This is the first installment of FMI's Technology Blog Series, which will explore digital innovations for the food industry and share compelling insights from our research.

By: Laura Judy, Manager, Web & Digital Communications, FMI

Technology in Foodservice and Bakery

My fabulous mother recently turned 80 years old and my family couldn't let this milestone pass without a party to end all parties. With varying budgets, different locations and busy lives, we set out to find the most convenient and economical way to throw the party of the decade.

Everyone chipped in with a different skill or service. Playlists were made, invitations were created, fun activities and ideas including karaoke, dancing, and of course plenty of food, drinks and a customized birthday cake were added to the party spreadsheet. When it comes to planning a special occasion, technology offers numerous advantages that can streamline the process and enhance the overall experience. I learned technology advancements even apply to the grocery store.

Borrow from the Restaurant Playbook

According to the Power of Foodservice at Retail 2023, most customers shopping in the foodservice/deli department want certain restaurant amenities like an online menu available, advance ordering through apps and convenient pick-up options. Having a signature foodservice item, ranging from chicken entrees to pizza, boosts the reputation of food retailers as a go-to destination. As we meticulously crafted party plans, these features became our saving grace to ensure we had my mom's beloved shrimp cocktail and a menu that catered to all dietary needs and preferences.

Technology Facilitates Customization and Personalization

After an extensive family debate about cupcakes versus cake, it was evident a sumptuous, personalized cake was needed for my mom's momentous occasion. With just a few clicks, we seamlessly added the cake with its personalized message and party-themed colors to the expanding online order.

According to FMI's Power of In-store Bakery 2023, a third of shoppers have used technology to order and design a special occasion baked item and nearly all of these shoppers (94%) are likely to use this technology again.

Lessons Learned

The party turned out to be a fabulous celebration of my mom and I learned that the advantages of ordering food and special occasion bakery items online were essential to pulling off a celebration like this one. Shoppers crave the convenience and customization that technology options like online ordering offer. Food retailers that embrace technology and make it easier for shoppers to order foodservice and in-store bakery items are certain to foster loyalty and repeat business, providing mutual benefits for both shoppers and grocers.

Power of In-Store Bakery    Power of Foodservice at Retail