The food and beverage industry is changing and it’s doing so at a fast pace. No longer are we living the days when you must stop by the grocery store on your way home to pick up the essentials. Online companies such as Amazon, and even large retailers like Walmart and Costco, allow you to do your grocery shopping with just a few clicks of the mouse. Do these advancements in technology mean that the food and beverage industry is dying?
Changes to the Retail Food and Beverage Industry
While everyone needs groceries, people can now quickly find what they need online and have it delivered to their front door in a few days, or even a few hours. It requires very little activity, and what was once a task that could take a chunk of time out of a person’s day is now accomplished in a matter of minutes.
While the convenience is great for shoppers, it is significantly hurting the food and beverage industry. Shoppers aren’t likely to browse web pages for possible food options. They find their necessities and click the payment option. When shopping in an actual store, consumers are likely to spend more time noticing displays, colorful packaging, and new items that just catch their eye.
Even more, with more people turning to online shopping for their food, that means fewer jobs and a decrease in smaller grocery stores. Retail stores are the largest private source of employment in the United States. In fact, retail provides approximately 42 million jobs and brings in trillions of dollars in income each year.
What Does the Future Hold?
Right now, the future of the food and beverage industry is a little unclear. The industry must evaluate their current position and discover new strategies to help them compete against online stores. Some theories suggest that companies need to evaluate their store design, provide more products and items, and focus on ample healthy options.
Furthermore, retail stores may become more particular in the types of foods they offer. Grocery stores will become more specialized. These stores will offer fresh produce, meats, dairy, and other fragile food such as customized cakes and bakery items that consumers may not want shipped and delivered. This also means that farmers’ markets and butcher shops may begin to explode in popularity.
Grocery stores will become more focused on what customers want immediately and want to choose for themselves, instead of just stocking shelves. However, regardless of what theories, marketing techniques, or changes grocery stores make, it is imperative that they act soon. Rather than spending time each week at the grocery store, technology is changing things quickly to provide more convenient and user-friendly methods for consumers to purchase the food they want.