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Interesting Updates from Winsight Live!

You may be familiar with Winsight Grocery Business as a source of “information and inspiration” for supermarket industry leaders.

Among other things, they track and report on the trends they believe industry leaders should be aware of in order to be prepared for emerging changes and developments affecting their stores.

One of their tools is “Winsight Live,” a video production featuring insights and relevant updates from various industry experts. For example, in the most recent installment you can hear about:

  • The status of supermarket “technology wars”
  • An update on Kroeger’s robust restocking/pick-up-and-delivery plans
  • Consumer concerns

You can watch the video here.

Interesting 2019 Center Store Trends… And One Not So Surprising

2019 Center Store Trends

A recent SupermarketNews article shared some interesting data on center store trends this past year, along with a supporting slide show.

International foods and private wine labels had a solid impact on inventory and merchandising decisions, as did offering health and beauty products containing cannabidiol.

“Health & wellness, “clean” products and authentic flavors were the drivers behind sales growth in center store in 2019,” the article said.

Not surprisingly was the biggest challenge faced by retailers: fighting off online retail.

View slide show…

Best Supermarkets in 2019?

A recent article published by rated America’s “best” supermarkets.

With more than 66,000 supermarkets and other grocery stores in the U.S according to the U.S. Census, competition between chains has never been more fierce, the article said.

For the purposes of this list, supermarkets were defined as brick-and-mortar grocers, grocery stores, membership-only warehouse clubs, and nationwide department store retailers that have supermarkets within their retail locations. In addition, only those supermarkets with outposts in multiple states and more than five locations total were considered.

Judgments were made according to the following criteria:

Stock: A wide range of brands and offerings, including organic, locally sourced, artisanal, local favorites, international foods, and private label.

Services/Departments: Departments, including butcher, deli, bakery, and pharmacy.

Innovation: Delivery options, mobile apps, and staying on top of the latest trends.

Customer Service: Efficient checkout and self-checkout, easy returns/exchanges, loyalty programs, and personal touches like baggers who take groceries to the car.

Appearance and cleanliness: Brightly lit displays, tidy shelves, clutter-free aisles, and scuff-free floors.

Contribution to the community: Creating local jobs, working with local farmers and suppliers, and helping the less fortunate.

The top ten selections on msn’s list were:

  • Publix
  • Wegmans
  • Aldi
  • Likl
  • Trader Joes
  • Whole Foods
  • Harris Teeter (branch of Kroger)
  • Costco
  • Super Target
  • Kroger
  • Kroger Engaging People & Eliminating Process Waste

    Kroger engages with its customers and associates to create better, emotionally uplifting experiences with its brands, an article published by their technology partner Pivotal states.

    As you may know, the Kroger Company operates a personalized online ordering and in-store pickup system, a data analytics business, pharmacies, and convenience stores. They also believe in building strong local ties and brand loyalty with customers through delivering a consistently better customer experience, and through being involved in improving both their work processes and their communities. For example, the company is on a mission to end hunger in its communities; they are also on an ongoing mission to eliminate waste across its company by 2025—and leveraging technology, Pivotal says, is a big part of the plan.

    It’s not surprising that a customer base becomes more engaged and loyal when their shopping experience is consistently positive; and it’s not surprising that a workforce becomes more engaged and provides better service when they have an active voice in improving their work processes and, as are a result, are part of a more productive and successful team.

    Sounds like a great “recipe” for success… and is also well-aligned with our concept of “engagement around the work.”

    Surprising Data About Online Shopping Preferences

    Several of our posts have referenced prevailing supermarket shopping trends indicating the increasing popularity of online grocery shopping.

    However, the vast majority of Americans are not following-suit according to a new Gallup poll.

    The results of the poll were reported in a recent SupermarketNews article. Of 1,033 U.S. adults surveyed, 84% said they never order groceries online and 89% never order meal kits.

    The piece goes on to suggest that people who have ordered online do so with less frequency than one might expect, and that the likelihood of shopping online or buying meal kits is strongest with younger shoppers.

    Read the full article…

    More Curb-side Pick-up at Target

    In a recent SupermarketNews article, Target announced it has added Drive Up curbside pickup service to 200 more stores in the Midwest.

