Three Ways to Engage Shoppers During Deli Meat Month 

March is National Deli Meat Month and National Nutrition Month, which makes it a great time to raise awareness about how healthful, flavorful and convenient deli meats can be. They’re a great source of protein, full of vitamins and minerals, and an easy, on-the-go option. For example, a 2-ounce serving of sliced ham has just 60 calories and about two grams of fat, while boasting 10 grams of protein.  

A wide variety of deli meats are now available to meet consumers’ nutritional needs, tastes, budgets and personal preferences. Many products now feature less sodium and less fat, creating nutritional profiles that meet American Heart Association certification requirements. 

We know consumers already love sandwiches, and they offer a convenient way to get grains, vegetables, protein, and dairy in one convenient hand-held option. According to Technomic’s Sandwich Consumer Trend Report, 61% of consumers say they eat a sandwich at least once a week and 37% say they eat one more than once a week. Most people (60%) prepare their sandwiches at home, but 44% also like to pick them up the grab-and-go section of restaurants or other foodservice locations.  

To keep consumers coming back, we need to give them greater variety. The Technomic survey found 39% of consumers (including 54% of millennials) want new or unique sandwich offerings. A third (32%) of Millennials and Gen Z want more multicultural flavors in their sandwiches.  

The deli meat market is expected to grow to $114.2 billion by 2023. What can you do to draw more sandwich and deli meat lovers? We’ve identified three top opportunities: 

1. Offer seasoned or value-added meats. Busy consumers want flavorful yet convenient options. Seasoned deli meats also offer the opportunity to draw those looking for multicultural flavors. Newer deli meat options offer bourbon or paprika flavors; pesto, garlic and parmesan rubs; or rosemary seasonings. New flavors will bring consumers back again and again.  

2. Get on-board with the charcuterie trend. Charcuterie has long been a staple at specialty food stores and fine-dining restaurants, but more and more mainstream consumers seek out these cured-meat products as part of a growing appreciation for artisan food overall, according to Supermarket News. Value-added options can also draw in customers looking for quick, easy and portable options for parties. Consider offering prepared boards with pre-sliced sausages, cheese and bread, packaged with olives, nuts, fruits and spreads.  

3. Showcase new recipes on in-store foodservice menus. Give consumers the chance to try new tastes, then offer those options in the aisles nearby for consumers to take home and try on their own. A toasted Monte Cristo with brie, a tasty Cuban or a Muffuletta can expand beyond more traditional sandwich options. Consider new sandwich combinations, like ham with goat cheese, apples and honey, or ham, pear and arugula with manchego cheese. In-store butchers are also a great resource to promote new recipe ideas.  

To help you draw more customers to the deli counter, we’re partnering with the North American Meat Institute (NAMI), a contractor to the Beef Checkoff to provide a variety of Deli Meat Month tools and resources. Visit NationalDeliMeatMonth.org to download logos, infographics, fact sheets and other tools you can use online, on social and in store.  

Next week’s newsletter will share our latest report on the economic outlook for deli meat.  

Angie Krieger

Angie Krieger

Assistant Vice President, Channel Outreach

National Pork Board Cell: 319-594-4000 akrieger@pork.org