Those retailers who provide their customers with fresh prepared foods and meal solutions are outperforming those who don't, according to Fresh Guiding Principle: How Top Retailers Stay Ahead of the Competition, a new report from Nielsen. Gillian Mosher, integrated marketing communications manager at the research firm, highlights these key findings from the report:

  • Top-fresh retailers carry 57 percent more fresh products than the lowest-performing fresh stores
  • Deli plays an oversized role at best-in-class-fresh retailers, accounting for 30 percent of fresh dollar sales, compared with 11 percent at low-performing retailers
  • Top fresh retailers also sell a larger share of organic products across fresh departments, with produce and meat as the main contributors
  • Within the deli department, top retailers emphasize deli prepared foods with a variety of products from salad bars to rice bowls, and various dine-in options that make the store’s deli a destination
  • Bestselling meat retailers put significant attention on fresh meat items available at the deli counter
  • Fresh sales in US grocery stores totaled almost $439 billion in sales in the year ending April 2016