March is a great time for Deli Meat Month because it’s also National Nutrition Month.


  • Deli meats provide a convenient source of protein, vitamins and minerals.
  • Because deli meats are pre-cooked, they offer consumers easy, on-the-go access to the nutrient density in meat.
  • The iron and zinc in meats are also more bioavailable to the body than from vegetarian sources.1
  • While the processed meat category is sometimes the target of critics, numerous studies and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans affirm that they can be part of a healthy, balanced diet.234
  • USDA NHANES data show that, as a whole, Americans are consuming fresh and prepared meat products at levels recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.5

1Hunt JR. Bioavailability of iron, zinc, and other trace minerals from vegetarian diets. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003; 78, Issue 3: 633S–639S. Accessed March 29, 2018.
2Roussell, M et al. Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet study: effects on lipids, lipoproteins, and apolipoproteins. AJCN, 2012;95(1):9-16.
3Bernstein, A. M., et al. Processed and Unprocessed Red Meat and Risk of Colorectal Cancer. PLoS One, 2015, 10(8). 17.
4Ollberding, N.J. et al. Meat Consumption, Heterocyclic Amines, and Colorectal Cancer Risk: The Multiethnic Cohort Study. Int. J. Cancer, 2012, 131, E1125–E1133.
5USDA and DHHS. Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Accessed March 29, 2018.

There is something for everyone with deli meats.


  • The deli meats category is diverse and offers choices to meet nutrition needs, tastes, budgets and personal preferences.
  • Thousands of products are available in the meat case and include low- and reduced-sodium products, low- and reduced-fat products, American Heart Association certified, organic and grass-fed options, Kosher and more. A range of AHA certified prepared products can be found on our nutrition website: http://www.meatpoultrynutrition.org/productcenter
  • Consumers can search the products they prefer in our on-line, searchable product center at www.MeatPoultryNutrition.org

You can have confidence in deli meats sold in the United States.


  • What you see is what you get – any meat processed in a plant must contain an ingredient statement and a nutrition label.
  • All ingredients used in deli meat products must be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and accepted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which regulates and inspects meat and poultry products.
  • Deli meat products are regulated and inspected by USDA inspectors before they are sold.
  • Deli meats have an excellent and continually improving safety record.6
  • Because deli meats are ready-to-eat, they offer an added safety margin that doesn’t depend on consumer variables to cook them safely.

Prepared meats such as deli meats are an important part of meat’s sustainability story.


  • Animals produce far more than steaks and roasts. Utilizing all of the meat available with deli meats and other prepared meat products reduces food waste while also providing a nutrient dense food.
  • The deli meat market is projected to grow $114.18 billion by 20237 , increasing the value of the animals for farmers and ranchers.
  • Over the decades, America’s farmers and ranchers have made dramatic improvements in how they raise their animals including:
    • Enhanced protection from harsh weather and predators
    • Better genetics and animal care
    • Improved crops to better match animals’ needs

It’s time to get on board with the Charcuterie trend.


  • Supermarket News8 reported that Charcuterie has long been a staple at specialty food stores and fine-dining restaurants, but more and more mainstream consumers have been seeking out these cured-meat products as part of a growing appreciation for artisan food overall.
  • Charcuterie is the French appetizer course featuring a platter of a variety of cooked and dry-cured meats, sausages and cheeses, accompanied by crusty baguettes, spreads, fruits, vegetables, nuts, pickles and other delicious morsels.
  • Charcuterie boards are easily transported, and the ideal appetizer to take to a party. They do not require cooking or any complicated preparation.
  • To learn some basic techniques for planning the perfect charcuterie board for your family and friends, check out the Charcuterie Guide from the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.


Download the National Deli Meat Month logo to help you promote National Deli Meat Month.



