Category Archives: Uncategorized

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...

Supermarket Summer Camp?

Here’s an example of an innovative way to engage customers. SupermarketNews recently reported that Schnucks is offering a Summer Kids Cooking Camp!

Geared for children ages 5 to 12, the camp will run from late May through early August, and participants are given the option of registering for individual or week-long morning and afternoon sessions. Themes will include Hawaiian Luaus, Intergalactic Treats and Wizard-Worthy Meals.

“Kids will discover the full food exploration experience in these classes, whether they take one or several classes or a full session,” said Kara Belhke, registered dietitian and camp developer, in a statement.

“They will not only learn how to cook by following a recipe, but will also learn how to shop for nutritious foods, work with kitchen equipment, and participate in activities all focused around making food fun.”

3 Consumer Types Impacting Supermarket Decisions

There has been a shake-up in the grocery aisles for some time now according to an article posted by, a retail brand and printing consulting firm based in Ohio.

“Big changes have occurred as to how consumers are shopping, who is shopping, and when and what they are eating,” the article explains. “This shift disrupts the traditional ways of understanding and marketing to shoppers, making it more necessary for grocery retailers to adapt their merchandising efforts as shopper’s needs evolve.”

In support of this perspective, a recent Deloitte report indicates that today’s shoppers are using as many as 5 different retail channels to purchase groceries – trying to find the precise mix of value, quality and convenience. 61% are willing to drive farther for a lower price and 75% of consumers choose which store to do their shopping based upon the store’s produce department.

The three types of consumers that are impacting supermarket leaders’ decisions are:

  1. Millennial shoppers
  2. Health-conscious shoppers
  3. Budget-conscious shoppers

Read the full article…

The Supermarket Crystal Ball?

predict1In early 2014 posted an article about emerging trends within the grocery industry, indicating it was undergoing some of the most dramatic changes since supermarkets emerged in the 1940s.

We couldn’t agree more!

Aside from the steady trend toward on-line shopping that we’ve discussed in several posts, and in addition to a shift toward digital marketing, about which we have also written, other trends contributing to these changes, according to the article were:

1. Consumers are shopping across multiple channels

2. Private label is gaining popularity

3. Shoppers prefer smaller store formats

4. Fresh produce is a main driver 

Fast-forward to year-end, and it appears the “crystal ball” was working well, as these predictive trends seem to have been quite accurate…

For example, shoppers’ demand for fresh healthy foods coupled with their desire for indulgent foods have shaped the food retail business in Chicago, according to a recent Chicago Tribune report.

Also, a piece reported that food retailers are adjusting their promotional strategies as print media continues to lose ground to digital communication channels.

The article references a report, “2015 Advertising & Promotional Practices Among U.S. Supermarket Retailers,” indicating 54 percent of respondents expect to decrease their use of printed circulars during the next three years, and that every retailer surveyed said they expect to increase the incorporation of digital coupons in their marketing mix. Likewise, 100 percent of food retailers surveyed said they expect to leverage more mobile coupons and offers, and 92 percent said they expected to ramp up their use of e-mail for customer communications. Seventy-five percent said they expect to make more use of Facebook, and 70 percent said the same of Twitter.

Along similar lines, a mid-November Wall Street Journal article reported that 85% of high-income households (over $500,000/year) were making use of Amazon Prime for grocery purchases, primarily due to the convenience and programs such as “auto refill” and “one hour delivery” which simplified the shopping experience.

As the New Year dawns, it will be interesting to see what the experts predict for 2016… and we’ll be sure to share our research with you after the 1st!

The DeMoulas Saga Continues

The DeMoulas family (Market Basket Supermarkets) saga continues on… sadly.

Last week, the dysfunction between the two scions of the DeMoulas family, Arthur S. DeMoulas and Arthur T. DeMoulas, once again was played out publicly as Arthur S. DeMoulas had the board votes to remove the CEO, his cousin, Arthur T. DeMoulas.  Two other senior executives were removed at the same time.  Others have since resigned.

“Arthur T.” is beloved by the employees of Market Basket and there is concern as to how the employees and customers will react to his removal.  The customer service offered at Market Basket stores has been recognized as being among the best in the northeast.  Employees felt well taken care of with generous retirement plans and a workplace with a ‘family feel’.  Now, we wonder what the morale is like.

Beginning earlier this year and as noted in an earlier post, readers may recall that Market Basket offered a 4% discount on almost all products that was to be carried until the middle of December.  Arthur T. was quoted at the time that the customers needed the money more than he did.

Now, we are left to wonder what the next story line will be.  With the family history of the last 40 years, the next chapter will probably be in the public for all to see.  What effect, if any, do you think the change will have on employee service and customers?