What’s in Store 2014, the latest edition of the annual trends publication of the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association™ (IDDBA), and What’s in Store Online, a collection of more than 150 downloadable tables, as well as white papers and trends articles, are now available. With 28 years of credible reporting, What’s in Store is an essential dairy-deli-bakery-cheese resource providing vital data on the growth, trends, and category changes shaping the food industry. What’s in Store 2014 is composed of six comprehensive chapters: State of the Industry, Consumer Lifestyles, Bakery, Cheese, Dairy, and Deli.

Customizable menu options at fast-casual restaurants have been very successful, Julia Gallo-Torres, category manager, Mintel, told IDDBA. “This made-to-order model also elicits the perception of food that is fresher and healthier,” Gallo-Torres concluded.

While there appears to be a resurging interest in cooking at home, the very definition of cooking is beginning to change, opening an opportunity for delis to appeal to the new way consumers are preparing meals at home. With shopper desire to become more involved in food preparation, retailers can offer cooking and product demos to enhance interactions with their customers.

IDDBA’s Filling the Gap Deli and Bakery: White Space Opportunities to Yield Growth and Impact found that value can be exclusive from price. “[M]any consumers seem to be indicating that they would potentially pay the overall asking price if only they could see the value in doing so. If there is a premium attached to the price tag at the deli. .then it must be made clear to shoppers what they’re getting for that incremental cost, whether it comes from a higher convenience factor, extra time savings, or better quality or flavor.”

According to Sharon Olson, executive director, Culinary Visions Panel, 93% of “mainstream consumers” considered price “important” or “very important” as they make choices in the deli. Among “foodies,” 83% take price into consideration.

“As pricing slightly declined and promotions were more effective, deli specialty meat impressions [unique SKUs sold] per store per week rose 10.9%,” Chris Zagorski, analyst, Nielsen Perishables Group, told IDDBA, leading to a 10.5% and 10.9% increase in dollars and volume, respectively.

Specialty deli meat experienced the largest increase in dollars and volume, helped by increased sales in the salami category. As consumers explore higher quality forms of deli meat, such as charcuterie they might see in restaurants, they do so within their budgets often leading them to peg rack specialty meats merchandised near specialty cheeses, said Nielsen Perishables Group’s Zagorski.

Latin cuisine is the fastest-emerging cuisine according to a retailer report compiled by the Culinary Visions Panel. Mediterranean food is moving beyond Italy and even the increasingly popular Greek food. It’s expanding from North African Morocco, through the Maghreb region, and Tunisia all the way to the Middle East with favorites like falafel and baba ganoush becoming popular dishes.