Consumers can now buy one of the Iowa State Fair’s hottest selling food items, “Pork Chops on a Stick”, at their local Hy-Vee grocery store.

This unique item is actually a rib bone with the loin-eye muscle attached. Each chop is specially cut with the full rib bone so that consumers can hang on to it while they’re eating the meat, or it can be served on a plate like any other pork chop.

“The big draw is the outstanding flavor and consistency,” says Noel Johnson, Midwest sales manager, Iowa Quality Meats. “Consumers are getting a restaurant quality product in a retail package.”

The Iowa Pork Producers Association began selling the unique chops at the fair’s Chop Shop in 1999. In response to the tremendous success with consumers IPPA officials began working with Iowa Quality Meats, the Clive, Iowa, chop supplier, to design a retail package. IPPA started out selling 7,500 Pork Chops on a Stick in 1999, then doubled the amount to 15,900 in 2000 and 35,000 in 2001.

Pork Chops on a Stick are available in the frozen food section of the store. They are packaged in a resealable, two-pound plastic bag, with an IPPA label. Each bag contains four to six deep-basted chops, with the chops frozen and individually packaged to maintain maximum quality. A two-pound bag costs about $9.99.

Johnson estimates that about 60 Hy-Vee stores carry the Pork Chops on a Stick. So far, Iowa Quality Meats has sold about 14,000 to 15,000 pounds of the product since introducing it as a retail item for Hy-Vee in mid-August.