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Cabin Fever Festivities: Invite shoppers to battle the winter blahs with fresh party ideas.


Blizzards in Chicago and Boston. Frigid conditions throughout the East and Midwest. Record low temperatures in the Northeast and South.


In most areas of the country, winter has arrived in full force, bringing with it that seasonal malady called cabin fever because when the cold weather settles in, so do many shoppers. Customers need a reason to travel to, linger in, and then buy non-essential items from your store. And what better motivation than planning a mid-winter get-together with friends and family?


Make it a party

Most supermarket delis and catering departments already offer menus of pre-made party platters, plus event planning tips with accompanying food and drink ideas, so now is the perfect time of year to call attention to the wealth of material you may already be offering to shoppers.


Greensboro, N.C.-based The Fresh Market, for example, offers a consumer-friendly website featuring a Holiday Party Ideas page. The Texas and Mexico supermarket chain H-E-B provides a list of dinner party ideas—Adios Dinner Party, Fondue Party, and Tamale Party, among them—complete with a how-to guide that covers everything from inviting guests to preparing food to determining how much food will be needed based on the number of guests. And Publix has created an Event Planning page that includes a Plan an Event & Menu section with clever suggestions for birthdays, family celebrations, business meetings, major holidays and sports-themed events.



Turn up the heat

Couch potato activities like football watching and movie nights are classic inspirations for party themes at this time of year, but why not crank up the thermostat and set your shoppers’ sights higher by creating a hot time with spicy foods or tropical motifs? Hawaiian luaus and beach picnic themes can easily incorporate traditional deli meats and salads, while a bevy of wings with sauces can accommodate taste buds at either end of the mild-to-spicy spectrum.


Other cabin fever party possibilities that offer opportunities for one-stop deli shopping include:


  • Stylin’ Salsas (both edible and musical)
  • Comfort Food Casserole Buffet
  • Barbecue and Beans
  • Spring Fever Salads
  • Seafood Boil