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Jun 29, 2009 12:31 PM

Harris Teeter switches to Boar's Head

I recently visited the Stonecrest Harris Teeter in Charlotte and was shocked to see red, black & yellow balloons everywhere and people in black aprons scurrying about. A large sign hung over the deli counter announcing their switch to Boar's Head meats & cheeses. I didn't think much about it, after all I'm not a loyal Dietz & Watson customer. I walked up to the counter and ordered some sliced Virginia ham and some Lebanon bologna. It's then that I noticed that the employee pulled out of the glass cabinet Boar's Head Lebanon bologna!!!! I said, oh no, I'd like the Seltzer's Lebanon bologna. He apologized and said that they no longer carried that brand. "WHAT?" I scanned the cabinet and sure enough all specialty brands were gone and the only choice was no choice at all. Boar's Head or nothing.

I went back today and spoke w/ the department manager who advised that all HT's would eventually be making the switch to strictly Boar's Head meats & cheeses and HT signed a contract that they would not carry and other brands.

This is awful. :(

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  1. Is Seltzer's a premium meats provision company? Generally speaking, Boar's Head brand provisions are considered top dog in the Northeast and it's not unusual for their cold cuts to be priced at $9.99 or higher.....crazy if you ask me. I would however be annoyed and disappointed if my local store completely discontinued any quality brand of meat and cheese provisions, normally priced much cheaper, in favor a any brand that was more expensive and rarely would go on sale at more attractive prices.

    4 Replies
    1. re: fourunder

      Seltzer's Lebanon bologna is considered to be THE brand in Pennsylvania, which, of course, is the heart of Lebanon bologna country. In Pennsylania, you can get it sweet or regular, but I have never seen sweet Lebanon bologna outside of that state.

      Whenever I am in PA, I always get a couple of pounds of Seltzer's sweet Lebanon bologna and half of it disappears before the car hits the North Carolina state line. A regional treat is to spread some cream cheese on it and roll it up.

      1. re: brentk

        Brentk, you are SO speaking my language. You're right, I haven't found sweet outside of PA. Just as you had mentioned though, as soon as I left Bi-LO with my lb. of Lebanon bologna I was driving down Rea Rd eating a folded up piece of bologna. We always referred to the sweet Lebanon bologna as summer bologna (or summer sausage).

        The point had little to do with premium meats, but rather specialty meats & cheeses. In other words, Seltzer's is the preferred brand for Lebanon bologna, but isn't a high end purchase. Does that make sense?

        1. re: lynnlato

          My dad grew up in PA (Jersey Shore) and so my sister and I grew up eating Lebanon bologna.

          Try it with peanut butter. Seriously, it's amazing.

          I just "suffered" through some BH LB. Not as tasty as I remember Seltzer's, but it's definitely Lebanon bologna and I can pick it up at my local grocery store.

          [old thread, but I had to chime in]

          1. re: spammie

            OMG, peanut butter? Really? Ok, I'll try just about anything once and I do love peanut butter. OK, I'm doing it. I'll report back. ;)

            Yea, the BH LB is too processed for me. It simply doesn't cut it. :(

    2. Lynn, have you ever tried anything from Boar's Head? i don't have a point for comparison because i've never had D&W, but BH is quality product. they don't add any nasty fillers or unnecessary artificial crap to their meats & cheeses, and they have a really good variety of products.

      BTW, when you say they "switched," does that mean they never carried BH at your store before now? because years ago when i was living in ATL, my local Harris Teeter carried the full BH line at the deli counter.

      1 Reply
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        Yes, I've tried their VA ham recently, and its fine. My point was that they ONLY carry BH now (at least at my store... and soon to be all stores). The BH Lebanon bologna was beyond gross.

        Yea, I've never seen BH at any of the Charlotte area HT's. So, around these parts its new, as far as I know. But I don't have a problem with BH. But to eliminate all other brands for BH disturbs me. I want imported prosciutto, Seltzer's Lebanon bologna, Alpine Lace Swiss, etc.

      2. Boar's Head has great PR. It amazes me when I see restaurants advertising the stuff. It's fair. I'll eat some of it if I have to, but it doesn't compare to the brands you can get at Whole Foods. A few of their products are nitrite- free, but most of them do contain nitrites.

