10 CONSUMER PERISHABLES DATABOOK 2016
or those that have adapted to contemporary consumer
demands like convenience. Products like value-added vegetables (pre-cut, refrigerated vegetables), though a small portion of total sales, are driving growth by offering consumers
a value proposition beyond price.
Although a shifting retail environment and increasingly
choosey consumers can and do present challenges, they also
offer exciting new avenues for growth. Retailers and suppliers can now embrace a variety of opportunities both in and
out of store in order to win.
Since 2011, the deli department has acted as a key source of
sales growth at retail, increasing year over year by seven percent, and becoming something of a barometer of consumer
preferences and values at the store level. Ninety-nine percent
of U.S. households purchase from the deli department on
30 trips annually, more than for meat, bakery and seafood,
respectively. Total spend in the deli also increased slightly in
2015 to $249.45.
Deli growth has been fueled largely by the consistent
growth of deli prepared foods, which helped the depart-
ment increase dollar sales seven percent during the latest 52
weeks. During this time, traditional deli meats and cheeses
did not lag far behind the solid growth of deli prepared,
each increasing dollar sales a respectable six percent com-
pared to the previous year. Though much of the talk around
the success of the deli is centered on deli prepared options,
the solid growth of deli meat and cheese is important to be
aware of as not every deli program needs to provide gour-
met prepared options if their consumers are more concerned
with staples like meats, cheeses, and more basic prepared
offerings like pizza and chicken.
Before focusing on making a more robust deli prepared
program, it is important to understand what role the department plays for the consumers in-store. Like the meat and
produce departments, there is no one-size fits all strategy for
winning deli consumers and sales—retailers and suppliers
must balance the demands and circumstances of a store’s
primary consumers with its specific capabilities in order to
define and execute a winning deli strategy.
Though fresh bakery has posted relatively modest sales
increases when compared to a fast-growing department like
the deli, the bakery department has maintained steady unit
sales over the course of the past several years. This growth
was sustained during the latest 52 weeks ended Feb. 27, up
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