    The article went on to report that due to the expansion, more than 800 Target stores in 25 states now offer Drive Up service for online purchases of groceries, household essential items and other products, and plans are in the works to add additional locations next month.

    Another example of consumer preferences impact on supermarket and retail decision-making!

    Read the full article…

    Improving Online Grocery Shopping

    According to a recent posting and discussion on LinkedIn, supermarket chain Kroger is exploring driverless grocery delivery.

    Kroger plans to partner with an electrical start-up Nuro to test delivering groceries without drivers in a pilot program later this year. Nuro’s first vehicle is designed to move goods, not people the write-up noted.

    Certainly the trend among retailers has been to make online grocery shopping cheaper and easier. For example, Walmart recently partnered with Postmates to expand its online grocery delivery service.

    Wonder what will be next?

    Read more…

    Supermarket Priorities for 2017?

    A recent SupermarketNews article shared some interesting perspectives from Acosta Sales & Marketing, the sales and marketing powerhouse behind most of the trusted brands seen in stores every day.

    The article listed the top priorities on which supermarkets should focus next year, based on various surveys and emerging trends.

    The top five recommendations:

    1. Integrate health and wellness: Educate shoppers in-store and digitally to help them make smart food choices. Also consider how any in-store dietitians, pharmacies or other services in the wellness category can benefit customers during a single shopping trip.

    2. Prepared foods: Expect the trend of ready-to-eat meals to grow further as shoppers look for convenient, but quality, meal solutions. Retailers should provide nutritious options in this category, as well as more diverse types of meals.

    3. Digital fusion: The digital retail experience now goes beyond just coupons with the concept of the endless aisle. At-home delivery options make shopping convenient, and retailers should leverage apps so consumers can meal plan and take inventory of their kitchens.

    4. Localize: Shoppers want to feel a connection to their store and localizing your offerings and marketing messages can help them form a bond. A supermarket should be broadly appealing, yet reflective of its community.

    5. Signature departments: Select a few particular categories to zero in on and amplify those areas to differentiate your retail offerings. If you think your customers will gravitate toward a robust pet section, for example, focus on diversifying your product offerings in this space versus an aisle they’re less likely to visit.

    Read the full article… 

    Investment in Online Shopping Continues, But…

    Total funds raised for grocery delivery startups have exceeded $1 billion so far this year, according to research firm CB Insights.

    But while American consumers are buying groceries online, they haven’t changed their food-buying habits as quickly as they have for other types of merchandise, according to US government statistics which show that consumers still prefer to stop into the supermarket to evaluate and buy fresh food , and many more continue to make weekly shopping excursions.

    In addition, buying groceries online is convenient, but it still requires the same kind of meal planning of a regular shopping trip, and, according to a recent article published on, it often means shelling out a hefty fee for delivery.

    In fact, delivery costs associated with online food shopping vary quite a bit and, surprisingly, online shopping giant Amazon is among the priciest options!

    It will be interesting to see if online food shopping volume will spike over the holidays, especially if overall shopping volume goes-up again this year as many are predicting.

    Making the On-Line Supermarket Profitable

    In a recent article posted on Tumblr the topic of making e-commerce profitable for retailers, including supermarkets, was examined.

    The article references a study  from HRC Advisory about how the growth of eCommerce may be helping retailers retain or even grow sales but at the expense of margins as costs of servicing online orders decimate profits.

    “I think that grocery and fast moving consumer goods retailers need to consider several key things as they move online,” said Heather Hawkins, Marketing Strategist at Center for Advancing Retail and Technology. “The food business is splintering fast – look no further than the growth of home delivered meal kits (like Blue Apron), Uber and others delivering restaurant meals to the home, and the growing presence of Amazon. First, brick & mortar retailers need to move online as a defensive measure to protect their sales volume. Second, once online is established, retailers need to focus on making it profitable.”

    A key suggestion for doing just that included focusing on fulfillment efficiency.  Supermarket retailers pay considerable attention to efficient operations within their stores and they need to do the same relative to picking, staging, and delivering online orders.

    Leading solutions provide dedicated picking apps for a tablet device enabling staff to pick multiple orders on one trip through the store. These solutions leverage product location to route the picker through the store on the most efficient path. And these solutions provide handheld scanners along with integration to the store’s POS system so online orders are picked and scanned in one step and then exported into the POS system for recording sales.

    Read the full article...