by Michelle Locke, Associated Press
Posted: Friday, May 11, 2012 at 2:53PM EDT
Thin-sliced roasted turkey, prosciutto and soppressata no longer are the domain of the deli.
Food companies looking to capitalize on consumers' increasingly sophisticated tastes – and their need for speed at the grocer and at home – are carving out new directions in lunch meat with upscale options that are pre-sliced, prepackaged and ready to go right alongside the bologna.
They also are revamping the classics, offering new flavors and styles of basic deli meats, including better-for-you options like the new line of Oscar Mayer Selects being introduced this week.
"There has been a huge expansion of flavors," says Janet Riley, who has seen the trend as senior vice president for public affairs and member services at the Washington-based American Meat Institute – and as a mom. She was recently picking out ham for her son's lunch and was struck by "the smoked, the honey, Black Forest, the mesquite and all the other options."
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