MADISON, Wis. – Retail delis and bakeries are in a good position to provide consumers with information about food products, according to a new report from the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association (IDDBA).

Consumers want to know about ingredients and health benefits of the foods they buy, and they also want information about where food products are sourced. The task of reaching out to consumers falls to retailers who can provide this information so that consumers can access it if they choose to do so.

In-store signs, online platforms and sales flyers are just a few methods retail deli and bakery operators can communicate with consumers.

“Together they convey the store’s “face” or personality and leave an impression on customers,” according to IDDBA's trends report Consumer Shopping Dynamics: The Decision Tree.

Labels are another way retailers can reach out to consumers. Bin signs, nutritional disclosure and ingredient lists can play a key role in communicating with consumers.

“Clear, easy-to-read and easy-to-understand information adds convenience to the shopping experience as well,” according to the report. “For those shoppers with dietary restrictions, the nutritional and ingredient information becomes critical.

“Proof of freshness is something else shoppers look for. Including dates of production and expiration are particularly relevant to the deli and bakery departments.”

But the most straightforward way of communicating a store’s values to customers is by showing them. Employees can demonstrate proper procedures are in place and this can reassure consumers, according to IDDBA.
“Show shoppers best practices in use, for example: staff baking onsite, staff wearing gloves, area appearing clean, etc.,” the report states. “This will give customers confidence and trust in the store.”

Retailers need to fill information gaps. Otherwise, consumers will come up with their own ideas about a store based on inaccurate information. This scenario can lead to lost sales and retailers risk having bad information spread to other consumers.

“Providing good information through signage, labels and showing the shoppers that you follow proper procedures will help customers to make positive assumptions about the store and make them feel like they can make an informed purchase decision,” according to IDDBA.