Download the approved fact sheet for National Deli Meat Month


  • Post any of our logos and/or infographics on National Deli Meat Month in your company's social media, circulars, website or in-store signage
  • Feature employees as "Deli Department Heroes" to highlight how deli meats save the day when it comes to meal planning and helping customers
  • Dare consumers to a Deli Dinner Showdown in which you challenge them to use deli meats as their next dinner solution. Feel free to use our free Deli Dinner Showdown logos as part of your promotion.
  • Conduct weekly themed contests for customers and followers to promote deli meats. Some theme ideas include:
    • Meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, appetizers)
    • Spin on charcuterie (charcuterie house, charcuterie shapes, "jarcuterie", etc.)
    • Bento Boxes
    • Sports themes, e.g. basketball tournament virtual parties
  • Share themed recipe ideas from various food and nutrition influencers:
    • Fun kids snack activities - build a pizza, deli roll-ups, animals using deli meats, Beefshi, snowflakes
    • Charcuterie
    • Highlight recipes from NAMI (bloggers) and National Pork Board websites
  • Record in-store recipe demos and broadcast them
  • Host a twitter chat or series of chats to raise awareness of convenience, variety and nutrition of deli meats
  • Establish blogger relationships or leverage bloggers in existing network to write about deli meats and link recipes
  • Create online Zoom cooking class and charcuterie - participants can pick up pre-packing ingredients and then assemble along with the instructor at home
  • Partner with local restaurant chefs to feature culinary application of deli meats - promote recipes/videos via social channels. These featured recipes can be highlighted in store with cards, shopping lists, etc.
  • Showcase your most popular products as National Deli Month specials. Use our NDMM logos to make them "official"
  • Feature any of our logos and/or infographics on National Deli Meat Month in your company's social media, website or in customer mailings
  • Encourage retail costumers to coordinate Deli Dinner Showdown challenging consumers to use deli meats as their next dinner solution. Feel free to use our free Deli Dinner Showdown logos as part of your promotion.
  • Record 30 to 40 second videos creating different recipes or boards using deli meat products and post to social channels
  • Tell your company's story and how deli meats became an important product to company growth and customers' grouth too
  • Conduct a contest for customers
    • Most original deli meat promotion in stores
    • How customers are inspired to purchase more deli meats
  • Host a zoom "meat-up" for retailers - to highlight ways to promote various products and pairings
  • Train the trainer - partner with a charcuterie chef to host online class/demo to help retailers conduct class/demo for their customers
  • Use any of the turnkey tools or graphics on the National Deli Meat Month website
  • Host a zoom tutorial on the flavor profiles, origins and recipe applications of various deli meats
  • Host a zoom tutorial highlighting the nutrition profiles and dispelling myths about deli meats
  • Film videos about creating "jarcuterie"
  • Share deli meat pairing ideas - with fruits, veggies, etc. (Build a better sandwich)
  • Create meat-ups each week - each one with a different theme
    • Breakfast
    • Dinner
    • Kids' lunches

Click here for ideas on how you can bring National Deli Meat Month to Life



Click here for a guide to help find prepared meat products fitting particular nutrition profiles.


Eric Mittenthal, NAMI


Jason Menke, National Pork Board



Deli Meat Sales Soar as Families Seek Convenient, Nutritious Meal Solutions at Home

Meat Institute, Cattleman’s Beef Board and National Pork Board Team to Celebrate National Deli Meat Month

Washington, DC, March 2, 2021— As the country starts to observe National Deli Meat Month this March, multiple food industry reports demonstrate how Americans have affirmed their affinity for prepared deli meats during the global pandemic. Across the country during the past year, prepared meats have seen major sales increases in some of the most popular categories – including grab-&-go options like pre-sliced ham, beef, bologna, salami and pepperoni. Sales increases in 2020 for specific grab-&-go deli meats ranged from 23% to 95% versus the year before. These data were reported to The International Dairy Deli Bakery Association (IDDBA) by IRI, a data analytics and market research company that provides consumer and retail market intelligence and analysis.

