Instore deli retailers find themselves in continual reinvention mode as they work to identify and accommodate a range of trends and evolving customer wants.
Technology, immigration and curiosity continue to shrink the world, making it easier than ever to find global influences and regional favorites at the local supermarket deli. The growing range of outside influences means consumer expectations of the deli department are greater than ever and likely very different from customer to customer. This could make the instore deli a destination for exploration and discovery for some, while others expect the department to be a convenient option for a fresh grab-and-go purchase.
“With so many possible options and customer needs to address, it can be difficult to know where to focus first,” says Eric Richard, education coordinator for the Madison, Wisconsin-based International Dairy Deli Bakery Association (IDDBA). “Today’s consumer wants the full gamut when it comes to shopping.”
Food expenditures still skew generationally toward the Silent Shopper (61%), Baby Boomers (58%), Gen X (55%) and Millennials and Gen Z (53%), according to IDDBA’s 2020 What’s in Store report. The task of zeroing in on the wants and needs of the individual means considering not only the demographic and ethnicity but also the size of the family. To meet these varied needs, deli departments are banking on a combination of familiarity and variety. This might include offering items that were once only available regionally or rotating new prepared food offerings into the store’s everyday menu.
“It’s important to find a way to bring the trends to life in a way that connects with the retailers’ overarching strategy and targets consumers in a way that will keep the trend top of mind when consumers are contemplating what their next meal might be,” says Andrew Quinn, senior brand manager, Hormel Deli Solutions, Hormel Foods, Austin, Minnesota …