INDIANAPOLIS -- Marsh Supermarkets here is experimenting with a program of case-ready lamb cuts with the aim of advertising lamb more frequently. The chain is working with Superior Packing Co., Davis, Calif., to buy cases of individual cuts such as shoulders, loin chops or rib chops without buying the whole carcass, said Dewayne Wulff, fresh meat buyer at Marsh. The program, providing case-ready packages under the Superior Farms brand name, will enable Marsh to order enough of a cut to advertise it, without having more of other cuts than the chain can handle, Wulff noted. "We're working with Superior on the program now and hope to be able to advertise lamb cuts by early April," he said. "If we can promote lamb, we think we can get sales back up to where they were 20 years ago." Teddie Crippen, director of marketing at Superior, said the packer did some work with Oakland, Calif.-based Safeway on a similar program but added that Marsh is the first full-blown test of the boxed cuts. Before, Superior had only offered full carcasses packed in four atmosphere-controlled bags per carcass. Superior expects to offer shoulder, rib and loin chops and racks of lamb in the program initially, she said. The remainder of the carcass will be packaged as primal cuts. The supplemental cuts are also in atmosphere-controlled packaging with a shelf life of 21 days and are trayed and wrapped, ready to be weighed and labeled at the store. Marsh started a case-ready lamb program with Superior in July and now has lamb in all 88 of its stores. Wulff noted that, with the carcass divided into four bags, a store can open only one bag at a time while the remainder keeps its 21-day shelf life. "We are encouraging all the stores to buy at least one carcass and have lamb on display at all times," said Wulff. "With this program, even the smaller stores can have lamb available." Marsh has not yet seen major sales increases in lamb with this program, "but we are just starting to advertise lamb on a consistent basis," said Wulff. Lamb has not been a strong product in the chain's central Indiana stores, he added. While the case-ready lamb program does save store labor, Wulff said the major purpose of the program "is getting lamb into the stores. We want to be the supermarket that offers lamb to our customers in a consistent manner."