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Younger Consumers Prefer Delis Over Supermarkets
Laurie Demeritt, chief executive officer of the Hartman Group, shared the findings of their on-line survey at the recently held International Dairy Deli Bakery Association (IDDBA) 50th Annual Seminar and Expo held in Denver.
She said that of the 850 adult shoppers who participated in the survey, 46 percent of millennials left their primary store (such as a supermarket) to buy fresh prepared foods because of their preference to specialty stores. This is a substantial disparity when compared to the 35 percent of baby boomers who do the same.
“They want to know more about the store behind [their food choices], where did [the food] come from, who made it and what the company stands for,” she said.
“They also believe they should have more of a voice, more of a say, in what’s coming out in the market,” Demeritt added.
“Health and wellness is also this idea of high-quality, enjoyable food, and indulgence is definitely part of that,” the CEO said, referring to millennials’ definition of wellness.
The survey showed that 50 percent of consumers will go to another preferred specialty store for specialty cheese, 40 percent for prepared foods, 38 percent for specialty meats, 37 percent for deli items, 36 percent for baked goods and 26 percent for fresh dairy products.
Meanwhile, two-thirds of younger shoppers buy specialty meats in delis compared to only 45 percent of baby boomers. The number if almost the same when it comes to specialty cheese compared to 39 percent of older shoppers.
In terms of frequency of visits, millennials shopped at nine stores in the past three months while baby boomers visited only six. The younger shoppers are not brand loyal and tend to explore and check all the different options the market can offer.
Even specialty restaurants like The Original Soupman (OTC: SOUP) are shifting to deli models to attract customers in casinos and airports. It joined other multi-concept franchise owners like Subway, Tim Horton’s and Dunkin Brands in a bid to attract greater market share.
Earlier this year, the company opened its Al’s Famous New York Delicatessen & Restaurant at the Mohegan Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City as part of the Quick Bites Food Court.
The company considers the re-branding the first of its several planned projects in casinos, airports and leisure destinations all over the country.
It offers Soupman’s signature varieties and all-day menu items.
“We expect that all future locations will feature an expanded menu that includes full authentic delicatessen offerings and a breakfast menu suited for the casino environment,” Lloyd Sugarman, chief executive officer of Soupman, said in an earlier release.
Among the items included in the delicatessen menu are fresh sliced pastrami, corned beef and oven roasted turkey, as well as eggs benedict and bagels.
Soupman is eyeing 25 new franchises of its deli model in the next five years.