While attention to meals may be hot, cold cuts are still faring well in the supermarket deli. Sliced meats, cheeses and sandwiches topped the deli shopper's purchases even as prepared entrees edged into the Top 10 of deli buys.
That's what research commissioned by the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association, Madison, Wis., showed. Results of the study were revealed at the IDDBA's Dairy-Deli-Bake '99 show and seminar this summer in New Orleans.
This year, too, the burner was turned up on cold-cut brands in the deli. Chains made a big deal of brands in their deli advertising. Boars Head brand continued to roar across the country, appearing in more and more supermarket delis. A&P, Montvale, N.J., launched its own private-label (Masters Choice) line of cold cuts, and Gristede's Supermarkets, New York, began to test a new branded line of cold cuts launched by Nathan's Famous, the Westbury, N.Y., company best known for its hot dogs.
The IDDBA-commissioned research on deli trends, conducted by Rosita Thomas, vice president of research operations at Frederick Schneider Research, Washington, also showed that respondents shop the supermarket deli an average of 2.5 times a week, which is double the figure shown in similar research conducted by Thomas in 1994. In another comparison, Thomas pointed out that domestic cheese showed the largest increase in percentage of consumers who eat the item at least once a week. A full 62% of respondents said they eat domestic cheese at least once a week, compared with 47% in 1994.
No matter what they're buying there, consumers are happy with their experiences in the supermarket deli, they told researchers. The study indicated that 96% of respondents said they are satisfied with supermarket deli quality, and both variety and service got a "satisfied" vote from 95% of the respondents.