Industry Trends Emerge at IDDBA Show

During this year’s International Dairy Deli Bakery Association show, the largest industry-only show for the dairy, deli, bakery and food service industries, a couple of clear trends emerged—a continued focus on sustainable and eco-friendly products, and a continued consumer interest in prepared, premium convenience products.

As a retailer, tapping into these trends is key to moving more product from shelf to cart. These tips will help you harness consumer interest and give consumers what they’re looking for while browsing the aisles.


According to Colin Stewart, EVP of business intelligence at Jacksonville, Fla.-based Acosta, consumers are continuing to consider sustainability when making purchasing decisions.

In a 2021 consumer survey by Acosta, 69% of consumers agreed that sustainability was a somewhat/very important consideration when purchasing consumer packaged goods. This data makes it clear that concern for the environment is impacting shopping habits, and it is to your benefit to consider these habits when choosing product assortments, and merchandising strategies, for your store.

This survey by First Insight and the Baker Retailing Center at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania drives the point home even further. It revealed that consumers across all generations—from baby boomers to Gen Z—are now willing to spend more for sustainable products. Today, nearly 90% of Gen X consumers said that they would be willing to spend an extra 10% or more for sustainable products, compared to just over 34% two years ago. The numbers are astounding when you consider that two years ago, only 58% of consumers across all generations were willing to spend more for sustainable options.

The same survey also revealed that when choosing between brand name and product sustainability, only 56% of consumers rank brand name as somewhat or very important.

So how do you call attention to sustainable products on your shelves? Labels are one quick and simple way to highlight sustainable products. With stock labels in various shapes and sizes, you can – and should – call attention to items that are locally grown, locally made, organic, farm fresh, sustainably produced and more. You can accomplish the same thing by calling attention to products with signage. If you capture shoppers’ attention and direct them to products that fit with their values and priorities, the chances of capturing a first-time buyer go up exponentially.

Convenience Items

After months and months of cooking at home during the pandemic, shoppers are gravitating towards meal kits and on-the-go offerings—anything that makes meal prep easy and more convenient. Progressive Grocer cites IRI research showing that consumers prioritize saving time, effort and money, and that they’re shifting their shopping habits to channels they feel best support them.

So how can you grab shopper attention, draw them to your prepared foods section and encourage them to move product from shelf to cart?

Caitlin Burgess of TopRank Marketing says, “Your goal is to deliver the right information, at the right time, to the right person, on the right platform. This is the essence of convenience. You want to make it easy on your audience to get the information they need and to make a decision—and you want to enhance the journey and create a better experience for all.”

That’s a pretty strong case for the strategic use of signage and labels!

    • Recipe Cards
      Shoppers weary from pandemic cooking are drawn to foods that are easily prepared with less planning, prep and cleanup, and recipe cards are a great way to capitalize on that trend. Whether attached to a package of fresh fish or meat, or displayed in a holder attached to the case, providing recipe cards makes it simple for shoppers to put a meal together simply, quickly and with little thought.
    • Make Suggestions
      Are there actually people who know what to make for dinner every night? Make it easy for your shoppers by suggesting a wine pairing or complementary dishes in the prepared foods section. This is a great way to cross-merchandise while giving customers what they want—ideas for ways to assemble a full meal.
    • Create Your Own Options
      With an on-demand printing solution like The Merchandiser®, allowing customers to create their own meal from the prepared foods section is not only convenient for them, it’s convenient for you. With the push of a button, you can customize the ingredient label, the nutrition panel and the price tag. Easily swap out proteins, side dishes and more with the comprehensive software that powers
      The Merchandiser®.