By Angela Fernandez, Vice President of Retail Grocery and Foodservice, GS1 US
Looking back at the unprecedented amount of disruption in 2017 — from Amazon acquiring Whole Foods, to significant growth in the meal-kit industry — food companies are taking a holistic look at customer bases and determining any possible competitive advantage to be developed in 2018. In the year ahead, there are five ways we’ll see the food industry become more agile and opportunistic in order to win consumer loyalty, or “share of stomach.”
1 – Catch Up To Digital Consumers
According to a September survey from Deloitte measuring food companies’ digital progress, there still appears to be a digital divide between what consumers want and what food companies are offering in the digital realm. Despite digital's expanding impact, the survey noted only 31 percent of grocery shoppers indicate that digital makes grocery shopping easier, compared with 42 percent across other retail categories.
Food manufacturers looking to compete in today’s marketplace can embrace the opportunity associated with these findings and work with their retailer partners on new innovation strategies. In 2018, we expect to see more testing of personalization using loyalty programs and apps, more technology to help consumers find items quicker, and an expansion of click-and-collect and dine-in options that are already popular with the fastest growing grocery shopping contingent — Millennials.