Shopper technology opportunities are the focus of FMI Midwinter
There were several remarkable statistics shared at the Food Marketing Institute’s Midwinter Executive Conference in Miami last week. Online shopping for groceries is now done by 34 percent of customers. In 2000, 67 percent of shoppers bought groceries primarily at supermarkets; in 2018 less than half do. In 2015, only one percent of shoppers primarily shopped online for groceries; today that number is four percent and growing.
In terms of product categories moving online, center store continues to dominate. Nearly 40 percent of shoppers are buying health and beauty items online. For salty snacks, paper products, coffee & tea and household cleaning products, it’s over 30 percent. Even prepared foods, deli items and baked goods are above 10 percent.
The bottom line is that supermarkets are losing their primary store status as shoppers shop at multiple channels and banners.
Justin Dye, CEO of ripKurrent, an alternative refrigerant solutions provider to retailers, and a member of the board of directors at New Seasons Market, a Portland, OR-based supermarket retailer, said it is critical for retailers and their trading partners to think more like tech companies when it comes to innovating, pivoting and creating meaningful partnerships. “We’ve got to behave like an innovative company,” he said.
Technology continues to move increasingly quickly and retailers need to keep up with the pace, several of the speakers warned. “The reality is, probably in our professional lifetimes, we will not see an industry as big as food retail change as violently and as quickly as it is changing today,” said Chieh Huang, CEO of Boxed. “And it’s creating a lot of concern, but it’s also creating immense opportunity for all of us to rewrite the next chapter of our own histories.”
Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of FMI, affirmed this notion in her annual keynote. “During these rapidly changing times, the food retail industry is demonstrating the ability to rise to the challenge. Our enhanced ability to adapt, adopt and evolve is preparing us for the next golden era of food retail, doing what we do, smarter and better.”
- 2018 U.S.Grocery Shopper Trends Report – Food Marketing Institute
- Total Store Optimization Puts The Shopper At The Center Of Every Decision – Precima
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How can traditional grocery retailers use technology to recapture market share from digital pure plays and other channels?