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Dairy, Deli, Bakery Sales Increase Due To Holiday Boosts


IRI, 210 Analytics and IDDBA have released the latest trends and analysis from the deli, dairy and bakery departments.

The price per unit across all foods and beverages in multi-outlet stores increased 14 percent over the third quarter of 2022 and 14.3 percent in the month of September. September inflation was 17.4 percent in the center of the store and 12.3 percent for perishables. Compared with August 2019, prices across all foods and beverages were up 27.9 percent. 

Dairy represents the bulk of sales in the total refrigerated department. The four September weeks generated $5.4 billion in dairy sales. While dollars were up in the high teens for each of the weeks, units were down between 2-3 percent.

“Dairy prices were up more than 21 percent in September, yet units stayed within 3 percent of year ago levels,” said Jessica Ives, professional development coordinator with IDDBA. “This truly underscores the love for dairy and the important role across many food and beverage moments.”

Milk was the biggest seller and the only area that surpassed the $1 billion mark. Yogurt and eggs swapped places, with yogurt moving into the top three sellers, following cheese. Eggs experienced a 52 percent increase in sales in the third quarter of 2022, driven by inflation. September sales gains were slightly lower, at 42.3 percent. Yet units were merely flat, speaking to the strength in egg demand.  

Deli meat sales (combined fixed and random weight) totaled $667 million in the four September weeks. While this was certainly an increase in dollars versus year ago, the growth was inflation boosted. The weekly sales in September tapered off from a high of $172 million to $163 million, but ended the month on a strong note. On the volume side, deli meat sales were down 7.2 percent year-on-year, plus sales fell behind the 2019 levels. 

The down demand in deli meat does not appear to have resulted in an upswing in pre-packaged lunchmeat. Packaged lunchmeat, usually cheaper on a per-pound basis, had robust dollar growth but an 8 percent decline in pound sales. When compared to the pre-pandemic 2019 levels, pounds were down 4.7 percent in September – a steeper drop than seen in deli meat sales. 

Deli cheese inflation remained much lower than deli meat, at 11 percent versus 18.6 percent, respectively. The below-average inflation resulted in a relatively small gap between dollars and volume, certainly when compared to deli meat. Additionally, deli cheese pounds were more than 8 percent ahead of their 2019 levels. 

Bakery sales did well in the third quarter of 2022, especially center-store or aisle bakery. Sales in center-store bakery exceeded year ago levels by 14 percent while in-store bakery increased sales by 9 percent over the third quarter of 2021. Both areas of the store saw inflation in line with total food and beverages. 

Each of the September weeks increased in dollars but sales ranged from $782 million to $809 million during the first week of the month, which was the holiday week. Year-on-year unit sales improved to within one point of year-ago levels in late September.

For more dairy news from The Shelby Report, click here.

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Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
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