Supermarket Delis Sales Continue to Rise

Apr 02, 2002

Supermarket deli sales have been on the rise for the last decade, according to Prepared Foods Magazine. The International Dairy Deli Bakery Association (IDDBA) reports delis accounted for $13 billion in 2000, an amount 6.1 percent up from 1999, and more than $8.56 billion reported for 1992. A recent Chicago-based Technomics Inc.’s report predicts supermarket foodservice sales will reach $18.4 billion by 2005.

More than 25,000 delis, found in roughly 81 percent of the nation’s supermarkets, contribute about 47.4 percent to gross margin, according to Carol Christison, executive director of the IDDBA. While most of these would say they offer “prepared meals,” the definitions vary. To some, a prepared meal is a complete meal, while others believe salads and side dishes meet the “prepared” criteria.

Not in question, however, is consumer spending in the supermarket deli. According to Steve Schwalb, vice president of sales and marketing for supermarket deli at Perdue Farms, Salisbury, Md., the typical deli prepared meals shopper spends $15 to $16, roughly 20 percent, more than the non-deli shopper, per visit.

Moderator Comment: What are the keys to a successful
deli business?

Personally, we’d like to see mulligatawny soup and palak
paneer added to rotisserie chicken and sushi on the prepared foods menu. [George Anderson – Moderator]

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