Sales of pouched lunchmeat grows

by Jeff Gelski
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NEW YORK — While total lunchmeat sales grew less than 1% over the past year, sales of lunchmeat in deli pouches grew at a double-digit rate, as did sales of lunchmeat with product specific traits such as organic, natural or fat presence, according to Nielsen Strategic Planner.

Refrigerated lunchmeat in deli pouches has nearly doubled in sales since 2003 and now makes up 34% of the dollar volume of the total lunchmeat category, which compares with 19% in 2003. For the 52 weeks ended Aug. 11, 2007, refrigerated lunchmeat in deli pouches accounted for $1.28 billion in sales, up 11.5% from the year before, in U.S. food, drug and mass merchandiser stores, excluding Wal-Mart. Total lunchmeat sales grew 0.6% to $3.75 billion.

Organic lunchmeat grew nearly 69% to $15.1 million in the 52 weeks ended Aug. 11. Natural variety sales jumped almost 48% to $98.6 million. Lunchmeat varieties noted for their absence of a specific fat jumped almost 99% to $5.8 million in sliced lunchmeat and close to 988% to $2 million in pouches.

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