Supermarket Perimeter - July 2020 - 26

the
dinner
time
consumer
Merchandising deli-prepared in the times of COVID-19
BY EMILY PARK

26 - JULY 2020

The last couple of months for deli-prepared has admittedly been
grim, but Eric Richard, industry relations coordinator for the MadisonWis.-based International Dairy Deli Bakery Association (IDDBA), sees no
reason to believe that the category won't return to its former glory.
"Prepared foods was one of those sectors that was doing really well
before the pandemic hit," Richard said. "There's no reason to think it
can't get back to where it was, it's just unknown when exactly that
might happen. Right now with the restaurants reopening their dining
rooms - albeit in a limited capacity - it could be time for retailers,
especially those that have robust deli-prepared programs, to see if
they're able to reopen and function at a greater capacity than they have
been over the last few months."
Until society reaches a place where it's time for a full reopen,
however, retailers are going to have to recalibrate the practices in the
deli-prepared section to best reach consumers and remind them about
the easy meal solutions they can access in the instore deli.

A plan for the interim
A few months into the pandemic, it's still difficult to gauge exactly what
COVID-19-caused trends and consumer behaviors are around to stay
and which trends will regress back to pre-pandemic tendencies.
Before COVID-19 hit it was typical for retailers to have buffet-like
cold and hot bars centered in the deli where customers could serve

supermarketperimeter.com

HATCO

AS THE DUST SETTLES and the initial shock of the coronavirus
(COVID-19) wears off, businesses are finding their footing and learning
to navigate the waters in a post-pandemic world, and it's time for the
instore deli to do the same. Before COVID-19 hit, deli-prepared foods
were highly sought after by the dinner time consumer.
In fact, in 2019 deli-prepared entrees was the highest grossing
category in the $12.6 billion-plus deli-prepared foods category. Total,
deli-prepared entrees brought in over $4.08 billion last year. In 2019,
deli-prepared meats were performing 12.2% better than the year prior,
combo meals performed 6.3% higher and appetizer sales increased by
4.2%. The deli-prepared foods category was the supermarket's biggest
selling category.
And then COVID-19 hit.
According to data from 210 Analytics and IRI, total convenient meals
(random and fixed weight) fell by .9% during March 2020 compared to
March 2019, which fell to 27% during April and down approximately
18.4% during the month of May.
Grab-and-go meals performed better than most deli-prepared
categories, with an 18.4% bump over 2019 in the month of March that
fell to 6.4% below 2019 sales in April and was back up to approximately
1.9% over 2019 sales during the month of May. Meanwhile, entrees fell as
much as 40.4%, appetizers fell as much as 38.9% and sides as much as
29.2% below 2019 sales.


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Supermarket Perimeter - July 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Supermarket Perimeter - July 2020

Supermarket Perimeter - July 2020 - 1
Supermarket Perimeter - July 2020 - 1
Supermarket Perimeter - July 2020 - 2
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