Deli and the Dietitian:  An Opportunity to Bundle and Inspire Healthy Meals

Deli and the Dietitian: An Opportunity to Bundle and Inspire Healthy Meals

July 22, 2015

By Amanda Rubizhevsky, MPH

Your Retail Deli: Failure or Fortune, a recent webinar lead by Tyson Foods, provided some great ideas that can help boost dietitian visibility in store and help promote healthy meals centered around deli staples. Here are some facts and tips to for more targeted and effective deli promotions by retail RDs.

Insight #1: Who is the Deli Shopper?

Usually those cooking for the family are still moms, but the decisions they make are not entirely their own. For example, 27% of all prepared foods purchase decisions are influenced by a spouse or significant other; 43% are influenced by children in the household.  In total, a whopping 70 percent of all prepared foods purchase decisions are influenced by another member of the household, not necessarily the shopper.

Insight #2:  Play to your shoppers emotional needs.  

According to the webinar presenters, top consumer concerns include the desire to serve something they can be proud of, a great dinner experience with their family (ease and togetherness), and wanting to know that they are doing something good for themselves and their family.

Based on the deli shopper’s definition and emotional needs, there are a variety of ways retail dietitian nutritionists can leverage these insights for business benefit.

Concept #1:  Too many choices paralyze shoppers, so create healthy and tasty meal bundles to help shoppers decide what’s for dinner and to speed up the purchase decisions process. Pull and group better-for-you products from different departments that bundle well as a meal solution. The Tyson panel made it clear that service, freshness and excitement in deli can drive center store sales, a great opportunity for RDs to cross-promote and increase the ROI of programs.

Concept #2:  Work with your deli or consumer insights department to identify the most popular deli and prepared foods items and use them as the feature items in a meal solution. For example, center a meal around rotisserie chicken. Give families ways to use this beyond the obvious, such as in chicken and vegetable fajitas, using the meat for a soup, or even shredding it into a main dish salad. Provide recipes with the ingredient bundle to inspire the shopper.

Concept #3:  Promote daily meal suggestions on social media, getting your shoppers excited about what’s fresh and delicious in deli on a daily basis. Consider using a common hashtag or icon with these daily meal suggestions. The convenience of using some prepared foods for dinner will have your shoppers coming back time and again.

Concept #4:  Become familiar with the items in the prepared foods department, especially those that offer key nutrition attributes. Engage with the products, so you know them best, and consider developing training for all deli staff on suggestive selling of the products based on their nutrition.