In the hectic, rapidly evolving world of retail, it can be hard to keep up with what’s happening at the moment – let alone what’s coming next. As our Charlotte branding agency looks ahead to 2015 (Year of the Goat, FYI), we see some very interesting changes in how consumers shop for groceries.
Here’s a quick look at three trends that will continue to affect CPGs and grocery retailers in the coming year and beyond.
1. “Right Now” Grocery Shopping
On-the-go, time-crunched consumers increasingly want to shop when and how it’s most convenient to them, which is driving the popularity of services like online grocery shopping and curbside pick-up. The growth has been steady for the past several years, but we’re expecting to see much more retailer and manufacturer investment in 2015.
AmazonFresh will roll out to many more urban areas (up to 20 new markets) in the next year or so. Walmart is expanding its Walmart To-Go delivery services. And Target is further developing curbside pick-up. Safeway is also testing same-day 1-hour delivery services in specific markets, and Peapod is testing locker pick-up locations in D.C. Metro stations.
2. Doorstep Meals
Why bother with recipes and grocery lists when your family can get fresh meals delivered straight to your door? Full meal delivery results in one-click meal planning, and, as more and more convenient meal-delivery services pop up across the country, shoppers can choose the exact meals they want for the week (or month). The meal ingredients are delivered straight to the doors but consumers still has to prepare the meal and can easily add to the recipe – which is important for working moms who still want dinner to feel homemade and personalized.
Plated, Blue Apron, and Hello Fresh are a few of the bigger players in this space, but many other competitors are popping up with their own unique specialties; from locally sourced foods or gluten-free meals to ethnic cuisine.
3. Retail engagement
With more and more shoppers turning to online grocery delivery and meal-delivery services, retailers will need to reinvent the in-store grocery shopping experience to entice shoppers in and give them a reason to keep returning.
Many grocery retailers, such as Whole Foods and Publix, are introducing in-store wine and beer bars and cooking classes to attract shoppers and let them to sample items for purchase or just spend some quality time in their location.
Looking ahead, CPG brands need to find viable ways of collaborating with grocery delivery and meal delivery services to streamline product distribution. And manufacturers should work closely with grocery retailers to help redefine the in-store grocery shopping experience and deliver more engaging solutions that can only be experienced in person.
Our Charlotte branding agency has a few ideas about how CPGs can take sampling to the next level. So if you’re ready to create a center-store ‘category experience’ hub that allows shoppers to discover and explore brands in a new way, please give us a call.