Supermarket Perimeter - July 2020 - 30

Deli: Dinnertime consumer

customers to make their own salad, for example, pre-packaged salads
can now sit on a cooled shelf, and the same is true for meal options in
the hot bar.
"Customers can just grab and go and they know no one has touched
it, it's not been exposed to open air and they're not using the same
utensil to serve it," Catarozoli said.
The well covers are easy to install and they don't have to be fused,
bolted or even screwed on to work, so in the future if self-serve bars
come back in style they can be quickly removed and the wells can be
filled for self-serve as they were before. It will also be simple for grocers
to do a mixed-use version of self-serve and grab-and-go with the bars.
For example, the covers could be removed for prime mealtimes, and
then transformed to a hot or cold shelf for grab-and-go meal items
during off times.

Merchandising: Presentation, freshness
and purchase options

FELIX MIZIOZNIKOV - STOCK.ADOBE.COM

In the midst of COVID-19, presentation is everything when it comes to
selling consumers on picking up something for dinner that night as they
wheel their cart past the deli department, explained Catarozoli.
Instead of going up to the deli counter and interacting with an
employee to order an entrée or sides for a meal, many consumers are
going to be more comfortable grabbing something that's already prepackaged and ready to go.
Since the onset of COVID-19, shoppers have become far more
mission-driven than they were before. Consumers know what they
need to pick up from the store, and they're more likely to make a
grocery list and stick to it to get in and out. That's a real disadvantage
for deli-prepared meals, because many consumers may not be apt to
put down a one-night dinner entree on their list.

That's why Catarozoli said it's important to find ways to make deliprepared foods pop.
"If you can figure out a way to make the food look as pleasing as
possible so that customers are like, 'wow, that looks amazing, it looks
hot, it looks fresh, it looks like it was just prepared, I can see the people
behind the counter in a safe area wearing gloves and masks and
preparing the food," he said.
Hatco offers merchandisers such as hot and cold shelves, cabinets
and air curtains that can help grab-and-go items stand out. The
packaging is also going to be key, Catarozoli pointed out, and clear
packaging that lets the customer clearly see the food they're taking
home is going to be the best way to go.
IDDBA's Richard said that if deli-prepared foods are properly marketed
and promoted, consumers will view the deli as a meal destination just
as a restaurant would be.
Pandemic or no pandemic, consumers are still busy, and an already
prepared meal to take home and sit on the table after a long shopping
trip is still appealing. Shoppers just need to be reminded that it's still
an option.
Consumer dinnertime desires haven't really changed too much either,
Richard said, although there has been an increase of comfort food sales.
What it really comes down to is the way the consumer acquires the
food, whether it's through visible and eye-catching shelving in the store
or through offering online ordering, pickup and delivery.
Richard suggested that retailers market deli prepared foods not just in
the store, but online too. The more a retailer can offer meal options that
shoppers can customize, and order online and then pick up in store,
the better.
"It comes down to letting consumers know, hey this is an option and
we made it easy for you to get this by placing your order online and just
picking it up while you are already in the store for your weekly stock-up
trip," he said.

30 - JULY 2020

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