Smithfield Foods is going back to the basics with a new fresh-pork line called Preferred Stock. It features increased fat content. The company has spent the last four years creating a more marbled genetic line of hogs, says James Schloss, Smithfield’s vice president of marketing.

“This is pork the way it used to be – tastier, with a bit of fat on it,”  he adds.

Hogs producing Preferred Stock pork will be a cross of Duroc and Large White breeds.

The move follows the successes of smaller companies that have won spots on restaurant menus with more flavorful pork. This fatter, juicier product won’t replace lean pork, but will offer consumers a choice, says Schloss. This new product line will give Smithfield the opportunity to tap into niche markets.

He points out that it took years to educate consumers and chefs on how to cook lean pork, which can easily dry out. Some consumers just don’t like the result, and Preferred Stock may appeal to them, Schloss believes.

Smithfield has tested its new fresh pork product line in supermarkets in San Antonio, Texas, and Maine.