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The evolution of food & how we shop for it

The Amazing Evolution of Food and How We Shop for It

At a recent lunch with our Chair, Marsha Gilford, Regional Corporate Affairs Director, Southwest Region with The Kroeger Company, we got on the subject of blockchain technology.  Naturally, the  conversation drifted to the amazing evolution of “technology” in the food delivery business – commonly known as grocery stores.   In realizing that people get stuck in only knowing what they know until such a time as more knowledge comes their way, Gilford discussed the changing face of the Kroger Company.  Blockchain technology has the ability for shoppers to check their products and even source food, and other retail items, and it also has the huge potential to revolutionize the front of the store operations, such as self-checkout, click and go, mobile POS, payments, loyalty and then also include the back-office operations of supply chain, reporting and analytics, marketing, security, etc.

Boomers, Millennials, Gen X Shoppers Shop Online for Groceries

As consumers we all read how industry is changing, organics has become a strong market, branded meals, in-store brands and the how and who of shopping.  Age and affluence are no longer inhibitors to online shopping as 61% of millennials, 55% of Generation X, 41% of Boomers and 39% of Greatest Generation purchase on-line. (FMI Smartbrief 4/25/18).  She then explained that Kroger Company shoppers (Smith’s in Nevada) actually have, or will soon have, six different ways to shop, check out and pay for their groceries.

That did it, knowing that many food manufacturers and retailers are admittedly not prepared to meet the needs of digitally engaged food shoppers it was determined that Marsha would arrange for an in-store visit to meet with her staff and to tour two stores in Las Vegas, Nevada to see what the new experiences look like.  Totally fascinating, and informative and this Boomer really appreciated the overview.  According to FMI’s website by 2022 the grocery industry can expect $100 B to be spent in on-line grocery shopping.

Post Modern Grocery Stores

Our tour started out with a conversation with the Kroger Team from Salt Lake as well as the store manager.  Hearing and seeing; however, are two different things.  The RAN team then was hosted to an in-store review covering the topics that were discussed, sustainability, energy management, stocking and merchandising, safety, brand identity, new store design with community needs in mind (ie. kosher foods, select imported cheeses, organics, deli, produce) even to the point of how an open refrigerated case is actually energy efficient because of the proven science of cold verses warm air.  The store’s sustainability showed itself off even to the point of recaptured cooling, heating, and LED lighting.

The RAN team also learned about different ways of shopping at Smith’s including self-scan, online ClickList ®, Scan Bag and Go, and home delivery.

This tour turned out to be educational, and mind-boggling.  Many thanks to the Kroger team and to our RAN board chair for helping us see the new face of supermarkets and how these new ways will affect how families in America shop for the food they eat.