Vineland-based Rovagnati North America LLC, a division of Italian specialty meats producer Rovagnati, introduced a new line of nitrite-free meats at the recent International Dairy, Deli, Bakery Association’s (IDDBA) annual show in Anaheim, CA.
Other producers have nitrite-free meats, but Rovagnati is the only one to roll out an entire line, said Stefano Scarso, marketing and category manager.
The line consists of four nitrite-free versions of the company’s salami meats. The meats taste the same as their conventional counterparts and have similar shelf lives, Scarso said. Packaging includes a QR code on the front of the pack to educate consumers about the benefits of nitrite-free.
For now, distribution is mainly centered on the East Coast, with some Midwestern accounts and plans to spread further west.
The kickoff session featured a first-ever What’s in Store keynote address by IDDBA’s vice president of marketing, Whitney Atkins, and the group’s vice president of education, Heather Prach.
Even with the pandemic in the rearview, Americans are still cooking far more at home than they did before COVID. That, Prach said, creates enormous opportunities for premium purchases in the instore deli and bakery to bring home-cooked meals closer to restaurant quality.
Balance is key, Atkins said. She cited an example of a retailer who promoted an oven-fried chicken in deli prepared as having 30 percent less fat and 20 percentless salt. Next door in the instore bakery, however, an indulgence callout was used to sell cake.
Balance also applies to physical and mental health, Prach said. According to IDDBA What’s in Store 2023 data, 78 percent of consumers say that physical health and emotional wellbeing are closely linked.
Meal solutions like Rovagnati’s were again one of the dominant themes at IDDBA ’23.