“Very clearly, deli meats have been helping Americans navigate this new world since March 2020,” said Eric Mittenthal, Vice President of Sustainability for The North American Meat Institute (NAMI). “This IRI data verifies two things – how much people rely on the convenience and nutrition of deli meats, and how effective deli departments have been at meeting consumers’ needs for pre-sliced and grab-&-go options. Never before has it seemed more fitting to celebrate National Deli Meat Month!”

National Deli Meat Month, which coincides each March with National Nutrition Month, has served as a joint educational program between NAMI, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff and The National Pork Board, administrator of the Pork Checkoff. This year, the effort is augmented by the IDDBA. The goal of the month-long celebration is to provide educational and promotional tools to consumers, health professionals, retailers and manufacturers to encourage them to enjoy their favorite deli meat and to remind them that they can feel good about the nutritional benefits of these popular cuts. The centerpiece of this effort – www.nationaldelimeatmonth.org – provides a multitude of resources, including infographics, fact sheets, nutrition information and the latest news.

“Deli meat annual sales in 2020 grew 9.3% to $7.2 billion, and packaged luncheon meat annual sales also grew 9.3% to $5.5 billion. There is no doubt that Americans enjoy and rely on deli meats,” said Chris Jones, Director, Marketing Strategy at the National Pork Board. “With the diversity of products at the deli case and counter, there is something for everyone to meet nutrition needs, tastes, budgets and personal preferences.”

To help consumers navigate this myriad of choices, which are increasingly including options that are low- and reduced-sodium, low- and reduced-fat, organic, grass-fed, American Heart Association certified, Kosher and more. Check out the product center to find more information.

Throughout Deli Meat Month, consumers can expect to see lots of promotional excitement, including a Deli Dinner Showdown campaign which will play out on TikTok. NAMI and The National Pork Board will be collaborating with The Food Renegades, a division of The Digital Renegades, a digital marketing agency and a chef alliance. Leading influencers will share their enthusiasm for deli meats, as they break away from the long-held image of these products as only lunch and sandwich options, and create culinary delights featuring their favorite cuts. Americans can join the celebration on social media by posting and following #DeliMeatMonth.

About The Beef Checkoff:

The Beef Checkoff Program (www.beefboard.org) was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. In states with qualified beef councils, states may retain up to 50 cents of the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.

About NAMI:

The North American Meat Institute (NAMI), a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, is the leading voice for the meat and poultry industry. Formed from the 2015 merger of the American Meat Institute (AMI) and North American Meat Association (NAMA), the Institute has a rich, century-long history and provides essential member services including legislative, regulatory, scientific, international and public affairs representation. NAMI’s mission is to shape a public policy environment in which the meat and poultry industry can produce wholesome products safely, efficiently and profitably. Together, the Institute’s members produce the vast majority of U.S. beef, pork, lamb and poultry and the equipment, ingredients and services needed for the highest quality products.

About The National Pork Board:

The National Pork Board has responsibility for Pork Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in consumer education and marketing, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, science and technology, swine health, pork safety, and environmental management and sustainability. For the past half century, the U.S. pork industry has delivered on its commitment to sustainable production and has made significant strides in reducing the environmental impact of pig farming. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. Importers of pork products contribute a like amount, based on a formula. For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675 or visit www.pork.org.

Internal links within this document are funded and maintained by the Beef Checkoff and Pork Checkoff. All other outgoing links are to websites maintained by third parties.

  1. Roussell, M et al. Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet study: effects on lipids, lipoproteins, and apolipoproteins. AJCN, 2012;95(1):9-16.
  2. Bernstein, A. M., et al. Processed and Unprocessed Red Meat and Risk of Colorectal Cancer. PLoS One, 2015, 10(8). 17.
  3. Ollberding, N.J. et al. Meat Consumption, Heterocyclic Amines, and Colorectal Cancer Risk: The Multiethnic Cohort Study. Int. J. Cancer, 2012, 131, E1125–E1133.




National Deli Meat Month Partnership
North American Meat Institute
National Pork Board
January 20, 2020