business news in context, analysis with attitude

Sales and marketing agency Acosta is out with a report entitled "The Revolution of Grocery Shopping," concluding that health and wellness, meal solutions, perimeter growth, and millennial preferences are among the mega-trends influencing the shape of the modern, relevant supermarket.

More specifically...

Health and wellness... "Consumers’ focus on healthy eating and lifestyles is more than just a fad; it is permanently shifting how they approach food shopping and, in turn, how retailers and brands must cater to their attitudes and preferences." For example, the report says that "shoppers rank fresh produce (89%) as a more important feature than competitive pricing (86%) and product selection (84%) in their grocery store experience," and that "nearly one-third of shoppers report their perception of a store skews negatively if it does not have a dedicated section for natural or organic options." These preferences also are leading to an expansion of traditional perimeter departments, taking up space usually devoted to center store.

Meal solutions... "Half of shoppers admit they decide what’s for dinner within two hours of mealtime," with "millennials are doing the least amount of meal planning with 68 percent waiting until a few hours before dinner to make plans." In addition, when buying prepared foods, "shoppers report making their selections based on variety (72%), if it is ready-to-eat (66%) and healthy options (62%)."

Millennial preferences... "72 percent of Millennials enjoy grocery shopping versus just 60 percent of total U.S. shoppers, highlighting the importance of fostering an emotional connection with shoppers and the growth of in-store destinations." And, "nearly half of Millennials - representing more than 10 percent of all U.S. shoppers - said they would use an app allowing them to pay for their groceries, signaling the increased integration of digital technology into the path to purchase."

Digital marketing... "Nearly one-third of shoppers say they would use various forms of digital technology if it were offered at their grocery store," such as "an app that provides the ability to order items not available in store and the ability to scan items as they shop in order to bypass checkout." And, more than four out of ten shoppers surveyed said that they shop for groceries online at least once a month.

Colin Stewart, Senior Vice President at Acosta, described the industry as being "at a tipping point" where retailers have to be prepared to adapt to these shifts if they want to take "full advantage of opportunities to capitalize on change."
KC's View:
None of this should come as much of a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to what is going on in both the culture and the food industry. I'm not talking specifically here about mainstream/traditional grocers, but rather the disruptors on the outside that are identifying opportunities based on how people are living their lives and making their consumption and purchase decisions in other venues. (Gee, there's a radical notion.)

You adapt, and you survive. Try to do business the way you've always done business, and the strong likelihood is that you will end up marginalized and/or irrelevant.