An Essential Evolution – Looking Ahead For Grocery And Food Hall

An Essential Evolution – Looking Ahead For Grocery And Food Hall

An Essential Evolution – Looking Ahead For Grocery And Food Hall 1440 428 Chute Gerdeman

We’re in unprecedented times, but it’s hard not to think ahead for what’s next in retail. Grocers & restauranteurs are adapting on the fly, and a swift evolution is in place for the world of grocery and restaurant.

Grocery stores are overwhelmed with product demand, and they’re currently one of the more dangerous places to be during social distancing. Restaurants are also scrambling to adapt, with many businesses shutting down operations, reducing staff, and even closing their doors. However, there are new opportunities and potential that businesses can tap into if they position themselves for the upcoming social boom.

Reinforcing Behaviors

Restaurants are taking a massive hit in the wake of the pandemic while grocers continue to see an uptick in customer volume. Less options for eating out, makes for more options to prepare in the kitchen.

Financially, our country will fall on more frugal times long after the re-opening, influencing people to get creative with their dinner arrangements. Eating out will become more of a family luxury, with grocery maintaining high volume consumer engagement.

A key play for brands will be rewarding values, given that many customers will elect to stay home and cook for the family. Since customers will find a renewed sense of pride in home cooked meals, grocers will have to hone the ability to craft experience outside of the store. Even before the pandemic, there was a deprivation of meaningful connection, and inspiration with families. Expect a huge emphasis on the importance of family in the next wave of grocery experience.

The Next Wave

Accessibility is crucial. The days of the endless isle are dying, and customers just aren’t impacted by the same brands on every shelf. Retailers will have to carry local brands, source local products, and cater to the local customers. Added effort into the community will pay dividends to the retailers who aim to differentiate.

With many grocery locations growing larger in store size, customers are avoiding the journey all-together, especially post pandemic. This does not mean that customers will simply buy online though, as we’re watching the limitations of online purchasing at the moment. It’s been noted that customers are struggling with incomplete orders, delivery times, lack of options, and inspiration. Executing a well-designed, and experiential small format strategy, will help fight the urge for customers to go elsewhere. Pair that with local elements, and sentimental family cues to amplify the customer experience and build retainment.

A Missing Ingredient

Food Halls have been on the rise the past few years, and it’s likely to not be the end of the cycle. Many small businesses may turn to food halls, if their business is not revived post-pandemic. Others who do survive, may halt expansion, and turn to food halls to promote their brand, and product.

Grocers have not yet accessed the potential a food hall presents. The food hall is so much more than simply a buffet style experience. It needs to be branded, and have character, making it a destination. Locality, accessibility, diverse product, and experience are craving components that tell the story of the ever so popular food hall. Kroger is among the few to pioneer a food hall concept within their store, “On The Rhine”.

Recently, we partnered with Pingo Doce, to develop a concept that meshes the worlds between grocery and restaurant experience. Emphasizing fresh food, private label, and take out, the store sales have immediately showcased benefit to diversifying your offering.

“There is already no doubt that the future will merge supermarkets, and restaurants into one unique place… We are attracting a new type of consumer, as well as keeping the existing ones very happy with an all new range of possibilities.” – Noélia Cosme, Operational Marketing, Pingo Doce

While a quick end to our current circumstances is wishful thinking, it’s obvious that grocers will weather the storm with ease. While the next chapter in grocery experience is yet to be known, we’re excited to turn the page.

For more in-depth insight on the future of grocery & restaurant,
take a look at Creative Director Michael Munchoff’s latest POV.

HOW WE THINK SETS US APART

A collection of insights research and observations across retail, restaurant, c-store and grocery. Helping brands provide a better experience for their customers. Enjoy.

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