In the past, bigger was better for food retail with the goal of being all things to all people. Not so anymore.
The sales area of grocery stores has been shrinking for the last few years and this trend is expected to continue. An RIS News article predicts, “The grocery stores of the future will be one third to one half of the size they are today.”
Why go smaller? Well, Grocery Business reports Giant Food Stores has smaller grocery stores for urban neighborhoods. The smaller stores feature “modern technology to enable a more convenient experience, including ‘Endless Aisles‘ whereby customers can order items for pickup and delivery on iPads in the store through Peapod.”
The smaller grocery stores encourage a quicker, more convenient experience. To continue to draw customers, grocery stores need to have a clear understanding of what their customers want. To gain this understanding, grocery store owners need data, another trend in the food retail market.
The Retail Insight article Food retail innovation: Five trends leading the future of the industry notes the growth of data in food retail. “One aspect of this developing trend is the importance of helping retailers know what consumers want and helping them to shop better.”
In addition to assisting grocery stores in their stocking decisions, data can help in ordering the layout of a store. In an age where convenience is treasured, stocking a grocery store in a way that saves shoppers time is invaluable.
Even the best laid out store cannot be more convenient than having your groceries waiting for you by your door. Hence, the next trend in grocery stores: in-store experience.
Similar to malls, grocery stores are recreating themselves to inspire consumers to take the trip to the store. Grocery Business says, “with the rise of e-commerce, retailers are striving to maintain foot traffic by reinventing the in-store shopping experience to be more personalized and interactive.”
The Retail Insight article says grocery stores, “are offering immersive technology-focused in-store retail experiences.” The article notes stores doing this include BreadBot, Karma, CoolHobo, and others.
In-store experience can also include taste tests, sampling of new items, and offering of special coupons.
What’s in the Store?
While data certainly aids in determining what products to include in a food store, there are general shopper trends to consider as well.
Zest Labs reported on a Food Marketing Institute report that the top reason people choose their primary grocery store is produce, “…high-quality fruits and vegetables at 78 percent,” was selected number one for the second year in a row.
People are becoming more and more conscious of what they are eating. Wellness as whole is also growing in terms of importance and shopper trends for grocery stores. An expert in the Grocery Business article predicts, “the better-for-you movement around naturally derived wellness additives will continue to grow in 2019.”
Related to concerns about health is people’s desire to go green. As part of this, one shopper trend is the interest in supporting local farmers, growers, and manufacturers. When food travels shorter distances, it’s fresher and causes less strain on the environment.
Make it Snappy!
Once shoppers arrive in the grocery store, the goal is to get what they need and get out. That’s why a Forbes article, Six Trends From The Frontier Of Grocery Consumer Experiences points to Consumer Scan & Go as a shopper trend for grocery stores.
The article says, “…consumers don’t want to stand in line, and retailers are certainly eager… to cut labor from stores…” The article also notes it’s a prime opportunity to collect data.
Shoppers are not simply avoiding people or they’d order from home. However, the article indicates that shoppers grow frustrated if the store employee they interact with is uninformed. A well-trained employee’s help is welcomed, but it still needs to be done conveniently.
Consumer trends in food retail reflect those in other areas. Consumers want convenience, to be catered to, enjoy interesting experiences, and to move things along quickly. Small business food retailers who observe these and other modern consumer trends can remain ahead of industry changes and retain and grow their business.
|Back to Top