Tag Archives: supermarket trends

Robots in the Aisles?

A recent video and report by Phil Lempert, founder of supermarketguru.com, shared information about “Tally,” a robot that will be working the aisles at Schnucks looking for items that are out of stock and checking on prices.

The robot is being tested at a store in the Richmond Heights area of St. Louis, the article says. A second will be tested at another store in the Kirkwood area. The tests are expected to last about six weeks.

Tally weighs about 30 pounds and stands at 38 inches tall and has sensors to avoid bumping into things like shoppers and carts. It scans the shelves and notifies the store personnel when quantities are running low.

A new component of the digital trend?

Grocery Shopper Decisions at the Shelf?

A recent SupermarketNews article shared some interesting insights into how grocery shoppers are making decisions with respect to making healthier choices.

The primary factors influencing these “at the shelf” decisions include:

  • Concerns about impact on personal health/well-being
  • Desire to know exactly what ingredients go into their food
  • Environmental impacts
  • Do not want to support suppliers that use of genetically modified organisms (GMO’s)

While the study also showed an increasing number of shoppers relying on online-only retailers, (a trend led by Millennials), they’re selecting a narrow range of products online, such as household cleaning products, and continue to buy fresh bakery and produce items in-store.

 

Supermarkets, FDA React to the Coast-to-Coast Demand for Healthy & Fresh Choices

According to a recent SupermarketNews article, supermarkets are offering healthier and smaller fresh snack options.

Chains on both coasts are reacting to consumer demand for the same level of quality and freshness in their snacks that they demand from other prepared foods.

For example, Roche Bros., a 20-store chain based in Wellesley, Massachusetts has responded to the increased interest in fresh, prepared snacks by offering “salad toppers,” which are displayed alongside prepackaged salads. The small containers, which sell for about $2.50 to $3, include varieties of shrimp, chicken, steak tips, hard-boiled eggs and other proteins that are designed for either combining with a salad or eating as standalone snacks.

“It allows people to get a quick bite of protein on the go, without spending a lot of money,” said Adam Laliberte, kitchen director.  “There’s definitely an increase in demand for little bites to eat.”

Similarly, KeHE Foods’ Monterrey, Calif., fresh foods division has rolled-out a new line of cheese-based fresh snacks to about 50 retailers, said Amber Mahin, director of marketing and merchandising.

“They have proven to be very popular,” said Mahin. “The trends we are seeing are fast, fresh and healthy. People are eating smaller meals and meals with less calories.”

It seems like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may be providing support to health-conscious consumers as well, as their final rule for the new menu labeling provision of the Affordable Care Act has been published. This new law will impact supermarket deli and bakery departments for chains of 20 or more stores operating under the same name. Labeling will be required for restaurant-type food such as:

  • Made-to-order sandwiches, ordered from a menu or menu board at a grocery store
  • Food items shoppers serve themselves from a salad or hot food bar at a grocery store
  • Grab-and-go items such as muffins at an in-store bakery

3 Trends Impacting Supermarkets

In a recent article published by ECRM, a support organization that provides business solutions to retailers by integrating process, vision and technology, three key trends were identified as having a significant impact on the grocery retail field:

“The U.S. food retailing business has never been more competitive, the article said. “A number of trends are putting pressure on food retailers of all stripes…”

The article went on to suggest that the food retail business is evolving and “the customer is king!” Data from a study done by Packaged Facts was also shared, identifying three key trends as “shaping” the food and beverage retail market:

  • The incursion of e-commerce onto the food retailing landscape
  • The evolution and expansion of contactless payment options
  • The rise of the smaller store formats

Read the full article…

Supermarkets of the Future Fast Approaching!

Several past posts have shared details about radical new changes that are being tested by various supermarket chains.

Well, the trend seems to be continuing according to a recent NY Post article, which gives the scoop on Amazon’s latest innovation: a two-story, automated grocery store in which a staff of robots on the floor upstairs grabs and bags items for shoppers below!

The “futuristic prototype” is based on the recently unveiled “Amazon Go” convenience store, “with a bigger layout that could span anywhere between 10,000 and 40,000 square feet.”

The article goes on to explain that Amazon’s plan is to stock these bigger stores with items people prefer to see before buying. In addition, these bigger stores are expected to operate with fewer  employees – possibly as few as 3 to 10 workers per shift!

Read the full story… 

5 Emerging Trends That Demand Improved Supermarket Efficiency

“Shifting consumer lifestyles and habits are creating new challenges for food retailers,” says Topco in a recently released e-book.

The book goes on to suggest that supermarkets must successfully improve efficiencies and reallocate indirect spend monies to areas that will yield the highest returns for their needs in the face of today’s rewritten grocery industry landscape.

