Natural Grocers Expands Its Meat and Seafood Department, Provides Easy to Understand Ranking System

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — Natural Grocers recently refreshed its Meat and Seafood Department selections in all its grocery stores across 19 states. The new and improved Meat and Seafood Department features high-quality and exotic varieties of grass-fed meat, pork, poultry, fish and seafood. Customers can expect a wide variety of offerings including, bison, beef, yak, wild boar, elk, venison, lamb, pork, chicken, turkey, ostrich, cod, mahi mahi, salmon, scallops, shrimp, tuna, pollock, rockfish and sole.

“Our standards ensure that all of our meat is naturally and humanely raised and our seafood is sustainably sourced, which we believe is the best for our customers, the animals and our environment,” said Kemper Isely, Natural Grocers Co-President. “We also believe our customers appreciate that we make this incredible quality and variety affordable.”

Natural Grocers maintains very high meat standards, which at a minimum for all fresh and frozen meat includes humane raising requirements, no hormones, no growth promoting drugs, no use of antibiotics, no land animal by-products and non-GMO feed is always preferred. The retailer’s high seafood standards mean it only stocks third party certified sustainable options including wild-caught fish, scallops and organically farmed shrimp.

Natural Grocers has put together a ranking system for their fresh and frozen meat selections that will help customers easily identify and find the quality standards they are looking for. Natural Grocers’ new ranking system, which identifies meat and seafood products as bronze, silver and gold, is based on criteria that matter to consumers and improves transparency, which is often lacking in label claims.


  • Sustainably farmed
  • Humanely raised
  • No antibiotics, hormones or growth promotants
  • No animal by-products
  • No cloned or genetically modified animals

Silver (includes all Bronze requirements):  

  • Non-GMO feed
  • Non-GMO alfalfa (ruminants)
  • No synthetic colorants (seafood)
  • Free range (poultry)
  • 100% grass fed and/or certified organic (ruminants, seafood)
  • Sustainably sourced (seafood)

Gold (includes all Bronze and Silver requirements):

  • Certified organic and/or other regenerative farming practices (beef, poultry, pork)
  • 100% U.S. domestic (ruminants, poultry, pork)
  • Wild caught and sustainably certified (seafood, boar)

Natural Grocers Bronze-level standards would likely match the highest standard found at other grocery stores and farmers’ markets, with the Silver and Gold rankings focusing on bold regenerative farming practices that safeguard a healthy planet for future generations. Years of complex information went into Natural Grocers’ meat and seafood standards and customers can clearly see how individual products are raised and produced. Customers can simply look at the “Our Standards” chart on the Meat and Seafood Department doors to see what attributes a meat or seafood product carries. The individual rankings give the customer a great deal of information in only a few seconds, allowing them to feel confident about what they are buying without having to obtain a PhD in USDA labeling.

“The unique thing we’ve done is create real transparency and information about animal product labels so that customers can better understand, and more importantly, trust the food they’re buying and eating is really what it claims to be,” said Heather Isely, Natural Grocers Executive Vice President. “There are so many loopholes in each animal species industry and we’ve done our best to bring light to those areas of confusion and provide information that is usable at the point of purchase. Often there is a disconnect on how food gets from the farm to the table and we want to help bridge that information gap.”

Visit the Natural Grocers website to view their full meat and seafood standards.

About Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc. (NYSE: NGVC; is an expanding specialty retailer of organic and natural groceries, body care products and dietary supplements. The company offers a flexible, neighborhood-store format, affordable prices and free, science-based nutrition education programs to help customers make informed health and nutrition choices. Founded in Colorado in 1955, Natural Grocers has more than 3,500 employees and operates 153 stores in 19 states.