US-based sandwich franchise Pickleman’s Gourmet Café has announced the addition of no antibiotics ever (NAE) pulled pork to its menu.

The NAE pulled pork has been used in six new menu items, including three sandwiches and the Pickled Cuban Pizza. The menu will also include two mac and cheese bowls, which the company plans to launch soon.

Pickleman’s Gourmet Café founder and CEO Doug Stritzel said: “Serving healthier, responsibly sourced food builds our customers’ trust and loyalty in the brand.

“Real food tastes better and contributes to our sales growth and industry-leading average unit volume.”

Pickleman’s stated that with this initiative, it will be leading the quick service restaurant (QSR) and fast-casual sandwich category in working to remove antibiotics and other harmful additives from food.

Stritzel added: “Incorporating Open Prairie NAE pulled pork in our menu is just one way that Pickleman’s is serving food from farms, not factories.

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“Recent FDA reports show that while significant progress has been made in reducing the use of antibiotics in poultry, the effort to reduce their use in pork has been at a standstill for years.

“At Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe, we are constantly increasing the quality of our ingredients, with nothing hidden. I believe it’s up to us in the industry to start leading and say, ‘The status quo is unacceptable and we need to take better care of animals and feed our people real food.'”

Pickleman’s Gourmet Café was founded in 2005 by Doug Stritzel and has established its footprint across the Midwest region of the US.

Pickleman’s franchise locations showed a 14.5% growth in accumulated unit value in 2022.