Once again it is time to take a microscope to the deli landscape as The NATIONAL PROVISIONER presents its annual deli report. The timing of this report couldn’t be more appropriate as the deli continues to evolve and grow at a lightening-fast pace. The International Deli·Dairy·Bakery Association’s (IDDBA) What’s in Store 2004 report relays there were 25,950 operating retail delis in 2003. This year there are 26,500 operating delis.
The deli is arguably the most versatile section in the supermarket as everyone within the deli, including the retail operators, suppliers, and equipment manufacturers, combine the convenience and variety of foodservice with the value associated with retail. Pre-packaged products, including a wide range of deli meats and cheeses, are playing a larger role in an increasing number of in-store delis throughout the country. And the evolution in deli packaging continues. Press-to-close packaging, which has been used for retail cheese since 1985, ensued on deli meats about six years ago and continues growing in popularity. If evolutionary history continues to ring true, industry should ultimately be converting a good portion of the marketplace over to the slider — which has only been offered on consumer-branded packaging since late 1998.
Ahead of the curve
Pactiv is ahead of the curve in this packaging evolution. Most recently, we have introduced the new Ergonomic Slider with many features including:
100-percent sealed in the header for safety
A new, sleek slider design with industry-leading end retention and preferred ergonomics
Exposed track after opening for easy use
Tamper-evident barrier track that offers a second level of security
Deli sales won’t continue increasing unless retailers receive new and exciting products from their deli-product suppliers on a regular basis. And durable, consumer-friendly, pre-packaged deli products that incorporate easy-open and easy-close features will become even more in demand. With delis competing for consumer dollars against foodservice outlets and the rest of the supermarket, the deli MUST assert itself as the primary destination within the supermarket. This can best be accomplished by offering more premium, pre-packaged deli products for the increasingly-sophisticated and hurried consumer.
As your packaging partner, Pactiv will continue to utilize all resources at its disposal to satisfy your packaging needs. Pactiv, a world leader in food and beverage packaging solutions, has a long tradition of delivering packaging innovations for meat and poultry processors with our extensive line of trays, lidding, and barrier films. Since 1998 we have aggressively led the industry-wide charge for a better solution to re-closeable packaging. We’ve done so by being flexible, offering multiple manufacturing solutions for integrating our closure system as part of OEM equipment, or onto existing HTFFS or HFFS production lines.
Today, Pactiv is also actively licensing its slider-assembly technology to pre-made bag converters for a variety of frozen meat applications for the retail market.
It is an honor to sponsor The NATIONAL PROVISIONER’S 2004 Deli Report. And here’s wishing your company continuing success as we prepare to enter 2005.