Meijer expands made-in-Michigan program

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Mass merchandise chain Meijer is expanding an initiative started last year to feature products made in the state of Michigan.

The company announced Tuesday a plan to feature 55 new Michigan-made grocery products in all its stores in the state. The company started the Made in Michigan initiative in January 2012 with the Michigan State University Product Center for Food-Ag-Bio.

"It's been a fantastic opportunity for all Michigan businesses to have this local selection at Meijer; many of them see amazing results," MSU Product Center High Impact Venture Action Team project manager Matt Birbeck said. "Now that it's in every Michigan Meijer store, everybody gets to see and taste the diversity of this great state."

The products initially featured included marinara sauce, blueberry butter and gluten-free baking mixes. The new items include barbecue sauces, cherry butter, salsa, guacamole and potato chips. Meijer said the original launch had an economic benefit of $400,000, and it expects a $900,000 benefit from the latest rollout.