MADISON, Wis. — Consumers shopping the supermarket deli department will find international fare and regionally produced ingredients are the hottest trends in deli department foods, according to What’s in Store 2012, the recently released annual trends publication of the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association (IDDBA).
The trends study showed that 82 percent of consumers enjoy visiting supermarket delis that feature newer and trendier items, regardless of whether they regularly purchase these items. Delis need to cultivate an image of being “in the know” so that customers are more receptive to new products, trends and menu ideas, according to IDDBA.
Ethnic entrees such as chorizo and carne asada, as well as Korean short ribs, Polish kielbasa, carnitas, and Serrano ham are interesting to customers looking for new meal solutions.
Ready-to-eat foods are always popular in the deli. Rotisserie chicken recipes are joining in on ethnic food trends with flavors like lime-cilantro and chipotle-barbecue. Deli chicken wings and now turkey wings are also popular deli case offerings. Delis are preparing their own signature sauces for the wings. In addition, deli pizzas are trending toward smaller portions, artisan pizzas with regional and ethnic flavors and local produce for toppings. Whole grain crusts, as well as all-natural, organic, and vegetarian options are catering to the newly sophisticated American palette.
According to IDDBA research, top trendy ethnic items attracting shoppers in deli sandwich programs/prepared food areas are: crepes (27.6 percent), chipotle flavors (24.0 percent), hummus (23.4 percent), Korean BBQ (22.7 percent), and empanadas (21.6 percent). Others mentioned were Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches (10.5 percent) and stuffed cornmeal cakes known as pupusas (10.0 percent).
What's in Store 2012 is available for purchase on the IDDBA website at www.iddba.org.