Swirling from the impact of COVID-19, deli and foodservice departments of supermarkets were forced to pivot in 2020 and find new ways to attract customers.
Grab-and-go and prepackaged meals dominated the deli area, while some retailers expanded foodservice operations with grocerants, meals to go from local restaurants and ghost kitchens. H-E-B even opened its own food hall in Austin this summer, with six restaurants under one roof.
And while sales of fresh prepared food at the deli struggled, sliced meats and cheeses soared as housebound consumers increasingly turned to making lunch at home. Savvy retailers offered do-it-yourself charcuterie kits for the experientially minded shoppers, while others adapted their catering programs to serve fewer people in smaller gatherings.
Here are some of the big stories and trends in deli and prepared food that Supermarket News covered in 2020.