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NATURAL DELI Specialist Barb Stuckey


President and Chief Innovation Officer Mattson


FOOD=NUTRITION


Think food as "health", rather than medicine, or as food as a way to wellness or "my lifestyle." There’s a nuance between "food as medicine" and "food as health." That nuance is really around the assurance to the consumer that their number-one criteria for purchasing will be met. And that number-one criteria will be taste. No matter what category we’re looking at, the food has to taste good.


What consumers do not want to hear is too much of the functional benefits, which trumps the belief that the product is going to taste good.


If you ask consumers what they’re most worried about, most will say “their general health” or overall wellness. Heart health still resonates. Ingredients like whole grains, oats, and moderate sodium are still resonating.


In deli, we’re seeing a lot of what used to be traditionally cured meats moving more toward natural ingredients (meats can be cured in a natural way because they are cultured). Uncured meats resonate with consumers because it just sounds less processed.


Plant-based eating is one of the biggest trends we’re seeing. These categories are growing at much faster rates than the traditional dairy or deli businesses. Anything that delivers vegetable or vegetable


nutrition is trendy. Antioxidants still resonate; adaptogens are starting to tip, but not having hit mainstream yet: ashwagandha, turmeric.


Consumers get nutrition in two ways. The first is intrinsic nutrition, which means the nutrition in the product is coming from the product and ingredients themselves. The way the nutrition got in there was from mother nature. The second is fortified nutrition, such as added protein or minerals. Fortification is an older-school way of getting nutrition into products. In the future, the really progressive consumers will move away from fortified products, because of the signs that show that the body handles fortified food differently than intrinsic nutrition.


Everyone is busy—convenience is never not an issue. It’s always relevant for consumers. To create convenience is a huge benefit. For example, consumers want more vegetables, so finding ways to get the health benefits of vegetables in categories that they’re already shopping.


Organic is growing, but it’s still a tiny percent of overall sales. Getting a reliable supply of organic ingredients to make 100% organic products is challenging. It’s about supply and demand, and how supply and demand translates to cost.


continued on pg. 125


WHAT’S IN STORE | 2020


© 2019 International Dairy Deli Bakery Association


Deli


124


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