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April 7, 2021

Deli Meats Trending Up

With people eating more frequently at home these days, there has been a rush toward deli meats, both packaged meats and sliced at the counter, to make mealtimes more convenient. While the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine could lead to a return of previous shopping habits, retailers should continue to see the sales of deli meats trending up.

Throughout most of 2020, deli meats represented 21% of total department dollar sales, according to IRI data. What’s more, dollar sales for packaged meats during this time were up 11.5%, second only to its counterpart, deli cheese.

Home cooking is the new normal

In the past year, as work-from-home and in-home learning became the norms, many consumers have been preparing and eating lunch at home as opposed to the traditional restaurant lunch. And that new trend isn’t changing anytime soon. More than half of Americans surveyed said they will continue to eat at home more often, even after the pandemic ends, according to Hunter Public Relations.

While money has been lost from recession-like shopping habits, the grocery industry can leverage the effect that working and learning from home is currently having on Americans for months to come, as they are now making lunch and dinner at home far more than they did pre-pandemic.

Convenience is key

In search of variety, many consumers are now opting for more convenient and flavorful options such as value-added meats. Value-added products go beyond standard lunch meat – they often include seasoned and flavor-infused meats that can liven up mealtimes once again.

“Convenience is a huge driver of this growth – both pre-pandemic and now,” said Ryan Vessell, Vice President for Innovation and Growth at Tyson Foods. “Consumers are looking for solutions to make mealtime more convenient and are looking for a consistent, quality product. Especially now that meal-planning fatigue has set in due to the pandemic, we know this category will continue to see growth.”

Compared to traditional behind-the-glass items, the popularity of pre-packaged meats is expected to continue to climb. Convenience and shelf life are the main drivers of its success, allowing for faster shopping trips with minimal interaction.

Packaged deli meat displays can easily become disorganized, making the shopping process more difficult and time-consuming. Because speed to checkout is important to today’s customers, it’s critical that packaged meat displays are fresh, front-faced and attractive. SpaceGridâ II pusher display systems from Retail Space Solutions create the experience shoppers desire. SpaceGrid II is also designed to prolong freshness through its airflow channels that keep cool air moving through the display to ensure appropriate refrigeration.

With many new flavors and choices of packaged meats, organization and visibility benefit both the shopper and the retailer. The clear lens on the SpaceGrid II keeps products visible, leading to quicker buying decisions – and ultimately higher profits.

And as the demand for packaged meat continues to rise, it’s important to ensure that your restocking process is as efficient as possible so customers can find what they are looking for. The slide-out trays on the SpaceGrid II simplify restocking, making rotation fast and efficient. Gaining full access is as easy as pushing a button and pulling the tray forward. These two simple steps reduce restocking time and the related labor costs.

For more information on the SpaceGrid II or other pusher tray solutions from Retail Space Solutions, visit or call 1-800-279-5291.