With the COVID-19 pandemic having only escalated throughout 2020, it left in its wake changes to many industries, including grocery. Based on the events of last year, here are some trends to consider for 2021.
Layout and operations changes. Since being in tight, crowded spaces like grocery stores is uncomfortable right now, grocery stores may begin separating pre-packaged goods and fresh products more efficiently. Phil Lempert, food industry analyst, believes pre-packaged foods will be at the back, while meats, fruits, and vegetables will be at the front, allowing customers to reduce the average grocery shopping time of 22-minutes down to 10-minutes.
Better e-commerce. Also as a result of the pandemic, e-commerce boomed even more. This includes shopping for groceries to avoid in-person contact at the store. Grocers began investing in order- and labor-management technology to increase fulfillment and organization of e-commerce deliverables.
More plant-based alternatives. With the pandemic came a meat and overall food shortage of some products. As a result, many customers dabbled in plant-based options. While plant-based products were trending upward already, the pandemic certainly impacted this. Last year, plant-based meat sales alone rose by 46%.
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