The prepared foods section of supermarkets and grocery stores has various food trends to follow now that 2016 is already underway. To get a head start on the rest of the year, retailers may need to develop new strategies or change the department to fit the products customers are currently craving. Identifying products that are sure to be a hit with customers all year long and acquiring the necessary equipment early on will help food stores maximize potential profits.
In-store Prepared Deli Sandwiches
The selection of deli meats is important for any grocer, giving customers a variety of options to fit the different tastes out in the market. However, just as important as getting customers their order of cold cuts is the fresh sandwich market for the Prepared Foods department. Customers on-the-go look to in-store prepared deli sandwiches since they are convenient, in a location they trust, and are rich in protein for the health conscious customer.
Deli sandwiches also make use of the bakery department considering the importance of bread in a sandwich. 2015 was a good year for the popularity of artisan breads, which gained momentum and continued building steam into 2016. As discussed in one of our previous blog posts, the artisanal bread craze is going strong, leading to many delis and grocers making new additions top the bread line, from pretzel rolls to brioche buns.
Protein sources for meals found in the Prepared Foods department are not limited to deli sandwich options. Based on trends from previous years, the nation has a growing fixation with authentic BBQ dishes. This trend can easily be followed by grocery stores with the proper tools for making and slow-cooking most meats in store.
What Equipment You’ll Need
Before dealing with the lunch rush, the Prepared Foods department must be able to produce artisan breads in bulk with the proper mixers and ovens. Businesses with modern meat and bread slicers should be ready for the lunch rush of ravenous sandwich lovers. If BBQ is in the sights of any grocers, versatile and easy-to-clean smokers make in-store BBQ preparation a snap. Additionally, rotisserie, slow-cookers, and cook-and-hold ovens are essential for keeping prepared foods fresh and piping hot until customers are ready to pick up their ready meal. With the powers of this equipment combined, grocers and supermarkets can ride the prepared food wave through the end of the year while keeping customers happy.