By: Sue Wilkinson, Senior Director, Information Service & Research, Food Marketing Institute
Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan proclaimed more than fifty years ago that “the times they are a changin’.”
Today that phrase resonates in the food retail industry as we witness increasingly different ways consumers shop for food, and the many ways grocers are adapting to stay relevant. Always mindful of capturing industry trends, FMI once again this year delved into the minds of consumers and food retailers to make sense of this rapid pace of change to offer the food retail industry tools to understand today’s shopper and improve grocery operations.
What we learned about supermarket shoppers:
- more are sharing in the activity of food shopping than ever before;
- connecting with and retaining Millennial shoppers increasingly requires that retailers find the right mix of online and traditional tools and services;
- consumers weigh “evolving drivers” – health and wellness, safety, social impact, experience and transparency – in their purchasing decisions, in addition to the “traditional drivers” of taste, price and convenience.
- shoppers understand the important role food choices play in their health and are making some changes to try to eat healthfully – but usually do not put in a lot of effort;
- shoppers recognize the variety of nutrition benefits meat and poultry offer, and place a high value on convenience, variety and transparency when making purchasing decisions in the meat aisle;
- nearly one-quarter of shoppers switch outlets when purchasing fresh produce versus the bulk of groceries, primarily to full-service supermarkets, farmers’ markets/produce stands and specialty organic stores; and
- compared with restaurants, shoppers see the ability to combine errands and time savings as the top two advantages of supermarket deli/fresh prepared foods.
What we learned about food retail operations:
- the mass-market floral supply chain should continue to focus on impulse floral sales and holiday floral sales, while looking to grow website, wedding and sympathy sales;
- food retailers are reportedly making the biggest financial investments in the areas of Omni-channel strategy and technology;
- supermarkets offer customers made-to-order stations along the store perimeter, but select supermarkets have incorporated limited service or full-service restaurants into their physical footprint;
- Supermarket department managers have a high level of job satisfaction ; and
- retail and wholesale dry grocery distribution centers with more square footage per SKU see better productivity rates. This difference is most noticeable in order selection, where there's as much as an 8% difference.
To help you digest the nearly 20 research reports published in 2016, we’ve produced webinars on various topics, created infographics that provide easy-to-read visuals, and we’ve made presentations at various FMI events highlighting report findings.
Embrace these changing times and take advantage of this free membership benefit. Download your copy of these reports by visiting http://www.fmi.org/store.