The Food Marketing Institute predicts that 70% of consumers will buy at least some groceries online in the next five to seven years. As a result, traditional grocery chains face stiff competition from services such as Amazon Pantry, which threaten to disrupt the only retail sector not overtaken by e-commerce in the United States. However, grocery chains have adapted to meet the demands of a digitized food industry. The transformation of brick-and-mortar grocery chains sheds light on new possibilities for the way we will buy and consume food in the 2020s.
Store To Table Delivery
Fearing the influx of popular grocery e-commerce services like Brandless and Amazon Pantry, grocery chains are unraveling their own models of delivery to meet the competition. Chains like Albertsons and Ahold Delhaize now offer consumers the option to purchase items through their app, which are quickly delivered to qualifying areas. Overall, grocery delivery is much higher in urban areas compared to rural ones, as the logistics are easier within close proximity.
The retail industry is constantly looking for ways to attract customers through competitive pricing and food is no exception. Many grocery store chains now offer popular coupons on their apps, which is a lot easier to keep track of than their paper ancestors. Often, you can find good deals on items by linking a groceries rewards system to your credit card. This is a good option for individuals who travel extensively, as many of the rewards systems apply to various countries and currency exchanges. Grocery chains are now also aiming to offer competitive pricing on healthy food products, which have long been regarded as a major expense compared to heavily subsidized processed fats.
A Sustainable Focus
Grocery stores are also launching initiatives to cut down on food waste and eliminate excess plastic from their packaging, a trend expected to rise in 2020. Many states are aiming to place a tax on plastic, single-use grocery bags, already standard in many European countries. As a result, many grocery chains are seeking to cut plastic use altogether. Kroger, the nation’s biggest grocery chain, said in May that it would eliminate plastic bags by 2025.
Because, e-commerce grocery is likely to expand widely over the next few years, brick-and-mortar locations have to adapt to a new retail experience. Their transformations signal an effort to meet the needs of a new consumer base, one that prioritizes conveniences and increasingly sustainability when making purchase selections.