NGA: Food Shopping – Big Changes Ahead
At last week’s National Grocers Association’s annual
convention, Phil Lempert (the “SupermarketGuru”) offered some insights
into food shopping trends.
Here are some of the trends he sees for the coming
- Brands are shortening ingredient lists and using more “real” foods.
- Shoppers are getting back to basics and are interested in preparing easy,
great tasting meals.
- The butcher is back, via a renewed interest in local butchers in stores.
- Power of the collective: Shoppers are depending less on advertising and
more on social networking and word of mouth to help them make food buying
- New nutritional guidelines will empower the population to make changes
in their diets.
- Foods will be viewed more holistically versus focusing on individual ingredients.
“All natural” claims won’t be enough.
- Seafood from the Gulf of Mexico will be more popular than ever as the area
- Vitamin D will be touted more and milk will make a comeback.
- New beverages flavored with Stevia and unique fruit flavors will be popular.
- Food allergies are on the decline.
- Regional foods will be the “new local.”
And, here are some of the things consumers said in responding to NGA’s
Sixth annual survey.
- Ninety-one percent say high-quality fruits and vegetables are important
(up five points from last year) as they keep health a priority.
- Price is still important, although consumers are tired of economizing and
want the quality, items and service they used to get in their food stores.
- Seventy-six percent say nutritional and health information is somewhat
to very important.
- Sixty-three percent say it’s important for their supermarket to be
involved in the community.
- Shoppers would like to see improvement include the availability of locally
grown foods (44 percent), price/cost savings (42 percent), more variety (28
percent), more organic foods (26 percent), and more ethnic offerings (23
- In terms of “what makes you buy,” 71 percent say they stock
up on an item when it’s a bargain. Fifty-eight percent use coupons
from the mail or newspapers and 59 percent look in the newspapers for specials.
- Social networking still has a ways to go: 60 percent of shoppers chose “none” as
their choice for food matters, 25 percent use Facebook, five percent use
Twitter and four percent use YouTube.
- Top concerns include eating healthy (25 percent), chemical additives (13
percent), and sodium (10 percent). Also, in another question, 79 percent
say country of origin is important.
Discussion Question: Based on the trends predicted by Phil Lempert and expressed in NGA’s consumer survey, in what areas do you think regional and independent supermarkets should focus to better compete with national chains and discounters?