By Doug Baker, FMI Vice President, Industry Relations - Private Brands, Technology
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A year and a half ago, we thought we had the future of food retail figured out.

After the Food Marketing Institute and Nielsen completed a research project, we predicted that it would be 10 years before U.S. consumers would be spending $100 billion annually online on grocery items.

We did not expect 2017 to be quite the year of disruption it was and we had to move that timeline up. We now expect 70 percent of all U.S. consumers to be making regular purchases of consumer packaged goods online in the next five to seven years.

By 2022 - just four years from now – we project consumers will be spending $100 billion on online groceries. That is the equivalent of every U.S. household spending $850 online for food and groceries.

Are you and your company ready for that?

The Digital Readiness Assessment created by Nielsen and FMI indicates many are not. Take the quick assessment yourself and see where your company stands.

No matter where you are on this journey, plan to move your company further along the path toward that inflection point by attending the inaugural Groceryshop scheduled Oct. 28-31 at the Aria in Las Vegas.

Groceryshop will be a first-of-its-kind conference for established and start-up food retailers to join their industry partners in examining the fast-moving transformation and evolution in how consumers discover, shop and buy in a digital age.

Groceryshop LogoIt will be your chance to address, in very specific ways, some of the important challenges you and your peers will face over these next few years.

Are you wondering how to draft a company-wide digital strategy that will accommodate the latest e-commerce technologies and ensure every consumer has the personalized experience they expect?

On Tuesday at Groceryshop, FMI is hosting six sessions to address each of the omnichannel operational areas. The FMI Track focuses on the people, process and technologies for omnichannel success to include master data accuracy, integrated forecasting, cohesive shopper insights, digital store experiences and more.

Plan to attend the first-day keynote talk of Yael Cosset, the chief digital officer for the Kroger Co. and an FMI member, who has created just that kind of digital strategy for one of the largest food retailers in the country.

Want to find out how to build an entrepreneurial culture regardless of whether you’re at a start-up or part of a large organization?

Then go to the Sunday session on “Building a Culture of Innovation” where you’ll hear from speakers who are already working on these issues.

You know you need to make significant changes to your supply chain if you’re going to successfully compete in the future. New technologies are emerging all the time that will transform food sourcing. Learn about them at two Monday keynote presentations by Marc Oshima of AeroFarms and James Rogers from Apeel Sciences.

Consumers now want to use the digital tools available to them when making their purchasing decisions and they still like to browse the physical store aisles. How can you help them easily integrate these two experiences? You can start by attending the Monday Groceryshop session entitled “Advances in Shopper Marketing” and find out how some retailers are already handling digital in-store experiences.

Time is short if we in food retail are going to keep up with the new digital consumer. Groceryshop may be one of the best stops you can make along your path to success over the pivotal next four years.

We encourage retailer digital, ecommerce, technology and marketing teams to join FMI at Groceryshop. Last day to apply for retailer & Brands hosted program this Friday, September 21st. Apply Here

I hope you will join us or send the appropriate e-commerce, marketing and technology professionals from your company.

See you in Las Vegas.