eagle will carry include: ribeye delmonico roast and ribeye delmonico steak at $29.99 per pound, filet mignon roast and filet mignon steak at $39.99 per pound and top sirloin steak at $16.99 per pound. For more information on Kobe beef, shoppers are encouraged to pick up a consumer brochure at the Giant Eagle meat department or visit GiantEagle.com . About Giant Eagle Giant Eagle Inc., ranked 22 on Forbes magazine's largest private corporations list and recently named Progressive Grocer's Retailer of the Year, is one of the nation's largest food retailers and food distributors with more than $4.7 billion in annual sales. Founded in 1931, Giant Eagle, Inc. has grown to be the number one supermarket retailer in the region with 130 corporate and 84 independently owned and operated stores throughout western Pennsylvania, Ohio, north central West Virginia and Maryland. An active community partner, Giant Eagle provides support for local food banks, community events, the United Way, The Salvation Army, Race For The Cure and other non-profit organizations. The company has also created education initiatives such as Apples For The Students, which has provided millions of dollars in computer equipment, software and other classroom learning tools for local schools and the Be A Smart Shopper school nutrition program. Further information can be found at GiantEagle.com .
SOURCE Giant Eagle, Inc.