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According to Phil Lempert, the self-proclaimed “Supermarket Guru,” there are 10 consumer trends that retailers, especially food retailers, need to consider in order to be successful in 2014.

1) The IndieWoman- The IndieWoman is part of a population of women 27 or older that live alone and have no children.  This powerful consumer wants to cook, but also wants convenience.  There are over 30 million consumers in this market.

2) Better-for-you snacking: Retailers need to replace snacks at the checkout counter with healthier, on-the-go options for consumers.

3) Brands Reach Consumers Locally through Cause Initiatives: ConAgra recently released results from a survey that indicated that 62% of customers want to support brands that donate to important social causes, especially community based causes.

4) Click to Cook: Many consumers are now relying on their mobile phones when grocery shopping, often to refer to recipes or pull up shopping lists.

5) Supermarkets- The New Culinary Schools: Grocery stores are beginning to offer more cooking classes and events for shoppers to collaborate and learn from each other.

6) The Retailer Becomes the Brand: Retailers are beginning to invest even more in their private brands.  Private brands will no longer try to emulate national brands, but rather stand apart on their own.

7) Rise and Shine: Consumers are looking for healthier and more filling breakfast options like eggs, meats, and Greek yogurt.

8) Packaging Evolves to Share More with Consumers: Consumers are using mobile devices to learn more about food products, including information about ingredients, as well as where and how the food was made.

9) Millennials Make the Supermarket Social:  The next wave of consumers will begin to purchase ingredients from recipes they find on Pinterest or other social media platforms.

10) International Restaurant Flavors at Home: Consumers are looking for more flavors and variety at mealtime.  The surge of Latino and Asian populations is fueling this trend.

The Supermarket Guru also says that supermarkets need to become smaller and more personal.  He highlights examples of stores like Whole Foods and Schnucks where customers engage with the retailer like a restaurant, and in some instances, even using reservations to eat in the store.  The Supermarket Guru also tells retailers that they need to reach out to the increasing number of men who are primary shoppers for their families.

Discussion Questions:

What are the latest trends in the supermarket industry?


Sources: Keith Nunes, FoodBusinesNews.net, January 29, 2014; Phil Lempert, Top Ten Food Trend Predictions for 2014, www.supermarketguru.com