The authors list the following five trends with the greatest potential to affect your profits:

1  Experiential shopping
2  In-store restaurants
3  Digital marketing
4  Online grocery shopping
5  Gourmet, organic, and sustainably-sourced foods

See e-book… 

Supermarkets of the Future – Happening Now!

Earlier this year we shared several posts about the “supermarkets of the future,” in which several predictions were made such as the emergence of more tasting stations, more interactive displays, less waiting at check-out, and food deliveries made by robots!

Since then, many of these predictions have become realities, although not necessarily all in one place – at least until now!

A “supermarket of the future” has been opened in Italy according to a recent SupermarketNews article, which incorporates many of the features listed above and more!

The largest Italian supermarket chain, Coop Italia, has opened the store near Milan.

“The 11,000-square-foot store is built around the ideals of innovation and transparency… and merging physical and digital by augmenting a traditional food market with interactive displays and smart shelves designed to make shopping more relevant and personalized,” the article said.

The fact that this “future” store is located in Europe supports a belief shared by numerous industry experts, that being that European supermarket trends are slightly ahead of those in the U.S.

Read the full article…

 

3 Supermarket Shopping Demands & the “War on Big Food”

With more and more consumers becoming informed about the health benefits of natural and organic food products, it is inevitable that grocers will need to increase their fresh produce selections and increase their marketing efforts around these departments, which are typically located in the perimeter areas within their stores.

According to a recent article published by KDM P.O.P. Solutions, three specific consumer demands will reshape the typical supermarket over the next several years:

  • Healthy and natural
  • Local and fresh
  • Organic and unprocessed

These consumer demands will continue to rise and this trend effects the whole grocery shopping experience, the article suggests, noting that 75% of consumers choose which retailer to do their shopping at based on the store’s produce department.

And according to Supermarket News, 43% of health conscious consumers choose a shopping destination based on their organic food selection, while 32% seek foods grown locally, and another 28% look for natural, fresh foods.

Shoppers are indeed skipping the middle aisles, where most all “Big Food” packaged brands are located, and heading toward the store’s perimeter, where fresh foods are found.

Steve Hughes, a former ConAgra executive who now runs natural food company Boulder Brands, believes so much change is afoot that we won’t recognize the typical grocery store in five years. “I’ve been doing this for 37 years,” he says, “and this is the most dynamic, disruptive, and transformational time that I’ve seen in my career.”

 

Grocery Stewardship Certification – Saving More than Just Money!

The Grocery Stewardship Certification Program (GSC) helps grocers enhance their operational sustainability with a proven methodology that provides for consistency and accountability. The key objectives are to review store-level practices and equipment with an eye to increasing energy efficiency, boosting revenue and lowering costs.

According to a recent post on LinkedIn’s Grocery Executive Network,  two retail chains – Hannaford Supermarkets and Weis Markets – have enrolled all of their stores in the program.

“Weis Markets has used the Grocery Stewardship Certification program to engage with our employees in new ways and as a tool to show our customers that we are always looking to adopt new sustainable practices,” said Patti Olenick, sustainability director for Weis Markets.

“Hannaford has found tremendous benefit from our work with the Grocery Stewardship Certification program,” said George Parmenter, Manager of Sustainability, Hannaford Supermarkets. “Using the workbooks for the second time, we’ve found a number of areas where our staff and procedures have significantly improved. Through assessing our work, the GSC has helped us to quantify our sustainability efforts as saving us more than $23 million per year.”

The article goes on to state that while there are a number of programs that focus on high performance buildings, the GSC program is the only certification program to expand into employee practices and procedures to engage all stores within a chain.

Creativity Tops the List for Attracting Supermarket Shoppers

In a January post we shared some of the top supermarket trends for the New Year that were published in Supermarket News.

At about the same time, Jim Gold of MoneyTalksNews.com shared some interesting statistics about the frequency with which we visit the supermarket, the average amount we spend per trip, and what supermarkets might be planning as a result.

“We go to the store a lot,” Gold said in the article that was published on by CBS Money Watch. ”

“Americans spent about $638 billion a year at supermarkets in 2014, according to the Food Marketing Institute. However, our average tab, it says, is just $29.90 per visit. Customers averaged 1.5 visits a week in 2015, the institute says.”

His article went on to quote John Karolefski, veteran supermarket analyst who runs GroceryStories.com, who suggested grocers will be getting creative to enliven what has been a mundane chore, and to entice shoppers to continue visiting stores (versus on-line shopping) and to spend more during each trip.

Karolefski identified the top trends he expects we’ll see over the course of 2016, which include:

  1. Digitizing… More retailers will connect with smartphone-carrying shoppers, especially millennials who will account for most grocery purchases as they start families.
  2. Entertainment! Operators of large supermarkets will lure customers with special events, including more product sampling, nutritional tours and cooking demonstrations.
  3. Dining… Many new large supermarkets include a café with a light menu.

Read the full article…