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The International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association’s latest study, “Consumer Shopping Dynamics: The Decision Tree,” finds that shoppers expect better information in the deli and bakery.
Consumers today have nearly unlimited access to information and want to know everything —from ingredients to benefits, to nutritionals, to source and delivery information. Though they may not actually read it all, they want to know it is there if they want it.
Retailer information should be considered a one-way conversation, the IDBBA maintains. Communications include in-store signage, e-mail and online information, and sales fliers. Together they convey the store’s “face” or personality and leave an impression on customers.
From bin signage and organization to nutritional disclosure and ingredient lists, labeling plays a key role at all levels. Clear, easy-to-read and easy-to-understand information adds convenience to the shopping experience. For those shoppers with dietary restrictions, the nutritional and ingredient information becomes critical. Proof of freshness is something else shoppers look for, including dates of production and expiration.
When a store doesn’t provide information, shoppers are quick to draw their own conclusions, which can lead to aborted purchases and misinformation. Providing good information through signage, labels and showing the shoppers that you follow proper procedures will help customers to make positive assumptions about the store and make them feel like they can make an informed purchase decision.
Visual proof that the store has proper procedures in place, and better yet, that these procedures are enforced – for example, staff baking onsite, staff wearing gloves, area appearing clean, etc. – will give customers confidence and trust in the store.
The study further found that variety is an impactful factor in the in-store deli and bakery departments. The research found a greater demand for niche products, a wider array of options, customization opportunities, and healthier offerings.
Consumers have many choices in where to purchase their food. This broadens their perceptions and expectations of product offerings. But simply offering many different items is not enough, and stores can’t depend only on the top-selling varieties.
Specialty or niche products can draw customers in. Customization options for cakes or catering and limited time products are also ways to communicate variety. Orderly presentation, well-stocked shelves, and supportive signage are also factors that must be part of the deli/bakery experience.
Many consumers are trying to practice healthier eating habits. Another trend is that more people are eating at home. Together, these ideas present a great opportunity for delis and bakeries to showcase healthy options. But “healthy” may mean something different to each consumer, so variety becomes key.
For more detailed analysis on variety and other shopping influences, preferences, and purchase drivers of deli and bakery consumers, purchase the full report online or by calling (608) 310-5000.
Madison, Wis.-based IDDBA is a nonprofit membership organization serving the dairy, deli, bakery, cheese, and supermarket foodservice industries.