7 Supermarkets Trends Now and in the Future

September 17, 2014

CHICAGO— With convenience and value being key drivers when it comes to grocery shopping, successful retailers will be those who adapt to changes in consumer product preferences, technology and lifestyle needs. In the September issue of Food Technology magazine published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), Executive Editor Mary Ellen Kuhn writes about the changing landscape of today’s supermarket. The following seven trends are identified in the article.

  1. Price-Driven Consumers: Middle- and low-income shoppers account for 70 percent of U.S. grocery sales, and even consumers without major financial constraints tend to be frugal and open to shopping in a variety of different channels in order to economize (Jeffries, 2013).
  2. Healthy Living and Fresh Food: 92 percent of U.S. adults believe that eating at home is healthier than eating out (FMI, 2014).
  3. Smaller Grocery Stores: Smaller grocery stores are on track for rapid growth (Jeffries, 2013). Stores are able to refine their offerings based on neighborhood purchasing patterns.
  4. Fresh Prepared Foods: More than half of the households in the U.S. are composed of only one or two people (U.S. Census Bureau, 2012), and consumers often look to stores as their “sous chef.” Consumers often just want to put the finishing touches on an item and avoid the slicing, dicing, and marinating that often come with food preparation (FMI, 2014).
  5. Meal Solutions: Many retailers are putting their own spin on high-quality fare that reflects trendy culinary influences like chef-prepared entrees and salads, ethnic fare, brunch stations, and gelato bars in stores. In addition, supermarkets are bundling together meal components that are tasty and easy to prepare.
  6. Mobile Commerce: According to Catalina Marketing, there are currently more than 1,000 grocery shopping apps for the iPhone. Digitizing supermarket ads and coupons for smartphones, computers, and tablets is important to drive sales and form deeper connections with shoppers.
  7. Online Options: In the future more people are expected to purchase pantry stables online rather than in grocery stores. Although the market for online ordering is growing, experts agree that because grocery shopping is such a sensory experience it will probably never be a totally online process (Tom Johnson, PwC, 2014). Grocery shopping is more likely to become a hybrid online and in-store process with consumers both placing orders online, but also stopping in the store for items.

Read the full article in Food Technology here

About IFT
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Institute of Food Technologists. Since its founding in 1939, IFT has been committed to advancing the science of food, both today and tomorrow. Our non-profit scientific society—more than 18,000 members from more than 100 countries—brings together food scientists, technologists and related professions from academia, government and industry. For more information, please visit ift.org.