Many people find the lunch meat (deli meat) section of the grocery confusing with all its options. Below are thirteen of some of the most popular lunch meat brands available at stores. We hope you find this article useful to help narrow down the choices that are best for you.
Lunch Meat Brands
Applegate specializes in making natural and organic meats. The company was founded in 1987. One of the company’s first products was deli meat that was free of antibiotics. In 2002, they launched certified organic deli meat that was the first to be readily available at a variety of stores.
Today, the company provides consumers with products that are humanely raised with no GMO ingredients. They have a nice selection of antibiotic-free organic and natural lunch meats. The types of meat made available by Applegate are ham, turkey, chicken, and roast beef.
The “S” in Bar-S stands for Seattle, however, the company is owned by a Mexican multinational food company named Sigma Alimentos. They may be best-known for their franks since the company is one of the top producers in America. In addition to franks, they make corn dogs, donut dogs, bacon mac & cheese bits, sausages, bacon, and more. Of course, Bar-S also produces lunchmeat, which includes poultry, ham, bologna, salami, and luncheon loaf.
Board’s Head has been producing cold cuts since 1905 when it started out in Brooklyn, New York. The company has since moved to Sarasota, Florida but they are still making high-quality delicatessen meats that are sold across America.
In addition to lunch meat, the company makes a variety of products such as cheese, hummus, sausage, horseradish, bacon, franks, and more.
The lunch meats made by Boar’s Headare ham, turkey, beef, chicken, bologna, salami, liverwurst, and loaves. The company makes deli and pre-sliced/packages meats.
Buddig has been family-owned since 1943. The fourth generation of the family currently operates and is actively involved in ensuring the continued success of the business. In regard to deli meat, Buddig’s product line includes Buddig Original and Premium Deli lunchmeat.
Original flavors include beef, black forest ham, black forest turkey, chicken, corned beef, ham, honey ham, honey roasted turkey, oven-roasted turkey, pastrami, and turkey.
The Premium Deli flavors are black forest ham, oven roasted turkey breast, rotisserie flavored chicken breast, smoked ham, honey ham, honey turkey breast and white turkey, smoked turkey breast and white turkey.
You may also be interested in Buddig’s Fix Quix products, which are pre-packaged and ready-to-serve chicken strips. The flavors are southwestern-flavor and grilled chicken breast strips. These are perfect for wraps and salads.
Castle Wood Reserve
Castle Wood Reserve makes a small selection of pre-sliced premium deli meats. The products include Oven Roasted Chicken Breast, Virginia Brand Smoked Uncured Ham, Uncured Honey Ham, Smoked Honey Turkey Breast, Four Pepper Turkey Breast, Oven Roasted Turkey Breast, Turkey Pastrami, and Angus Seasoned Roast Beef. This lunch meat brand is owned by Cargill Meat Solutions
Dietz & Watson
Dietz and Watson was founded by Gottlieb Dietz, a German immigrant, who came to Philadelphia in 1922 and worked as a sausage maker for many years. He eventually bought The Watson Meat Company in 1939 and merger the names Dietz and Watson to create the company name we know today.
It remains a private family business today that is operated by the relatives of Gottlieb Dietz. Its primary products include meat, cheese, snacks, and condiments such as mustard and pickles. Of course, they also make deli and packaged lunchmeat that come in a variety of meats/flavors.
Eckrich was started by Peter Eckrich in Fort Wayne, Indiana way back in 1894. The company began as a meat market serving the local community and eventually became a wholesaler, which helped the company grow for decades. Eckrich is currently owned by Smithfield. The company sells both deli counter meat and packaged meats.
Hillshire Farm is a brand of Tyson Foods. Tyson acquired Hillshire Brands in August 2014 for $7.7 billion. The company acquired several popular brands, such as Jimmy Dean and Ball Park, with the deal. Hilshire has been involved in the meat industry since 1934 and was started by Austria-born Fritz Bernegger in New London, Wisconsin. Hilshire Farm not only makes deli meat but also various sausages and ham products.
Land O’ Frost
Land O’ Frost was started in 1941 by Antoon Van Eekeren and remains a family-owned business to this day. The company’s roots come from Chicago’s south side where Antoon found his niche in the frozen meat and TV dinner business.
They made waves in the deli meat business in 1990 when they launched a one-pound premium deli pouch that provided value for households seeking greater portion sizes. The introduction of this product was clearly a winner for the company since they are still producing it today.
Land O’ Frost’s one-pound sliced meat pouches are available today in several classic flavors such as black forest ham, oven-roasted chicken breast, and roast beef. They also produce a Bistro Favorites product line that features seasoned meats that are 100% natural. Additionally, they make a DeliShaved line in a variety of flavors that are available in 2 oz, 8 oz., and 16 oz sizes.
Natural Choice is a premium lunchmeat brand by Hormel. The meats have no preservatives, nitrates, added hormones, or artificial ingredients. Its pre-packaged deli meats are available in turkey, ham, and salami.
Additionally, the company recently released a new line of slow-smoked lunch meats. These products include applewood smoked turkey with garlic & herb, applewood smoked ham, pecanwood smoked ham with sweet black pepper, and pecan smoked ham with brown sugar.
The company was started by Oscar F. Mayer and his brothers in the 1880s. Mayer was born in Germany and then moved to Detroit in 1873 where he obtained employment at a local meat market. He later moved to Chicago and in 1883 he opened a butcher/sausage shop, which was the start of this iconic brand.
The lunch meat products by the company are Natural and Cold Cut. The Natural product line contains no artificial ingredients, antibiotics, nitrates. or artificial preservatives. These pre-packaged lunch meats come in turkey, chicken, ham, and roasted beef.
The Cold Cuts line offers Classics, Carving Board, Bologna, Deli Fresh, and Zipper Pouch varieties available in a wide selection of meats including salami, turkey, ham, olive loaf, roast beef, and more.
Sara Lee is named after the daughter of Charles Lubin, the founder of the brand. Sara Lee is currently owned by Tyson Foods. The company manufactures deli meats that include roast beef, chicken breast, ham, and turkey breast in a variety of flavors.
Smithfield is one of the top pork producers in the world. If it’s pork-related, they probably make it. This includes such food items as hams, bratwurst, sausage, bacon, and beyond.
The company’s lunch meat options expand beyond just ham. They also make turkey and chicken lunch meat in pre-packaged resealable tubs. However, their deli meat is limited to ham and bologna based on their website.