Thanks to food companies like Oscar Mayer, consumers now have a plethora of options at their grocer’s deli case. In addition to more varieties of pre-sliced, prepackaged lunch meat, companies are also revamping classic flavors by adding new spices, herbs and all-natural options.
According to the Associated Press, these upscale ready-to-eat options are also mimicking options that were traditionally available only at the deli counter, including varying slice thicknesses. Sliced, dry-cured meats such as prosciutto and sopressata are also making their way from behind the counter.
At the same time, companies are slashing sodium content and eliminating artificial ingredients to provide consumers with a more natural product. And pork has long been a major player in this market segment.
“There are consumers out there who are interested in products that have ingredients that are more familiar and recognizable,” Heather Buettner, senior director of new product development and innovation at Oscar Mayer, told the Associated Press. Read more about Oscar Mayer’s product line options.
In a survey conducted by the international market research firm Mintel, 94 percent of households have lunch meat or have used lunch meat. Fifty-nine percent of survey respondents said they would buy a product if it was natural. Mintel projects lunch meat sales to grow 1.3 percent in 2012.