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DELI DEPT. VIEW DELI VIEW


Eric Le Blanc Director of Marketing Tyson Foods, Inc.


I don’t have any knowledge of worldwide deli growth, etc., but it is my observation that what is called deli/ prepared foods/retail foodservice varies enormously from nation to nation. As close as Canada and the United States are socially and culturally, there are important differences in the channel. Branching to the Caribbean or Central America shows more diversity still, and Britain and Europe are significantly divergent. One thing I have heard is that another region or country, the UK for example, are “so far ahead of us” in this area. I think that that way of thinking is misguided: if the solutions offered in the UK are different than those offered in the US, it is almost certainly the case that the NEEDS in those countries are different. It really is no different than biological evolution: different attributes arrive in the population due to differing local conditions. Each nation/region has to understand the needs of its local consumers and meet those and stop looking across the fence at how someone else has solved for a different set of conditions.


Today we are principally a product-focused industry. Within that mental framework there is tremendous upside in execution and communication that should yield some very positive growth in the industry. That growth will occur on a retailer by retailer basis, based on their execution. When you consider EACH retailer in the top 25 has a strong gap between their shoppers’ satisfaction with deli/ prepared foods shopping vs total store, EVERYONE has upside growth potential. But there is a bigger and more important shift in the offing: that is, the movement from a product-centric to meal-centric


Specialist


and shopper-centric approach. Even modest efforts in this direction—which is mainly a communication challenge—will yield strong growth results for retailers who embrace it. In a recent 90-day test that consisted only in changing the nature of and placement of marketing messages—no assortment changes, no promotions—yielded a +12 percentage points swing in prepared food sales. It’s worth noting that the lift positively affected the entire department.


I believe the growth can/will happen wherever retailers and suppliers are prepared to challenge their conventional wisdom and to seek better solutions that are based on the real human needs of their shoppers.


Meeting demand is very much like solving a math equation: x needs = y solutions. The left side and the right side must always balance. Scarcity simply adds another variable on the left-hand side of the equation: it’s our job to solve the right-hand side to account for that changed value. It’s not easy to do, but like math, if we proceed according to the rules of the game, we will arrive at a result.


WHAT’S IN STORE | 2020


© 2020 International Dairy Deli Bakery Association


© 2019 International Dairy Deli Bakery Association


Deli


AM

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