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    Perimeter Depts. Poised to Capitalize on Shoppers’ Health Concerns: IDDBA

    Fresh foods seen as antidotes to ‘unhealthy’ foods

    Gluten-free items and other products that speak to consumers’ health concerns are driving sales in grocers’ perimeter departments, according to the International Deli Dairy Bakery Association’s (IDDBA) “What’s in Store 2015” report.

    Sales of natural, local, organic, gluten-free and non-GMO products have spiked over the past year, notes the 29th edition of the annual trends publication of Madison, Wis.-based IDDBA.

    At the same time, the dieting trend is on the decline, with individuals seeking a more balanced approach to weight loss and management.

    The value of the gluten-free market is substantial, with sales estimates as high as $10.5 billion in 2013 and a projected worth of $15.6 billion in 2016, according to Mintel data cited in the report. Those gluten-free buying habits translate into higher sales ($100 vs. $33 per overall average basket), Catalina Marketing noted.

    Findings from IDDBA’s original research, “Engaging the Evolving Shopper: Serving the New American Appetite,” confirms these and other health and wellness trends. The research shows that consumers view foods found in the fresh perimeter categories as antidotes to what they consider as unhealthy, processed foods.

    For example, the dairy department represents a real-food source of protein in the form of yogurt, milk, cheese, eggs and tofu, while the bakery department has an increasing opportunity to deliver on key wellness priorities with more focus on a wider variety of fresh, whole grain and gluten-free products.

    “In-store bakeries, delis and dairies can engage consumers by presenting them with a variety of fresh, real and minimally-processed foods,” said Eric Richard, education coordinator, IDDBA. “By doing so, they become part of shoppers’ conversations about what is healthy and delicious to eat, and where they can easily find these foods to purchase.”

    For more information, visit iddba.org/wis.aspx.

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