First-Annual Groceryshop: Innovate or Die Out
Key players from up and down the food chain – consumer packaged goods (CPG), grocery retailers, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs), and technology providers – gambled – er, gathered – in Las Vegas last week for the first-ever Groceryshop conference. The conference producers filled 2,200 seats, primarily, due to past success with Shoptalk, their massive, retail-focused parent event.
As the U.S. economy soars through the fourth industrial revolution with disruptive technologies of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), 3-D printing and more, the conversation at the Aria Convention Center revolved around how companies large and small need to keep up to remain relevant, and to earn shoppers' dollars.
Innovation is now a requirement, not an option.
In Nina Barton's keynote, president of global growth at Kraft Heinz, she laid out a blueprint for not getting left behind amidst industry changes, for companies old and young:
- Create a culture that celebrates failure.
- Data is only as good as the insights it uncovers.
- Create a process around innovation.
- Don't build a team; build a movement.
She also shared some fascinating stats around trends in online shopping:
- 80% of shoppers use the Internet for grocery research.
- 24% do that research on a smart phone or tablet.
- 80% spend their time shopping in an app.
At another large food & beverage manufacturer, Coca-Cola, Vice President & General Manager of E-commerce John Carroll outlined Millennials' and Centennials' (the following generation) behavior patterns that CPGs, retailers, and tech service providers should pay attention to:
- Millennials make up 28% of the population, with $3.9 trillion in spending power.
- Centennials make up 27% of the population, with $92 billion in spending power. (But wait til they grow up.)
- 97% of Millennials and Centennials own smart phones, and 44% of Centennials place food orders from them.
- 32% of Millennials and Centennials shop for groceries online monthly.
Health & Wellness programs aren't a nice-to-have; they're a must-have.
During one of the closing sessions, Raley's Supermarkets' Mike Molitor, head of e-commerce & loyalty, discussed their new tactics to attract shoppers and keep them. It must be mentioned that he listed Label Insight's high-order attribute data as one of "three key pillars" that make up the backbone of their site, and emphasized the importance of rich product data.
In an earlier session, Thrive Market CEO Nick Green outlined how and why conscious consumers will disrupt grocery as we're used to. Thrive Market has coined "conscious consumption" as a membership-based retailer offering natural and organic food at reduced costs.
Partnerships can put you ahead of the game.
One of the last presentations that genuinely excited us was by Ocado Solutions' CEO, Luke Jensen. Ocado Solutions is partnering with Kroger, using robots to automate their warehouses and artificial intelligence to improve their bottom line. With Kroger's investment in Ocado’s technology, Kroger will get products to stores more efficiently, channeling what nimble startups Uber and Instacart have, both with help from Ocado.
He presented data on consumers' preferences for shopping online, stating that 53% of grocery shoppers would shop online if there were "fewer hassles."
Read more about today's shoppers' behaviors in our report in partnership with the FMI, The Transparency Imperative.
Plus, watch our CMO, Patrick Moorhead, speak with the Food Marketing Institute's Pat Walsh about the above report in a recording of their session.