5 ways grocery stores will change in the next 4 years

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Kroger Looking to Eliminate Checkout Lanes

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The online grocery industry is growing even quicker than experts initially predicted.

Online grocery shopping is expected to reach $100 billion in worth as early as 2022, according to retail trade group FMI. About 70 percent of shoppers will occasionally shop online for their groceries by that year, according to the retail trade and research groups.

“Consumers have redefined and are going to continue to redefine food shopping,” Thom Blischok, chairman and CEO of The Dialogic Group, a retail and CPG consulting company, said during a presentation on FMI Midwinter conference. “There is no going back.”

1. Most retailers aren't prepared for change. Not all retailers are convinced they're prepared to take on the changing industry as consumers shift their interest online. Approximately 7 percent of retailers believe they have the culture and skills needed to succeed in the digital age, according to interviews conducted by Nielsen and The Dialogic Group.

But it hasn’t stopped grocery retailers from adding new innovative services for customers.

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2. Walmart is innovating at local stores. Grocers like Walmart have robots stocking shelves, and the chain is testing different concepts to deliver grocery purchases to customers. Locally, Walmart will add online grocery pick-up services to its store located at 8800 Kingsridge Drive in Miami Twp. near the Dayton Mall.

3. Meijer has been delivering since last year in the area. Meijer has been offering delivery since April 2017 in the Dayton region after partnering with digital delivery company Shipt, while Kroger is innovating with its digital strategy. Tim Brown, president of Kroger's Cincinnati/Dayton division, told this news organization that it's difficult to imagine a day where's there no in-store experience without traditional check-out lanes and cashiers.

The store will also undergo a major interior remodel, according to an application for permit submitted to the Montgomery County building regulations division. The estimated market value of the remodel is $350,000, according to the application.

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4. Kroger is investing in ClickList and Scan Bag Go. Kroger customers can expect to see more technology features in stores and options to get their groceries delivered right to their homes.

“This means customers can expect to see more innovation such as Scan Bag Go or ClickList that allow them to shop the way they choose, and to bring them the offers and experience they desire most,” Brown said.

5. Meal kits are part of the growth. A large part of that growth will be tied to meal kit subscription options. Grocery chains are also cashing in on the model to compete with food services like Blue Apron. Walmart is now touting that its meal kits are hassle-free, and it doesn't require a subscription like competitor services like Blue Apron.

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Walmart meal kits come in several brands including Home Chef and Takeout Kit. Meal kit options include snack boxes, farm crates of vegetables, coffee and tea boxes, healthy boxes, bacon-lover delights, and international snacks. Prices range by box.

The meal kit service concept is fairly new, and about 19 percent of U.S. adults have tried a home delivery meal kit service like Blue Apron, Hello Fresh or Plated, according to data group Morning Consult. Of that group, 38 percent currently subscribe to a meal kit service.


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