Deli meats due to transform

May 20, 2014

nventive, bolder flavors and healthier ingredients could soon usher in a new age of processed meats.

Pressure is rising on deli-meat suppliers to excite consumer palates in new ways – because both Boomers and Millennials demand them.

The senses of smell and taste diminish in Boomers as they age – which means meats that aren’t flavored-up could taste pretty bland to them.

Millennials crave new taste experiences all the time.  Some wags say “they never want to eat the same meal twice.”

We’ve already seen innovations in the jerky category, with introductions of spicy, smoked and teriyaki flavors, and the use of turkey, salmon and bacon as base proteins.  The Lempert Report believes processed meats in the deli case will be the next to transform in a big way.   


On a global scale – with North America representing about 40% of sales – processed meats are expected to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 14.3% to $799.1 million by 2018, up from $361.6 million, says a new MarketsandMarkets forecast.  Protein is at the center of American diets, and ready-to-eat meats conveniently suit our lifestyles.  

Along with this growth come trends to eat tastier, healthier, kinder and more sustainably.  So besides bolder flavored meats, the market should expect to see varieties with better nutritional profiles and humanely raised options such as free-range chicken. Processed meats in the near future could also be: less processed; lack nitrates and nitrites; have less sodium, more spices and natural flavors such as wine, says The Lempert Report.