        Lack of choice sucks, i feel for you. There was an aritcle in WSJ last week saying we can expect fewer product choices as stores try to maintain some profit during the downturn.

        2 Replies
        1. re: danna

          Boar's Head does have several varieties of nitrate- and nitrite-free turkey, chicken, ham and roast beef. it just depends on which ones a particular store carries. i personally think it's the best store-bought alternative to Applegate Farms products, which can be difficult to find outside of WFM & health food stores.

          but that's just MHO.

          1. re: danna

            You said it well, danna, "lack of choice sucks". Amen.

          2. Well, I for one am happy to see the change. I've gotten some pretty unpleasant stuff from all my local HT's and am looking forward to the Boar's Head upgrade. Even my 7-year-old complained about the mushy turkey at HT this past weekend. And the Muenster cheese they've been carrying has been just about the nastiest tasting sliced cheese I've ever had.

            There seems to be some kind of anti-Boar's Head backlash on CH. Fine with me if you think it's cool to snub Boar's Head. It beats the tar out of D&W and Thumman's and I sure don't want to hear anyone calling me crazy for paying Boar's Head prices when they're buying at Whole Paychecks, for Pete's sake.

            Way to go, HT!

            9 Replies
            1. re: rockycat

              I have no problem with BH. I don't care that they switched from D&W to BH. My complaint is that they contracted w/ BH to not carry any other brands also. No imported prosciutto, no Alpine Lace Swiss, no Lebanon bolgna from Lebanon PA.

              As danna put it: no choice.

              1. re: rockycat

                Word, word, word. Couldn't agree more, rockycat. I shop at HT every so often, but generally avoided it because their cold cuts sucked. The D&W was worse than Oscar Meyer. My hub will only eat Boar's Head, so thankfully we've had another grocery that stocks it, but it's always good to have HT as an option.

                I also have to agree that no one shopping at Whole Foods can really have much of a leg to stand on when complaining about the prices of Boar's Head. Good grief.

                1. re: Suzy Q

                  Their Seltzer's Lebanon bolgna was AWESOME. LOL

                  1. re: lynnlato

                    Sounds like I've missed out on something good! I didn't even know what Lebanon bologna was until reading this thread. We didn't get much of that growing up in Charleston - I think "gourmet" was Oscar Meyer instead of the store brand when I was a kid.

                    1. re: Suzy Q

                      Ha! Lebanon bologna is to PA folks what livermush is to NC folks. Kind of like scrapple vs. country sausage too. :)

                      I don't know that you've missed on on anything extra special. It's just a thing I thought was great from back home. I'm just whining. I thought it was great that Lebanon bologna was easy to come by in these parts - and now my regular grocer doesn't carry it (I wish we had a Whole Foods).

                  2. re: Suzy Q

                    where do you and Rockycat see someone shopping at WF and complaining about Boar's Head prices?

                  3. re: rockycat

                    I wouldnt say all these people are bashing BH. It sound like they were bashing Harris Teeters. And as far as quality goes. BH is not the best. They have a pretty label for sure, but Thumann's meat quality surpasses BH. Proof is in the puddin

                    1. re: buddyboyII

                      That is a comparison of nutritional factors, ie who has lower sodium , and not who has best taste, texture etc. It is not a judge of quality.

                      I also noticed that your only posts on Chow, except for one, are attacking BH. The one remaining post you indicate that you are a delivery person.

                      Do you deliver for a competing brand?

                      1. re: chazzer

                        <Do you deliver for a competing brand?>

                        Yes, apparently buddyboyll does. The site you visited is run by buddyboy who clearly states that he is a distributor for Thumann's. So it sounds as if buddyboy has a very personal interest in HT's switchover to BH.

                  4. Boar's Head has ONE thing that I like and that's their oven roasted chicken. The rest of it you can have. The majority of PUBLIX in FLA have switched to all Boar's Head products.
                    Lynn, do you have an INGLE'S in Charlotte?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: thefluffyturtle

                      No Ingle's, fluffyturtle (nice name, btw). What's Ingle's?